Issues: Jewish Athletes

David Newhan: Nothing to Hide
Author: Matt Sieger

Maybe it wasn’t quite Lou Gehrig replacing Wally Pipp, but when David Newhan got a chance to play for the Baltimore Orioles in the summer of 2004, he made the most of it. The left-handed swinging sparkplug belted a 435-foot pinch-hit home run in his first at bat...

Continue Reading 4 min
Michael Blatchford: Nothing to Lose
Author: Matt Sieger

How does a skinny kid with asthma end up competing against brawny sprint cyclers in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing? Michael Blatchford, 24, grew up in southern California in Cypress, a suburb near Disneyland. Like any other kid, he rode his bike around town. But it...

Continue Reading 5 min
Ami Ortiz: No Hate
Author: Matt Sieger

Fifteen-year-old Ami Ortiz, who lives with his family in Ariel, Israel, stayed home from school on Purim, March 20, 2008. He was delighted to discover in the stairwell a gift basket with the message Happy Holidays.” But when he opened the package, it exploded in...

Continue Reading 2 min
Yom Kippur and the Jewish Athlete
Author: Matt Sieger

We are proud when a Jewish athlete succeeds, but a few have gained even more respect for refusing to play ball on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg recalled his 1934 decision: Both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur came in...

Continue Reading 1 min
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