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Jewish Journal

For The Baseball Card Lover In You

by Jeremy Fine

April 17, 2010 | 10:19 pm

The Great Rabbino received this notice via email. Check it out.

Newton, MA – April 8, 2010 – The 2010 edition of Jewish Major Leaguer baseball cards salutes what was probably the greatest decade in the game’s history for Jewish players, with players like Shawn Green, Kevin Youkilis, Jason Marquis, Ian Kinsler, Ryan Braun and Scott Feldman rising to all-star status, and more filling rosters than in any previous decade in baseball annals.

        Twenty-nine Jewish players appeared during the decade, with 14 in one season, the most ever.  Youkilis was named Player of the Decade in a poll conducted by JewishMajorLeaguers.org, which produces the annual set, and which has announced that this, the sixth edition, will be the last.

        “We remained true to our word to the purchasers of the original set in 2005, that they were buying the complete set with all players in history,” said Martin Abramowitz, whose vision of educating fans about “American Jews in America’s Game,” led to its creation.  The response was wonderful – a sold out product, and a national dialogue on the subject, leading to two Cooperstown seminars.  We’d like to think we may have helped in popularizing the subject, which has led to at least two films, and several books, with more on the way.  The update sets were a response to fan demand, as well as to the continuing influx of Jewish players onto big league rosters.  But we feel we’ve met our mission at least in terms of a card product with the updates, and this one will be a grand finale to the project.”

        The 50-card set includes the 29 players, career leader cards, a decade-leader stat card, a card honoring Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, the president of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Jeff Idelson, and a card honoring the leader of the Major League Baseball Players Association (Michael Weiner) along with two of his predecessors (Marvin Miller and Donald Fehr).

        Among the 29 players of the 2000’s are some who came and went quickly –– but who will live on as among the all-time Jewish players.  The total through 2009 is an easy-to-remember (for baseball fans), 162, equal to the numbers of games in a season.

        The 2010 edition calls attention to some remarkable feats in the decade – Green’s 19 total bases in one game, Kinsler’s 6-for-6 “cycle” game, Youkilis’s consecutive game and chances fielding records at first base, Marquis becoming the first Jewish pitcher since Sandy Koufax to have six consecutive double-digit victory seasons, and Green setting a games played record for Jewish players – one which Brad Ausmus figures to pass in 2010 with two appearances.  (Ausmus is again on the roster of the Los Angeles Dodgers).

        “While we do not plan on another card set at this time,” said Abramowitz, “the organization will continue.  We will maintain the website to maintain the flow of educational news.  We’ve been so gratified by the public response, by being able to give about 40 players their first and only baseball card, {in the original set}, and by getting Jewish contributions to the game into standard baseball dialogue.”

        Funding for this 2010 set was made possible in part through the generosity of the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, the Florida Marlins, the New York Mets, the Chicago White Sox, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Washington Nationals.

        Orders are now being filled via JML’s web site at www.jewishmajorleaguers.org. or by $39 checks to JML at 104 Greenlawn Avenue Newton, MA 02459. There are also a limited number of 2008 and 2009 sets available. (The 2008 set featured a subset honoring Hank Greenberg, and the 2009 set saluted Jewish record-setters.).

And Let Us Say…Amen.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Rabbi Jeremy Fine is the Assistant Rabbi at Temple of Aaron in St. Paul MN. He was ordained from the Jewish Theological Seminary where he also received a Masters in Jewish...

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