‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ writer inducted into Jewish Sports Hall of Fame


LOS ANGELES (JTA) — An American swimmer who took gold at the Rio Olympics this summer and the writer of the immortal baseball anthem “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” are among the new inductees to the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in Israel.

Anthony Ervin, a native Californian now living in Florida, captured a pair of gold medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics in the 50-meter freestyle and the 4×100-meter relay. The victories were a near repeat of his gold and silver medals in the same events at the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia.

Albert Von Tilzer wrote his famed song in 1908; crowds at many ballparks today sing the baseball anthem during the seventh-inning stretch.

Another American to be inducted is Thelma “Tybie” Thall-Sommers, who garnered two world championships in table tennis: the mixed doubles in 1948 and the other as a member of the U.S. team that won the trophy the following year.

Other newly elected members come from Canada, Hungary, Israel, New Zealand and Russia.

They are:

The late National Hockey League star Hyman (Hy) Buller of Canada, who played for the New York Rangers. He set a rookie record in 1951-52 for scoring the most goals, and ranked second for most goals among all NHL defensemen in three consecutive seasons.

Joszef Braun joined the MTK Budapest soccer club in 1916 at age 15 and three years later was named Hungary’s Player of the Year. His team won nine national championships through 1924. Braun died in a Nazi forced labor camp in 1943.

Israel’s Lee Korzits is a four-time world sailing champion, winning her first mistral-class title in 2003. After a long layoff due to injuries, the Hadera native won world gold medals in 2010, 2012 and 2013.

New Zealand sailing champion Joanna (Jo) Aleh became a double-double gold medalist (with Olivia Powrie) in the women’s 420 Class event at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, and at the 2007 and 2013 world championships.

Swimmer Semyon Belits-Geiman, a Moscow native, broke 67 Soviet national freestyle records and set a world 800-meter freestyle record in 1966. The same year, he won two gold medals at the European championships. In 1999, he and his wife moved to Stamford, Connecticut.

Election results were announced by International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame co-chairmen Alan Sherman of Potomac, Maryland, and R. Stephen Rubin of London.

The formal inductions are slated for July 4 at the Hall of Fame Museum located on the Wingate Institute campus in Netanya.


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