Sandy Koufax, Redux: Nats Owners Swear Off Yom Kippur Playoffs


It’s a Sandy Koufax moment, at the ownership level.

The Lerner family, owners of the National League’s Washington Nationals baseball team, announced that they will not attend any playoff games that take place next week on Yom Kippur, the Washington Post reported last week.

Yom Kippur this year starts at sundown on Friday, Oct. 3; major league baseball has not yet announced its post-season schedule.

The Nationals last week clinched the NL Eastern Division title, for the second time in three years.

While the playoffs traditionally take place in early autumn and games often take place on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, most of the sport’s handful of Jewish players opt to play on the High Holy Days, and teams’ Jewish owners and executives usually attend the games.

The most famous instance of a Jewish player sitting out a Yom Kippur game was Sandy Koufax’s decision to not start the opening game of the 1965 World Series against the Minnesota Twins.