Golden Age of Baseball Blog Archive

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Check out the Ciesla Foundation’s archived blog about Hank Greenberg and the golden age of baseball!

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The Annual Jewish Baseball Challenge

Photo from the Ciesla Foundation

As with all walks of life, choices define who we are and what we stand for. Yearly, Jewish baseball players are faced with the difficult choice of observing Yom Kippur or October baseball as the playoffs heat up. Back in the day this choice came to define Hank Greenberg’s laudable dedication to his faith. In an October article in popular Hollywood news site, The Wrap, Aviva Kempner unravels the issue in our current sports and religious society and looks for a path forward to make it simpler for Jewish athletes to practice their religion while still playing ball, thus “covering all their bases.”

Read Aviva Kempner’s article in the wrap here.

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Greenberg’s Ghost Haunts Wrigley No More!

Photo Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune

76 years ago a single crack of the bat reminded the Chicago Cubs that the Detroit Tigers and Hank Greenberg would not go gentle into that good night. Greenberg rocketed a homer against Cub’s pitcher Henry Ryse giving the Tiger’s a 3-1 lead in a game that they would ultimately win. The Cubs already had a one game lead after a tremendous 9-0 first game of the Series. Some credit this crack, Greenberg’s wicked powerful swing as the momentum that would eventually lead to the Tigers 4-3 Series victory over the Cubs and the beginning of the Curse of the Billy Goat, the longest running curse in the MLB. The Billy Goat Curse has become arguably the only superstition in baseball directly tied to a domesticated animal but many question the validity of such superstitions. Whether the kid who cursed the Cubs had hooves and straw in his mouth, or a cap one and hickory in his hand, tonight will prove whether the Cubs can break free from their 76 year curse, or perhaps, a Cleveland player will step into the shoes of Greenberg and send Chicago home packing yet again.

Read more about superstitions in baseball here and Hank Greenberg’s Jewish ball player dilemma here.

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August 14 screening in Muskegon, MI

The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg will be screening at Harbor Cinema in Muskegon, MI on August 14th, 2016 at 6:00 PM. For more information, visit Harbor Cinema’s website or read this.

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David Halberstam writes of Basball and Yom Kippur

David Halberstam recently wrote a piece for the USAToday the detailed the ties between American baseball and Yom Kippur. He writes of the stark differences in the way Jewish people were treated in the U.S. in the two different years. He talks about effects of Koufax and Greenberg’s decisions to skip games on the holiday, and about what the decisions symbolize. He also makes mention of our film, The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg. Read the full article here:

While Koufax is rightly lauded, Yom Kippur example set by Hank Greenberg

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Partisans of Vilna director, Aviva Kempner, writes a guest blog post for about her encounter with Yogi Berra. Read the full story here.

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