Thank you for Steve Zalusky’s terrific column “Cultural Showdown for Jewish Baseball Stars” (November 7).
Jews are generally not known for their athleticism. In the comedy “Airplane.” 1980, a passenger asks for a little reading and the flight attendant gives him a “leaflet” on famous legends of Jewish sport. Yet when Jews make their mark in the sports world – like Sid Luckman, Hank Greenberg, Sandy Koufax and Mark Spitz – it is a source of pride for the Jewish community.
I grew up as an Orioles fan, and when Steve Stone – who was Jewish and wore the number 32 in honor of Koufax – won 25 games and the American League’s Cy Young Award for Baltimore in 1980, that made more than a few Orioles fans. “kvell” (ray of pride).
This year’s World Series provided an unprecedented moment in the history of Jewish sport: At the start of Game 6, Atlanta’s Max Fried threw at Alex Bregman of Houston, who kicked a long ball that was caught by Joc Pederson from Atlanta. All three players were Jews. Houston wide receiver Garrett Stubbs – also Jewish – also played late in the deciding game.
If they ever made “Airplane” again, this leaflet on the legends of Jewish sport could have become a brochure in its own right.
Stephen A. Silver
San Francisco, California