Growing up as a young Jewish kid very interested in sports, especially baseball, I noticed very early that the league had a very small population of players like me. Everyone was and still crosses themselves when they get to the plate after a big hit and thanks Jesus for winning an important game. I never really understood that, but as I looked into it I found that quite a few All Star players have been Jewish and one even took off for Jewish holidays, Shawn Green. In this article I will reveal the top Jewish baseball players currently in the league and the impact they have left on me and other Jewish athletes for years to come..... and they say we're not athletic.
Ryan Braun- Multiple All Star appearances, could possibly one of the best Brewers third baseman in franchise history. Each year he cranks out a .315 avg, 30 homers, and 100+ rbi's, but he shows me that even though a player may not be physically imposing, he may be ultimately superior in his technique. Braun is the perfect example of that; his swing is not dependent on his strength alone, but also his stance and the exact way his bat hits the ball. Outside the realm of baseball, his father moved to America from Israel when he was 7 years old after his family had emigrated there post-Holocaust. His father is Jewish and his mother is Catholic, exactly like me. Although he didn't realize the importance of his heritage until later in his life, he embraces it now and will so he can be a positive role model for Jewish youth.
Shawn Green- In my opinion, the best Jewish hitter in the past 20 years statistically. He had several MVP caliber seasons for the Dodgers and Jays including the 2001 season where he hit 49 dingers and had 125 rbi's while hitting .297. Also his 1999 season was a standout with the Jays where he hit .309 with 42 homers and 123 rbi's, and lead the league in doubles with 45. Green, a lot like Braun did't even weight 200 lbs and had a sweet swing that drove the ball where he wanted it to go. Green has opted to miss games because of Yom Kippur, even when his team was in a playoff race. Only hall of famer Hank Greenberg has more homers and rbi's than him, and he has the most career hits for a Jewish player.
Jason Marquis- In my opinion, the best Jewish hurler since Koufax, has had multiple 10+ win seasons and is a work horse on the mound. At the age of 32 he has collected 103 wins, one all star appearance, and one silver slugger award. Marquis baffles hitters with his control and bevy of pitches keeps 'em guessing. He has been on many playoff teams, like the Cubs, Cards, and Braves over the years. He won a World Series with the Cardinals in 06, but did lead the league and team in losses with 16. Marquis had a very Jewish upbringing and is the grandson of Holocaust survivors, like Braun and myself.