For those of us who follow the careers of Jewish ballplayers — a small, eccentric niche of fandom — checking the Jewish Baseball News Web site is an essential part of our sports routine.
If kosher-observant L.A. Dodgers fans want to buy a hot dog at a game, they’re out of luck: Dodger Stadium doesn’t sell kosher hot dogs.
When the Dodgers celebrated their 50th anniversary in Los Angeles on March 29 with an exhibition game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, it seemed almost fitting that a Jewish ballplayer, Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis, would hit a pivotal home run that helped Boston win the game. During the Dodgers' final home game against the Chicago Cubs at the Coliseum in 1961, a young left-handed pitcher named Sandy Koufax won the ballgame for Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have traded Shawn Green, the only Jew on the team, to the Arizona Diamondbacks. My 8-year-old twin
daughters are devastated. They don't know if they should continue to root for the hometown Dodgers or to switch allegiances to the Diamondbacks, so they can still root for Green, their favorite player.
I've told them they can do both, especially when the Diamondbacks come to Los Angeles to play against the Dodgers. But their disappointment is real, nonetheless.
Jewish pride across the baseball world swelled back in 1965, when the legendary Sandy Koufax decided to observe Yom Kippur rather than pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the World Series against the Minnesota Twins.
But the Hall of Fame pitcher proved unforgiving recently, when a gossip item in the New York Post intimated that he was gay. The Post is owned by the News Corp., controlled by multimedia magnate Rupert Murdoch, who also happens to own the Dodgers.
Through a friend, the always very private Koufax, now 67, declared that he would no longer assist any Murdoch-owned enterprise and was therefore severing his 48-year-long relationship with the Dodgers.