Candle lighting time is 7:08
This week’s Parshah is Vayikra, a parshah that details the animal and meal offerings that are to be brought to the sanctuary.
And so, since this is again a very technical parshah and since opening day is rapidly approaching, I present to you my All-Jewish, All-Time Baseball Team.
First Base – Kevin Youkilis
Second Base – Ian Kinsler, Sparky Rosen
Shortstop – Lou Boudreau
Third Base – Al Rosen
Outfield – Hank Greenberg
Outfield – Sid Gordon
Outfield – Shawn Green
Outfield – Ryan Braun
Pitcher – Sandy Koufax, Steve Stone, Ken Holtzman, Larry Sherry
Catcher – Brad Ausmus
We discussed Braun, Youkilis and Kinsler last week, and I will come back to Sparky Rosen shortly.
Lou Boudreau is a tough call. He is definitely worthy of the acclaim as an eight-time All Star, the 1948 American League Most Valuable Player, and the 1944 American League batting champion. But was he Jewish? His mother was Jewish, so technically he was a Jew, but his parents divorced when he was seven and his father raised him as a Catholic. His autobiography never mentions anything about his being Jewish, so normally I would not include him, but he is the only Jewish (?) shortstop with outstanding credentials, so he is in.
Al Rosen – The 1953 AL MVP and an All Star in 1952, 1953, 1954, and 1955, Rosen led the AL in home runs twice, pounding 37 dingers in 1950 and 43 in 1953. He also led the AL in RBI twice with 105 in 1952 and 145 in 1953.
Hank Greenberg – The Hall Of Fame outfielder was the AL MVP in 1934 and 1940. He led the league in home runs and RBI four times and he would most likely have broken Babe Ruth’s home run record when he hit 58 in 1938, but opposing pitchers were not about to let a Jew break the record. If you haven’t already seen the movie, The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg, you owe it to yourself to do so.
Sid Gordon – Gordon was a two-time All Star who hit 25 or more home runs five times and drove in more than 100 runs three times in a 13-year MLB career that lasted from 1941 to 1955.
Shawn Green – A three-time All Star, Green hit 40 or more homers three times and drove in 100 or more runs four times in his 15 big league seasons. And when he became a free agent after the 1999 season, he left Toronto and went to LA because he wanted to play in a city that had a vibrant Jewish community.
Sandy Koufax was one of the greatest pitchers of all time. He’s a Hall of Famer, a seven-time All Star, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, the 1963 NL MVP, a three-time winner of 20 or more games, the NL ERA leader in five consecutive seasons from 1962 through 1966, and he led the NL in strike outs three times. Oh, and did I mention that he threw four no-hitters including a perfect game?
Steve Stone was the 1980 AL Cy Young Award winner when he won 25 games while losing only 7 and posting a 3.23 ERA.
Ken Holtzman was an All Star starting pitcher in both 1972 and 1973 when he won 21 games and 19 games. He also won 19 games in 1974 and 18 more in 1975.
Larry Sherry was the closer on the Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale-led Dodgers team of the 1960s.
Brad Ausmus was a three-time Gold Glove winner who was known more for his glove than his bat in a major league career that spanned 18 years.
Sparky Rosen – the All Star second baseman for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Rosen was the hero of my three novels, Phenom, Warning Track Power, and Hometown Hero.