This week, on the “(Is It) Good for the Jews?” podcast …
Larry Rosen: ESPN recently published an article calling the last week of October “the best week for Jews in baseball of all time.”
Eric Goldbrener: Was that Alex Bregman again?
LR: Bregman… and others! This is fascinating.
EG: To you, maybe.
LR: There’s a site that catalogs all of these Jews in baseball, but his criteria is loose, like with the Israeli baseball team. If you’ve got a Jewish name, Jewish parent, you’re in. Like Chosen Rosen? Not actually Jewish.
EG: We established that.
LR: But according to this site, Jewish. Bregman however, is really Jewish.
LR: His grandfather was an attorney for the Washington Senators, and his father loved Mike Epstein because he had a Star of David on his bat handle. Family came from Poland.
EG: And he’s got himself a World Series ring now.
LR: Not the only Jew in the World Series, however.
EG: Who else?
LR: Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson.
EG: Get outta here!
LR: We want him. He hit three home runs in the series. Actually, his family belonged to Temple Emanu-El in the 1800s.
EG: San Franciscans! Maybe there’s a simcha plaque up there.
LR: Third prong: game seven first pitch thrown out by Sandy Koufax, the greatest Jewish pitcher of all time.
EG: So a Jew wins the series, a Jew hits three home runs, a Jew throws out the first pitch!
LR: So good for the Jews!
EG: I wonder if he’s still got anything on the ball.
LR: I don’t know. He’s 82 years old. But there’s more!
EG: Still more?
LR: The Philadelphia Phillies hired as their new manager Gabe Kapler, a Jew! The fourth Jew, not counting Lou Boudreau, who didn’t recognize himself as Jewish, to manage a Major League Baseball team.
EG: Gabe Kaplan?
LR: Gabe Kapler, and fortunately maybe he’s not quite old enough to find that hilarious growing up.
EG: I don’t know about hilarious. To us, maybe.
LR: Gabe Kapler has the unique distinction, or used to, I don’t know how he looks now, but he used to have the unique distinction of being an icon to no less than two subcultures.
EG: Sitcoms… and… “Battle of the Network Stars.”
LR: No. He was a bodybuilding icon and a gay icon.
EG: Great! So he’s the first openly gay major league manager!
LR: No! Not gay, but a gay icon.
EG: Is that because he had the build?
LR: Yup. He was in all of these bodybuilding magazines, and he became beloved by the gay community. Out Sports just did a thing about how Kapler meant so much to the world of gay sports fans back in the 90s.
EG: He’s all over the place. But is he still in shape?
LR: Don’t know.
EG: It’s harder for older guys, as we should know.
LR: It would be terrible, maybe, if Kapler was now, um, not fat but not firm either, having been on the cover of bodybuilding magazines. A bodybuilding Jew!
EG: It makes me very proud.
LR: Not only that, but here’s more Kapler.
EG: I can’t believe this. There’s more?
LR: He’s also known for his tattoos.
EG: Wait a minute. A Jew who is known for his tattoos?
LR: Maybe we’ve relaxed the standards?
EG: I guess so. I’m not so sure about this.
LR: What if I told you that some of the tattoos are Jewish-themed?
EG: I’d have to think about it for a while. Let me get back to you on that.
LR: Well, OK, because some of them are Jewish-themed. He has a Star of David on his one leg and the words “Never Again” on the other leg, referring to the Holocaust. Gape Kapler is representing Jews with his tattoos!
EG: OK, so this is something to consider. These tattoos are good for the Jews.
LR: It’s not just the tattoos. It’s all of them — Bregman, Joc Pederson, Sandy Koufax, Kapler — all good for the Jews.