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The Dodgers’ Jewish Battery

Larry Sherry, relief pitcher with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Detroit Tigers, died at 71 on this date in 2006. Sherry and his brother, catcher Norm Sherry, were the first Jewish battery (pitcher-catcher team) in major league baseball history, and the two of them helped lead the Dodgers to a World Series victory in six games over the […]

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Topps Baseball Cards

Sy Berger, who revitalized baseball cards after World War II by introducing Topps cards in 1951, died at 91 on this date in 2014. The first cards were packaged with taffy inside instead of bubble gum, a nearly disastrous marketing error because the taffy ended up tasting like the varnish on the cards. But the […]

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Pitching Politics from the Mound

by David Spaner   SAM NAHEM was a right-handed pitcher with a lefty pitch. One day in 1948, however, Sam lost control of his pitch with Roy Campanella at the plate. It was a year after Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color line, and Sam, with the Philadelphia Phillies, was pitching to Robinson’s Brooklyn Dodger teammate Campanella, also one of major […]

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February 23: Barney Dreyfuss and the World Series

Barney Dreyfuss, who owned the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1900 to 1932 (the team won six pennants and two World Series during that period, led by the outstanding shortstop Honus Wagner), was born in Freiburg, Germany on this date in 1865. Dreyfuss came to the U.S. in 1881 and settled in Paducah, Kentucky, where he rose […]

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February 3: The Tormented Umpire

Dolly (Albert) Stark became the first Jewish umpire in Major League Baseball when he was added to the National League roster on this date in 1928. Stark was born poor and lost his father at a young age; his mother then went blind, and he ended up on an orphans’ home. He became a semi-pro […]

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January 18: Curt Flood and Marvin Miller

Three-time All-Star baseball player Curt Flood (a .293 lifetime hitter in fifteen seasons), who reached out to Marvin Miller to sue Major League Baseball in 1969 in defiance of the “reserve clause” — a case that reached the Supreme Court and helped transform the status of professional baseball players — was born in Houston, Texas […]

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April 24: Eighteen Ks

Dodger ace Sandy Koufax, 26, struck out eighteen batters for the second time in his career on this date in 1962 as his team beat the Chicago Cubs 10-2 at Wrigley Field. Koufax threw 144 pitches in nine innings, 96 strikes and 48 balls, and gave up one home run and two doubles. Chicago would […]

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March 15: A Home Run in His First Game

Kevin Youkilis, a three-time All-Star baseball player and two-time World Champion team member with the Boston Red Sox, was born in Cincinnati on this date in 1979. Youkilis broke into professional baseball in 2001, and was called up by the Red Sox in May 2004. In his first game, with his parents in the stands, […]

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