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Jewish Major Leaguers in Their Own Words: Oral Histories of 23 Players Paperback – March 5, 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"the book provides an unusual window into America's pastime" --Jewish Baseball News

"a worthy addi­tion to Jewish baseball fans' bookshelves" --Joshua Platt, Jewish Book Council/Jewish Book World

"an intimate feeling of what life was and is like as a Jewish Major Leaguer" -- Washington Jewish Week

"an easy read" -- Publishers Weekly

"I highly recommend it"-- The Kentucky Democrat

About the Author

Peter Ephross was a longtime editor for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency news service and has published in Publishers Weekly, the Village Voice, and Forward.

Martin Abramowitz is the president of Jewish Major Leaguers, Inc., which documents American Jews in baseball and sponsored many of the interviews in this book.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 227 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland; First Printing edition (March 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786465077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786465071
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,830,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading these interviews, in which Jewish ballplayers tell their own stories in their own way, reminded me how much I loved reading the oral histories of the great Studs Terkel. Becoming a professional baseball player is every young boy's dream, so hearing about Al Rosen's journey to the majors -- along with his feelings about World War II -- was riveting. The stories here are fascinating. Who knew that Jose Bautista is Jewish? "I know, I don't believe it either," he said he told his disbelieving teammates in one of my favorite quotes of the book. Don't miss Elliott Maddox's comments on Billy Martin and what he had on the bottom of his bat.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
By the way of background, I'm an old Jewish guy who, as a kid growing up in the 1950s, played baseball with my friends as much as was physically possible. And as we reached our teens and twenties we went well beyond those early `sandlot' games and played organized and competitive baseball in what then was referred to as industrial or municipal leagues. Maybe because of this I also loved reading "Jewish Major Leaguers...In Their Own Words". Many of the players interviewed were the heroes of my youth...some contemporary and some from the past. The fact that someone would take the time to capture and share the thoughts of these great men, particularly their thoughts and feelings about being Jewish and participating in the American game, deserves recognition and kudos. The fact that it was done so well and was a compelling read deserves even more credit.
Not only was it done in the players' own words with little editing, something that made the book all the more real to me, but they also talked about the things that mattered most to them. And I was impressed, but not surprised, that most of them talked about playing on the Sabbath or on major Jewish holidays and what their parents thought about it. That was THE issue for me and my friends as well.
Equally important is the implied message in the book...history matters if for no other reason that it enriches the game for those who come after. While there's always been an historical bent to baseball among players and fans, most of it was transmitted in the stories players told to teach other....stories that many fans never heard or that got changed over time and their retelling.
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Format: Paperback
As someone who finds herself more interested in the back stories of athletes than stats in facts, I was eager to dig into this wide-ranging oral history of Jewish baseball. I was stunned to find so many honest, intimate and illuminating stories from not only our most beloved baseball heroes but also some of the more unexpected pioneers of the sport as well. I admit that when I first got my hands on the book, I skipped straight to the chapter from one of the collection's most well-known players Hank Greenberg, and was delighted by his tale of a chief rabbi in Detroit giving him permission to play baseball on Rosh Hashana and then leading his team to victory. But as I read on, I found that the book continued to enlighten, and reveal intriguing truths about being Jewish in a sport where it wasn't always so easy to be so. I walked away feeling like I knew the players on an incredibly deep and personal level. I highly recommend this book to any and all (Jewish or non-Jewish) baseball enthusiasts out there.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Somehow the author has managed to make the baseball careers of Jewish baseball players, and their lives after baseball, a dull, repetitious bore. The one or two well-written and edited chapters were taken from previously published works. By midpoint I found my self fast-forwarding to the end.
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