Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Why the Red Sox are the Chosen Team

Joshua HammermanBy Joshua Hammerman for The Times of Israel
Now that the Boston Red Sox are back in baseball’s World Series, facing the St. Louis Cardinals beginning Wednesday night, the compelling argument must be made that the Sawx, as we native Bostonians affectionately call them, are the official baseball team of the Jewish people. The Cardinals might have the power to pick Popes, but the Red Sox have even more lofty connections.

The fact that one of their key players, Craig Breslow, the Connecticut Yalie and every Jewish mother’s dream, is an MOT, is only incidental to this declaration. Even if there were no Jews among these post Kevin Youkilis, post Theo Epstein, post Gabe Kapler Sox, even if perennial batting champ Wade Boggs hadn’t drawn the Hebrew word chai (life) in the batter’s box before every at bat, they still would be the Chosen Team for the Chosen People.


Let’s start with baseball history. Bradford Pilcher put it best in his 2007 article, “Why Every American Jew Should Love the Boston Red Sox and Hate the New York Yankees,” writing that of the five seminal moments in the history of Jewish baseball players, “four of them involve the Boston Red Sox. Only one of them involves the New York Yankees. I really think you should do the math.”

His list includes such luminaries as Moe Berg the spy-catcher (no, he did not catch spies, he WAS a spy, against the Germans in WW2, AND a catcher, for the Red Sox), Kevin Youkilis (the mistakenly nicknamed “Greek god of walks” and Mel Gibson… yes, Mel Gibson, who is not Jewish but was lampooned memorably and hilariously by comedians Dennis Leary and Lenny Clarke from the Red Sox broadcast booth in 2006.

But history is not the only factor, nor is it even close to being the most important.

Continue reading.

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