Jewish Baseball Museum

by Andrew Porter

Of Jewish baseball cards, there’s quite a selection,
But I’ve assembled the biggest collection.
And the prideful fans who’d like to see ‘em,
Will love to tour my Baseball Museum.

There’s dozens of tales about every big league Jew,
So I hope not to bore you if I share just a few.

Hank Greenberg was a Tiger, tall with game
And he’s now enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
Today they’d say, “That kid can rake!”
With his 100-plus ribbies at the All-Star Break.

But the hero knew what he was needed for:
He served the longest in the Second World War.
Returning late in ’45 to lift Detroit from a frightful jam,
He clinched the pennant with a walk off grand slam.

And those who know no facts, must surely know Koufax.
Greatest lefty of them all, youngest elected to the Hall.
The Jewish fans screamed at the top of their lungs!
He had four no-hitters and three Cy Young’s.
Two thousand strikeouts and plus some more,
Then skipped the Series on Yom Kippur.

Moe Berg, a ballplayer with nary a flaw.
Princeton undergrad, Columbia Law.
A catcher for the White Sox — the Senators too.
But also a spy during World War II.
He traveled to Germany with orders to kill
And stealthily filmed Tokyo from the top of a hill.

So many other interesting facts abound,
Where these precious baseball cards will soon be found.

Guy Zinn left an indelible mark:
He scored the first run ever at Fenway Park.

And Barney Pelty, the Yiddish Curver, surely tasted whiskey:
He pitched a shutout when they opened Comiskey.

While Sam Nahem read Marx and Engel,
Lefty Weinert beaned Casey Stengel.

Erskine Mayer pitched with grit
Though he served up Wagner’s 3,000th hit.

Al Rosen, third baseman of great renown:
A groundout cost him the Triple Crown.

Bob Tufts and Elliott Maddox both hated to lose.
Both born as gentiles, both played as Jews.

There was Cy Young winner Steven Stone,
Speedy infielder Sammy Bohne,
And Giants second baseman Andy Cohen.

So the lesson to be learned today — promise, there will be no test.
Is that mensches don’t just ride the benches.
They play ball like all the rest.

 


Published in Ballparks, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Former Teams, History, Los Angeles Dodgers, Players, Pure doggerel, San Francisco Giants, The Game Itself | Link to this poem | 2 Comments

Jewish Baseball Museum: 2 Comments

  1. Stu Shea wrote,

    This was wonderful.

  2. Elliott Kolker wrote,

    Great poem that you wrote, In its honor, I,too,
    Assembled bits written of one other Jew,
    Belongs in the Hall, as this poem might attest;
    Ken Holtzman, the southpaw, is one of the best:

    As St. Louis Jew raised an “El Birdies” fan,
    I learned watchin’ Gibby, Curt Flood, Stan the Man,
    From having watched Koufax I have no regrets,
    Regrettin’ Dem Bums less than Cubs or the Mets.
    For years wore “the Tools” squatting in Khoury Leagues,

    Dad knew ‘twas my lone shot of making “The Bigs,”
    Though reckon he knew I wouldn’t play in “the Show,”
    Taught me “Watch the Game and you’ll learn, then you’ll know…”

    Sole “Son of Your Father’s Best Childhood Friend” knew,
    Joe Holtzman’s son destined “the Next Super Jew.”
    Ken’s Major League record will proudly attest
    As hard throwing southpaw he out-played the best…

    Wrote that in a letter; Asked Ken if he knew
    My father. He wrote back, “Your dad’s jiving you,
    My father was ‘Henry’, not Joe, yet attest;
    Dad made you a fan and a poet. My best.”

    As “Son of My Father,” Dad made sure I knew
    Henry’s son, Kenny, is one mighty fine Jew,
    Like World Series’ record. Post-Big Leagues attest,
    As hard-throwing southpaw, Ken still has his best…

    Years later wrote Ken, “Just two Cubs that I knew,
    Whom I respected, like Dad taught me to,
    One was a Schvartza, one’s a St. Louis Jew,
    U. City’s Ken Holtzman, Mister ‘Let’s Play Two.’”

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