From Hank Greenberg to Delmon Young

By Jack Engelhard

There’s a clip somewhere showing Hank Greenberg rounding the bases after a homerun and upon reaching the dugout none of his Detroit Tigers teammates offered so much as a smile or a handshake. They ignored him. Well, he was Jewish. There’s evidence that he suffered for that as much as Jackie Robinson suffered for being black.

Two great ballplayers, one Jewish, one black, and sharing the same abuses, they became friends.

Greenberg was known for his reserve but he once challenged the entire New York Yankees dugout after their taunts became too much for him. He wasn’t religious but, as the first Jewish superstar in American sports, Greenberg took himself out of an important game because it fell on Yom Kippur…years BEFORE Sandy Koufax…and…for World War II, he refused deferment and got himself drafted into the military BEFORE Ted Williams.

We could go on about Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg (183 RBIs, 1937…58 homeruns, 1938…), but then there’d be no room to talk about Delmon Young. He also plays for Detroit except that this is another year, another generation, and what’s changed? Nothing much.

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Best of 2008? Please Don’t Bother

 

By Jack Engelhard

 

So here we go again. News organizations and what-not trot out the best of the year – also the worst. The worst is easy for anyone who makes these lists.

 

But I hate these lists. Please don’t tell me what books I should have read, movies I should have seen, or music I should have listened to; I only listened to Beethoven anyway.

 

So far as world events all I remember is war, right up to this minute. Pick the spot, and there was war or some kind of disturbance. People just don’t get along.

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Where Have You Gone Sandy Koufax?

By Jack Engelhard

 

The last time I read anything good about Israel (meaning Jews worldwide as well as the nation itself) was when Sandy Koufax pitched for the Dodgers and especially when he sat out the first game of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur. So we have to go back to the 1960s to find anything to celebrate.

 

Ehud Olmert says he’s “tired of winning.” I’m tired of losing. I’m tired of Ehud Olmert.

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