Jews and baseball, a love story

"Baseball was the American game … and you identified yourself as an American by the intensity of your love for baseball.”

November 7, 2010 21:53
2 minute read.


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


LOS ANGELES -- Sure, San Francisco Giants fans are happy after winning the World Series, but what about everyone else -- how are they supposed to ease the heartbreak between now and spring training?

To revive your spirits (or, if your're a Giants fans, to keep the good times rolling), check out Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story, a new documentary in special engagements across the country that at its heart is a relationship film -- about Jews and the game.

613 strikes and you’re never out
Opinion: The great Zionist sport  

Narrated by the Academy Award-winning actor Dustin Hoffman, the feature-length production combines archival footage and more recent interviews to supply a decade-by-decade look at the contributions of Jewish players, coaches and owners, as well as the game-changing players’ union president Marvin Miller.

Highlights include a rare interview with Sandy Koufax, the greatest Jewish hurler of all time, and interviews with celebrities like talk show host Larry King and director Ron Howard.

Generations of immigrant Jews struggling with their American identity is an underlying theme in the film. Sportswriter Maury Allen sums it up best when he observes that “baseball was the American game … and you identified yourself as an American by the intensity of your love for baseball.”

Moving beyond a story of generational assimilation to that of multi-level integration, the major league season that ended Tuesday with the Giants' victory over the Rangers in the World Series added more chapters to the story of Jews and baseball. They include the outstanding post-season play of the Rangers’ Ian Kinsler and, on the business side, the Rangers' Jewish owner, Chuck Greenberg, and the Giants' Jewish president, Lawrence Baer.

Many ballparks today have institutionalized a day celebrating the Jewish community or Jewish heritage, and the film directed by Peter Miller and written by Ira Berkow shows the historic Jewish fans’ attachment to their home teams.

The film makes the point, especially in the segment about the Dodgers abandoning Brooklyn, that the story of Jews and baseball is not just about the players, like Koufax, Hank Greenberg, Mo Berg and Al Rosen, or those who made their mark in the front office or owner’s suite. It’s also about generations of lovestruck Jewish fans.

(Edmon J. Rodman, a JTA columnist who writes on Jewish life from Los Angeles, is the author of Nomo, the Tornado Who Took America By Storm. Contact him at

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Sarah Silverman
August 26, 2014
Jewish women take home gold at 2014 Emmys