The Jewish Sport Report: How the MLB’s Jewish players will handle Yom Kippur this year


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Hello, Jewish sports fans!

What’s your most prized sports possession? For one fan, it’s this insanely cool ticket from Game 1 of the 1965 World Series, signed by none other than Sandy Koufax, who famously did not pitch in that game. More on that below.

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The MLB has more Jewish players than ever — but none of them will face a Yom Kippur dilemma this year

Dean Kremer and Max Fried

Dean Kremer, left, and Max Fried, right, are among the best Jewish players in the MLB. (Getty Images)

If you’re reading this newsletter, chances are you’re familiar with the Sandy Koufax Yom Kippur story — that time the best pitcher in baseball sat out a World Series game that fell on Judaism’s most important holiday.

But Koufax is far from the only Jewish MLB player to have made that choice. Hank Greenberg and Shawn Green have done it, too, plus several others. (Green even sacrificed an impressive streak to sit for the High Holidays).

This Yom Kippur, two of baseball’s best Jewish players — Max Fried and Dean Kremer, each of whom have wrestled with this issue in the past — lucked out: Fried pitched last night, and Kremer toes the rubber tonight.

Click here for more on how the MLB’s Jewish players are navigating the holiday this year.

Halftime report

THIS ONE’S FOR YOU. Chelsea Football Club has announced the creation of a Jewish fan group, becoming the second Premier League Team to do so this year, following Arsenal. Chelsea has long been active in efforts to combat antisemitism, especially under former owner Roman Abramovich.

YEEZY MAKING ME WHEEZY. Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden defended former collaborator Kanye West, who the sportswear giant dropped last year amid the fallout from West’s antisemitic tirades. “I don’t think he meant what he said and I don’t think he’s a bad person,” Gulden said. “He just came across that way. And that meant we lost that business, one of the most successful collabs in the history. Very sad.”

NEW BOSS IN MOTOWN. The Detroit Tigers hired Jeff Greenberg as their new general manager. Greenberg has years of experience as an executive with the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Blackhawks and is the son of former Texas Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg.

VOTE EARLY AND OFTEN. “The Franchise: Jews, Sports, and America,” the excellent podcast from Tablet Studios and friend of the Sport Report Meredith Shiner, is a finalist for the Signal Awards’ best limited series in the sports documentary category. Check out the pod here and vote for it here.

Jews in sports to watch this weekend


Dean Kremer takes the mound for his Baltimore Orioles as they face Eli Morgan and the Cleveland Guardians tonight at 7:10 p.m. ET. Team Israel is in Prague for the European Baseball Championship, where they face Switzerland Sunday at 5 a.m. ET and Germany Monday at 2 p.m. ET. Streaming information can be found here.


Week 3 of the NFL season is here. Here’s the Jewish schedule:

  • Sunday at 1 p.m. ET: Greg Joseph and the Minnesota Vikings host the Los Angeles Chargers, A.J. Dillon and the Green Bay Packers face the New Orleans Saints and Michael Dunn and the Cleveland Browns take on the Tennessee Titans.
  • Sunday at 4 p.m. ET: Jake Curhan and the Seattle Seahawks host the Carolina Panthers — though it is unclear if Curhan will play on Kol Nidre.


In the Premier League, Matt Turner and Nottingham Forest play Manchester City Saturday at 10 a.m. ET, while Manor Solomon and Tottenham play Arsenal Sunday at 9 a.m. ET. Over in the MLS, Daniel Edelman and the New York Red Bulls host Steve Birnbaum and DC United Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET.


Jewish Canadian golfer Ben Silverman is at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship at Ohio State University this weekend — sorry, THE Ohio State University.

G’mar Chatima Tovah

Whether you plan to spend your weekend watching sports, observing Yom Kippur, or somewhere in between, we wish you a good weekend, an easy fast and a happy new year! And don’t forget, if you made any ill-advised sports bets in the past year, now’s your chance to atone!

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