Dandy Sandy turns 80 today, if you can believe it. Back at the All-Star Game in July, Koufax was anointed — along with Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Johnny Bench — as one of baseball’s greatest living legends. The MLB Network aired a special moderated by Bob Costas featuring the quarter reminiscing and sharing anecdotes. […]
It might have been more timely if this had come out in an earlier issue, but John Rosengren, author of Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes, contributed “Heeding a Higher Calling: Jewish Players’ Observance of High Holy Days Shine Spotlight on Religious Holidays” for the current (winter) publication of Memories and Dreams, the magazine of […]
If he had just been a Jewish ballplayer, dayenu, it would have been enough. If he had just been arguably the best pitcher of his generation, dayenu. But when Sandy Koufax declined to take the mound for the first game of the 1965 World Series? More than enough. Fifty years later, Koufax’s decision to sit […]
There’s a cute little three-part video on Youtube titled “When Giants Fan Met Dodgers Fan.’” The premise is a blind date that starts off great, until the two participants realize they each hate the other’s favorite team. They spend the whole time arguing about the merits of their respective teams But here’s the pertinent clip […]
Mickey Mantle. Sandy Koufax. Two heroic symbols of the Boomer generation. Two flawed figures, one of his own accord, one of poor luck. Jane Leavy has turned both of their stories into best-selling biograophies. So what does she do for an encore? Why not another icon, who wrestled with his own demons, although it didn’t […]
There are so many books coming from three publishers, I thought to give them a page of their own. McFarland gets high marks for taking on subjects and people that might otherwise go under the radar. That’s not to say that every book is fantastic, all due respects to the writers, but at least they […]
Any serious scholar of the game knows the work McFarland does in bringing eclectic material to the bookshelf. This fall’s line-up includes: A Calculus of Color: The Integration of Baseball’s American League, by Robert Kuhn McGregor Understanding Baseball: A Textbook, edited by Trey Strecker, et al The Negro Southern League: A Baseball History, 1920-1951, by […]
How many ballplayers owe their careers to the work of Dr. Jobe, who pioneered the medical technique we know today as “Tommy John Surgery?” Jobe died yesterday at the age of 88. Here’s the NY Times obit by Richard Goldstein, who most recently wrote about the late Eddie O’Brien. Theorists love to talk about how […]
Talk about your odd couples. A few weeks ago on Kaplan’s Korner, I posted about a Jewish-themed episode of the old Bill Cosby Show. This one titled “Dennis and The Dodger,” doesn’t have a Jewish slant, aside from the appearance of Koufax himself. And this was in 1959, before Koufax began his streak of five […]
(Because this looks like a sticker, and you can put stickers on your bookcase, although I wouldn’t recommend it; they ruin the finish when you try to remove them.) The Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, of which I am a proud lifetime member, just released its new logo: Students of the game will recognize […]
BaseballCardInvestment.comt posted this piece on “Sandy Koufax Baseball Cards: A Short but Solid List.” I’m guessing it applies to at least a few of you out there.
Raise your hand if you, like me, are tired to the cliche about the thinnest publication being a treatise on Jewish sports heroes (or some riff thereon). It is therefore with an understandable sense of pride that I recommend Jewish Jocks: An Unorthodox Hall of Fame. While this collection of 50 essays isn’t just about […]
(Close enough for government work.) Artist Ron Lewis whose previous creations has celebrated living members of baseball’s 500 home run club, 3,000 hit club, and its 3,000-strikeout pitchers, among other sports icons, has completed a new lithograph presenting 26 living Jewish baseball players. Copyright Art O Graphs (Of course, this little image doesn’t do […]
by Arnold Hano. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1964. After reading his classic A Day In The Bleachers and interviewing him for a Bookshelf podcast, I was thrilled to find this little gem available through my local library coop. What makes Sandy Koufax: Strikeout King interesting is the fact that it was published before his famous decision […]
Some vacation. Actually it was no vacation at all. This is the first time since Aug. 1 I’ve been upright, pain-free, and clear-headed enough to post. Following my 11-seconds of fame as one of the first-pitch-throwers at a Trenton Thunder game, I’ve been suffering with a respiratory infection that had me feverish, coughing, and otherwise […]
In this case, the “K” stands for Koufax. Artist Loren Kantor is offering woodcuts of the Hall of Famer. A 5″ x 6″, hand-pulled block print on acid-free archival paper will cost you a C-note.