August 17, 2004
My son, the baseball player

The Bonassus notes that the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame is going to honor the 143 Jewish men who have played in the bigs. I don't really have anything to add to this except to note that this is as good a time as any to plug the excellent documentary The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg, which I was lucky enough to see in the theaters a couple of years ago. Two thumbs up.

Actually, there is this to comment on:

A Ph.D. in Social Welfare, Abramowitz took his research a step further. He found that Jews, who made up about 2 percent of the U.S. population during the 20th Century, comprised just 0.8 percent of baseball players through the 2002 season.

They had hit 2,032 homers -- 0.9 percent of the major league total. Their .265 batting average is three percentage points higher than the overall average. Jewish pitchers are 20 games over .500, with six of baseball's first 230 no-hitters (four by Koufax, including a perfect game, and two by Holtzman).

The one stat in which Jews fall short is stolen bases, with a total of 995 through 2002 -- fewer than Rickey Henderson did all by himself.

"Obviously," Abramowitz said, "it's because they were honoring the Eighth Commandment."

I just thought that was amusing, albeit another example of Commandment Confusion. Anyway, those of you in the Cooperstown area later this month should drop in for a visit. Sounds like a cool exhibit.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 17, 2004 to Baseball | TrackBack