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Sandy Koufax

Meeting Sandy Koufax

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By Uriel Gottesman I lived in Borough Park (55th St.) from the middle 1940s until 1955 but in addition, lived in other sections of Brooklyn until 1966. One of my favorite memories was the opportunity my father, brother and I had to Visit with Sandy Koufax in his home on 48th Street within a couple of days of his signing his contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers. This was made possible… Read More »Meeting Sandy Koufax

Playing Stick Ball

A Stickball Story

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By Martin H. Levinson
When I was ten I had a batting slump. No matter how hard I tried I was not able to hit a rubber Spalding ball with a wooden stickball bat. I became an easy out for the pitcher and as a result I was the last person chosen to be on a team in the street pick-up games that I looked forward to after school each day.

Stickball was the most important part of my life at that time, and my poor performance made me miserable. I couldn’t concentrate on my schoolwork, I couldn’t enjoy TV, I couldn’t eat. I thought myself a total nebbish.

One day, as I lay sobbing on my bed thinking about my failed athletic prowess, my mother walked through the door and asked, “What’s up?” I could barely get the words out through my tears. “I can’t hit. I’m washed up. I wish I was dead.”

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Muhammad Ali

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by Joe Dorinson In song, Bob Dylan declared: “The times–they are [were] a-changing.” Joe Louis fell out of favor in the 1960s, a turbulent period of jangling discord and generational conflict. Images collided in this decade: love beads, miniskirts, Beatlemania, bombing in Birmingham, marching to Selma, setting sun in Alabama; rising sun in Japan. Out of these cultural collisions came a hero who was both black and beautiful: Cassius Clay.… Read More »Muhammad Ali

In Remembrance of Henry Foner

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By Joe Dorinson Contact with Henry Foner, an outstanding union leader, political activist, and talented musician, resulted from my bid to honor Jackie Robinson with a major conference at LIU Brooklyn, then my home away from home for thirty years. With a modest budget, I tried to get a galaxy of baseball luminaries, journalists, writers, broadcasters, historians, students, and fans to attend. Someone—I forget who—suggested that I contact Henry Foner.… Read More »In Remembrance of Henry Foner

The Chosen Game

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Reviewed by Joseph Dorinson, Professor, Department of History, Long Island University Brooklyn 19 April 2018 Charley Rosen’s book, The Chosen Game: A Jewish Basketball History (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2017) is a welcome addition to sport literature. It begins with a quotation from an African-American former pro player in 2014: “The Jews were the first ethnic group to embrace basketball, and it’s still a Jewish game.” Running with this salient theme,… Read More »The Chosen Game

Jackie Robinson Revisited

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Jackie Robinson Revisited The Jackie Robinson saga, biographer Jules Tygiel insisted before his untimely death in 2008, was comparable to an Easter/Passover service that invites public recollection every year. We must never forget what our country once represented and what it became thanks to the heroic life of Jack Roosevelt Robinson. Nobel Laureate Ernest Hemingway defined a hero as one who demonstrates “grace under pressure.” Our concept of heroism with… Read More »Jackie Robinson Revisited

Duke Snider

The Duke and Me

By Arnold Abrams Let me tell you about one of the most memorable moments of my life. It happened in September 1956, when I was 17 and Sports Editor of the Lincoln Log, published monthly by Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn. Although they hardly needed publicity, Brooklyn Dodger officials had approved my request to do a feature about the pre-game atmosphere of the team’s Ebbets Field clubhouse. I went… Read More »The Duke and Me

Jews in Sports

Jews in Sports By Joe DorinsonA common fallacy–perpetuated in stereotype—is that Jews are inept in sports because they lack athletic talent as well as physical strength. The Brooklyn Jewish experience gives the lie to this absurd view. In basketball alone, Jews from our borough dominated the game for decades. Their names are legion; their deeds, immortal. In the early years of “Hoop” lore, one finds Nat Krinsky and Sammy Kaplan.… Read More »Jews in Sports