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Jewish Journal

Interview: Author Peter Ephross “Jewish Major Leaguers in Their Own Words”

by Jeremy Fine

August 15, 2012 | 7:46 am

Its summer time and the baseballs are flying. Another solid season for Jewish MLBers. We caught up with a man who knows Jewish MLBers just as well as anyone. Peter Ephross is a nice guy who knows writing and baseball. Here is what he has to say:

1) Tell TGR a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in Columbia, MD, so I was originally a Baltimore Orioles fan, rooting for Earl Weaver’s great teams that featured Jim Palmer and Brooks and Frank Robinson, and later, Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken. For most of my childhood, I was a member of the Habonim Dror labor Zionist youth movement. I spent a year in Israel on Kibbutz Gesher Haziv before I went to the University of Michigan, where I earned a BA in history. I also have an MA in history from Brandeis. I currently live in Brooklyn, NY with my wife and two sons. Professionally, I was a longtime editor for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency news service. I’ve published hundreds of articles in more than 20 publications and Web sites, including Publishers Weekly, the Village Voice, and the Forward.

 

2) What inspired you to write “Jewish Major Leaguers in Their Own Words?”

When Martin Abramowitz, the founder of Jewish Major Leaguers, asked me to take on the project and edit the collection, I was thrilled. As a lifelong follower of Jews in sports, it was a dream come true.

 

3) Whose story was the most compelling?

Elliott Maddox’s. His explanation of how he, an African-American player, converted to Judaism makes for fascinating reading.

 

4) What was the most shocking story?

Learning that Saul Rogovin, who played in the 1940s and 1950s, competed with narcolepsy, which wasn’t diagnosed until after he retired from baseball.

 

5) What’s next for you and the book?
I’ll continue to get the word out about my book with appearances at synagogues and other Jewish events. Please contact me at petereph@hotmail.com if you’d like me to speak at your event.

 

6) Who is your current favorite Jewish ball player and why?
As a Mets and Red Sox fan, I’ll give you two: Ike Davis and Kevin Youkilis, even though the latter was recently traded to the White Sox. Both play the game with passion.

 

7) How do you think Israel will fair in the WBC?
My heart says a championship, but my head says quarter-finals.

 

His book is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Thank you to Peter and good luck in the future.

And Let Us Say…Amen.
- Jeremy Fine

 

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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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