Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
JEWS AND BASEBALL traces the Jewish involvement in the history of the sport from the game's earliest days, through the tumultuous war years to today's All-Star games. By analyzing various stages in this history, including how the legendary Sandy Koufax pioneered rights for players and Hank Greenberg's support of Jackie Robinson, the film demonstrates how Jews shaped baseball, and baseball shaped them.
Narrated by two-time Academy Award® winner Dustin Hoffman, this lively and thorough account of Jewish America's love affair with baseball sheds new light on America's national pastime
Includes interviews with former player Al Rosen, sports historian Maury Allen, celebrity enthusiasts Larry King and Ron Howard, and all-stars Shawn Green and Kevin Youkilis, as well as a rare interview with baseball legend Sandy Koufax.
Bonus Features: Deleted Scenes, Including Exclusive Never-Before-Seen Interview with Sandy Koufax; Sophie Milman Sings Take Me Out To the Ball Game
Top Customer Reviews
The film is structured along a chronological timeline and features just about every Jewish player you would expect. In the earliest days, it even incorporates fun facts like the creators of the song "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" were Jewish. The documentary spends the most time with two of the sport's biggest legends--Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax. Greenberg is easily the film's most fascinating and pivotal character, and his story is impressive and inspiring. The impact of World War II and the rise of Hitler is especially poignant in the historical accounting of a player trying to balance career with social pressures and religious obligations. While Greenberg broke down barriers, much later Koufax pushes firmly into mainstream acceptance. The other contributors to the film are too countless to enumerate, but these two are definitely highlighted in detail.Read more ›
There has always been a certain low humor about Jews in sports. The film opens with a scene from the movie AIRPLANE, in which Julie Hagerty is handing a passenger 'light reading,' a leaflet on Great Jewish Sports Legends.
A joke I remember from Hebrew School tells us that baseball is the first thing mentioned in the Bible: "In the Big Inning God created the heaven and the earth." Exactly when and where God created baseball is not known, legends of Abner Doubleday and Cooperstown aside, but what is well known is that successive groups of immigrant fans and players adopted baseball as their sport and passport to Americanization.
Jews were part of baseball from the very outset of league professional play. L. Emanuel Pike of the Philadelphia Athletics was on the first salaried team in 1871, and may have been the first great home run hitter of the sport, hitting six a year for three straight years during the Dead Ball Era.
Between the 1870s and the 1930s, a workmanlike succession of Jewish players followed Pike. Most were named Cohen and most used pseudonyms. It was not until the 1930s that a Jewish superstar emerged---Hammerin' Hank Greenberg of the Detroit Tigers who was to become the first Jewish player inducted into the Hall of Fame.Read more ›
BTW: Is there any connection between the Seventh-Inning Stretch and the story in the Torah about God resting on the Seventh Day?
There is quite a bit the filmmakers didn't discuss or glossed over - the one Jew playing on the evangelical-Christian oriented Colorado Rockies during their World Series run against Youkilis, Brian Epstein and the Boston Red Sox, the efforts at putting together the Israel baseball League, the House of David baseball team (which played against Negro League teams when few other white teams would, and even signed Jackie Mitchell "The Girl who struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig" to a contract), etc., etc., etc.
But there is so much in this film to treasure!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a wonderful documentary. The star of David stitching on the cover picture is emblamatic of the way Jewish players were woven through the fabric of the sport. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Archer A. Jordan
Got this as a gift for a family member's birthday as I knew he didn't have it-and he loves all things baseball! Hope he will enjoy it a lot ( and lend it to me after!)Published on June 3, 2014 by Evanna L. Dunlop
great film. Class enjoyed it. Used it to teach about Jews in baseball along with old cards and balls. Thanks!Published on December 20, 2013 by riette perlman
It was a very interesting book. It surprised me with some of the facts. Not too much else I can say.Published on December 13, 2013 by Larry Schwartz
Gave it to a recuperating friend and he loved it. He is a Jewish history buff and is stuck at home lately.Published on December 3, 2013 by Ed Sanderson