Autumn presents World Series Baseball to the fans of sports scenes: pitching duels, fast ball pitchers, power hitters, and fall excitement at the ‘olde ball game.’ More Americans watch major league baseball than any other sport. That includes basketball, (American) football, soccer, golf, hockey, etc.

And the national baseball team in Israel recently beat a British baseball team in a World Baseball Classic qualifier playing in Brooklyn, New York.

So you are curious and want to learn whether there are currently any Jews with bats in Major League Baseball? Perhaps you want to learn about any past Jews with bats in Major League Baseball?? Perhaps you want to learn who was the first Jew with a bat to hit a home run in Major League Baseball???

If so, I refer you to a wonderful daily online newsletter, “Jewish Baseball News,” edited by Scott Barancik,

Jewish Baseball News

The Jewish Baseball News contains such nuggets as … Who was the first Jew to hit a home run in Major League Baseball? It was Lip Pike who led the National Association with four home runs in 1871.

Who was the Jew who hit 58 home runs in 1938 and almost broke Babe Ruth’s record of 60 runs? Hank Greenberg, hero of the depression era Jews.

During what years were there no Jewish at bats? 1986 to 1990.

What three Jewish players with bats have hit over 25 home runs this year? Ryan Braun, Ian Kinsler, Joe Pederson.

Who is the first Israeli to be drafted by a Major League Baseball team? Dean Kremer, a 20-year-old Los Angeles Dodgers prospect, the first Israeli to be drafted by a Major League team.

What year did the Jews with bats hit the most home runs? It turns out that it was this year, 2016, with 114 home runs.

Scott Barancik, the editor of the Jewish Baseball News, claims he is a 52-year-old human, born in Chicago in 1964 and now living in St. Petersburg, Florida. He’s a former newspaper reporter, and currently runs a local news service. He also chairs a nonprofit think tank (Florida Policy Institute) that seeks to better the lives of low-income children.

I asked him how he got into the Jewish Baseball News. 

He answered: “Grew up a Cubs fan. Since I haven’t lived in the Chicago area in many decades, I mostly lost interest in the Cubs and baseball. But when the Tampa Bay Rays turned things around in 2008, my interest in baseball was reignited. Meanwhile, I’d married an observant Jewish woman (Rebecca) and gotten involved in our synagogue. Naturally, I began to wonder which current major leaguers are Jewish?”

Where do you get your information, I asked? 

“I have been doing this since about 2009.” he said. “After much research I recognized that the gold standard was a print publication called www.jewishsportsreview.com, edited by Shel Wallman and Ephraim Moxson. In the years since, we’ve collaborated in identifying and verifying additional Jewish ballplayers. Most recently, a couple of young MLB scouts helped identify some additional minor leaguers with Jewish ancestry.”

If you are interested in the “Jewish Baseball News,” you can sign up for their free newsletter by visiting http://eepurl.com/3poVH

Incidentally, the phrase ‘Jews with bats’ derives from ‘News And Stats On Jews With Bats’ right from Scott’s newsletter. I love that phrase. It sounds so inviting to me.

 The Jewish Sports Review 

The Jewish Sports Review is another guide to who is Jewish in the world of sports. For example…

The Olympic Champions, Aly Raisman, Anthony Ervin, and Sarah Hughes.

The top European Golfers, Alexander Levy and David Lipsky.

All-star infielder, Ian Kinsler.

2011 Outland Trophy winner for outstanding college lineman, Gabe Carimi.

2014 Pacific Coast League MVP, Joc Pederson.

NHL star, Michael Cammalleri.

The six Jewish players in the NFL.

The eight Jewish players in the NHL.

The two Jewish players in the NBA.

The Jewish Sports Review selects Jewish All-America College teams in Baseball, Football, Basketball, Softball, Soccer and Lacrosse;

This printed periodical lists all 170 Jews who have ever played in the major leagues.
It has all-time lists of all Jewish players who have ever played in Major League Baseball, Pro Football, Pro Basketball, and the National Hockey League;

It covers international athletic events such as the Summer and Winter Olympics, and World Championships in numerous sports;

It selects High School Jewish All-America teams in Basketball, and names the top graduating Jewish high school athletes in Football;

It updates the statistics, transactions, signings, and accomplishments of Jewish athletes;

It covers the World Maccabiah Games;

It verifies and “fact checks” the Jewish background of every athlete listed.

The Jewish Sports Review publishes 6 times a year and does not have an online issue, only a printed one. Contact shel@jewishsportsreview.com for further information about this exciting publication.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

©2016 by Ed Glassman , Ph.D.

Ed Glassman is a retired professor from the University Of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and a former columnist for the Chapel Hill Herald and the (Raleigh, North Carolina) Triangle Business Journal.