Thursday, February 12, 2009

Did the Red Sox Postpone their Opener Because of Passover?

That's the rumor I've been hearing, and I've gotten it from maybe 20 people over the past few weeks. So I checked Snopes -

You'll see there the complete text of the e-mail that's been going around, followed by a discussion, with no definitive answer. But the signs point to its being an urban legend, certainly for this year. In fact, their home opener will be BEFORE Passover, by a day. The e-mail almost seems to be a parody, not meant to be taken seriously. Click here and here and you'll see many reasons why it doesn't make sense.

But it is nice to know that people associate the Sox with Jewish values and pride. As for me, I always used to love going to Fenway on the intermediate days of Passover, during the week of school vacation that followed Patriots Day. What a combination: Baseballs and matzah balls, Carlton Fisk and Gefilte Fish, bat boys and bat mitzvahs.

And when I open my door for Elijah, I'll fully expect Jacoby Ellsbury, the league leader in steals, to be standing there, holding the afikoman.

So no, they didn't postpone their opener.

And speaking of Jews in sports, did I mention that Israeli swimsuit model on the cover of SI?

Here's the latest from a Jewish Sports website (I cannot vouch for its veracity), via my colleague Rabbi Arnold Stiebel:

This year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model is Bar Refaeli, an Israeli model.

She is the fourth Jewish woman to be featured and identified by name on the SI cover.

The others:
Sarah Hughes, March 4, 2002
Jamila Wideman, March 17, 1997
Suzy Weiner (with fiancee Mark Spitz), May 14, 1973

Mark Spitz also appeared on July 22, 1968 and Sept. 4, 1972
Al Rosen was the first Jewish sport’s star to appear on the cover on April 15, 1955.
It was not a swimsuit issue.

Others include:

Ryan Braun, March 31, 2008
Ron Blomberg, July 2, 1973 (with Bobby Murcer)
Jay Fiedler, Oct. 1, 2001
Sandy Koufax, March 4, 1963, April 13, 1964, Dec. 20, 1965 (Sportsman of the Year), May 15, 1967, July 12, 1999, Oct. 9, 2006
Art Modell, Dec. 4, 1995
Howard Cosell, Aug. 8, 1983
Art Heyman, Oct. 28, 1963
Ernie Grunfeld, Feb. 9, 1976
Bob and Bus Mosbacher, yachtsmen, May of 1959
Toots Shor, July 27, 1959

It is possible that Charles Goren, master of the game of bridge, was Jewish and appeared several times (Oct. 14, 1957, May 20, 1960) Several other Jewish personalities appeared in small popups at the top of the cover, most recently Red Auerbach.

Bo Belinsky appeared on a cover, but I have problems counting him since he has made anti-Jewish statements.

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