When New York Mets infielder Josh Satin hit his second Major League home run on Aug. 21, it was hard to know what was more noteworthy: the fact that the Jewish player from Hidden Hills was a relatively old 28 or that there was a fan with a “Hail Satin” sign in the stands.
Shawn Green enjoyed quite the professional baseball career: In 13 seasons, he clubbed 328 home runs, drove in 1,070 runs, batted .283, was a two-time All-Star and retired in 2007 holding or sharing seven Major League records. The former Dodger also twice refused to play on Yom Kippur.
Shawn Green returned to a Los Angeles baseball diamond on June 15, only this time instead of suiting up in a blue-and-white uniform at Dodger Stadium, he donned jeans and a green Subway polo shirt at La Cienega Park in Beverly Hills. And instead of being flanked by the likes of Eric Gagne and Adrian Beltre, Green posed for photos with 1980s Dodger great Orel Hershiser, the Marlins of Beverly Hills Little League and fellow Jewish celebrity Jared Fogle, the bespectacled Subway pitchman.
In professional baseball's 135-year history, there have been, at last count, 143 Jewish ballplayers. Yet only two of them are bona fide stars: the great slugger, Hank Greenberg, who played from 1930-1947; and the game's greatest left-handed pitcher Sandy Koufax, 1955-1966 (along, that is, with Lefty Grove).
Shawn Green sits quietly in the Dodgers dugout waiting for pregame batting practice to begin. His unassuming nature seems at odds with his 6-foot-4 figure; his quiet presence inconsistent with his celebrity.
Yoshinoya and a sushi restaurant sprang up at Dodgers Stadium after Japanese pitcher Hideo Nomo donned blue, but it's going to be a while before L.A. fans will be able to bite into a kosher Dodger dog, even with the addition of Jewish outfielder Shawn Green.
Shawn Green has a reputation for being an excellent student. At Tustin High School in Orange County, he graduated third in his class.