Jews and Baseball


Jews and baseball: they go together like gefilte fish and horseradish. You didn’t realize? Consider: Commissioner Bud Selig? Jewish. The greatest pitcher of all time? Jewish. The guy who composed “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”? Jewish. The Clown Prince of Baseball? Jewish.

It’s an old love story, Jews and baseball. Since before Babe Ruth slugged his first dinger, Jewish immigrants have loved the sport. Learning baseball was a rite of assimilation. True, not many Jews wore the uniform. But those who did were lovingly embraced.

Moe Berg in the 1920s. Mike Epstein and Ron Bloomberg in the 1960s. Shawn Green in the 1990s. Ryan Braun and Kevin Youkilis today. And, of course, two Hall of Famers. (Could there be a third? Only if a certain Milwaukee outfielder can prove he never messed with the funny juice.)

For a glimpse into the long, passionate love affair between Jews and baseball, catch the 2011 documentary narrated by Dustin Hoffman called…well, Jews and Baseball. Meanwhile, Opening Day is March 31. Play ball!

Recommended from JTA