The long sought Jewish baseball star seems to have been discovered in the person of Andy Cohen of the New York Giants.
Andy Cohen was the hero of the day at the game opening the 1928 baseball season when the Giants defeated the Boston Braves at the Polo Grounds, before a crowd of 30,000. Mayor Walker threw the first ball, inaugurating the season.
The first Cohen in big league baseball was carried off the field on the shoulders of the fans. He scored the first run of the year for the Giants after singling in the fifth inning. He won the game for the Giants by hitting for two bases with two Giants on base in the sixth inning. In the eight he singled and scored another run when Hogan hit for two bases.
Describing the rise of Andy Cohen from obscurity to fame. James R. Harrison, sport writer of the “New York Times,” writes:
“Dubiously greeted as the successor of the great Rajah, Andy had his chance yesterday, and he didn’t make a ‘boot.’ Here was a big New York crowd. Over there on the visiting bench was Hornsby. How would the youngster stack up against the grand old veteran? Would he falter and break, or was his hand firm and his nerve steady?
“Those were the questions that the crowd asked itself, and Andy Coherr supplied the answers. For the moment at least he is the baseball hero of New York. He will pull them in at the gate like a Babe Ruth–partly because he is, for the present anyway, the long-sought Jewish star on a New York team; partly because he is a youngster in a tough spot, and partly because he is a pretty fine ball player in his own right.
“Nothing else seemed to matter very much in this ball game but the young Jewish lad, who came in one long stride from minor league obscurity to a job which had last been held by Rogers Hornsby.
“The fact that the Giants beat the Braves, 5 to 2; that they pulled up the flag and the band played the “Star-Spangled Banner,” that Mayor Jimmy Walker was there to throw out the first ball-the fact even that another baseball season was being unfolded was unimportant compared with the triumph of Andy Cohen.
“Between the covers of a book they may hoist the great hero to their shoulders and march off with him, but it isn’t done in professional baseball. Wasn’t done, that is, till yesterday, when the enthusiasm and joy of New York’s blase baseball patrons bubbled and boiled over and they carried Andy Cohen around the Polo Grounds.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.