Saturday, August 26, 2006

He's on our team!

Saturday's New York Times featured an article on Shawn Green. Even if you don't follow baseball, you might remember him as the one who refused to play on Yom Kippur. No, not Sandy Koufax. This is the modern version -- Shawn Green, who is now playing for the Mets.

The New York Times article was not about his baseball ability (which is pretty darn good) but rather about his religion! From the article:

Mr. Green, acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks this week to give the Mets an offensive lift as they look toward the playoffs, is the real deal. He is arguably the best Jewish baseball player since Koufax. He may be the most accomplished Jew to wear a New York uniform since Harry “the Horse” Danning, a four-time All-Star for the Giants in the 1930’s.

And his people are clamoring to embrace him. “I must have gotten 20 calls yesterday and today,” said Alan Freedman, the director of the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in Suffolk County, who recalled bringing a transistor radio into Hebrew school in 1963 to listen to Mr. Koufax’s World Series exploits. “Everyone is asking me: ‘How can I get in touch with Shawn Green? How can I get him to come to our temple?’ ”

On the streets of Borough Park, Brooklyn, where Orthodox Jews predominate, Alan Moskowitz, a 33-year-old schoolteacher, said he was thrilled to welcome Mr. Green, whose baseball cards he has sought out since his rookie season in 1993.

“He’s a team player, and he’s on our team, if you know what I’m saying,” Mr. Moskowitz said.

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