Photo credit: JTA
As a die hard baseball fan, it was so incredibly exciting to see the All Star Game being played in our home stadium this year. What was equally great was seeing a member of the "tribe" being named MVP. His family members must've been kvelling (feeling happy and proud)!
After winning the World Series last year followed by the MVP trophy in the All Star game, Alex Bregman (Houston Astros 3rd Baseman) became a household name. It turns out that Bregman's family has some history here in Washington also. Bregman's grandfather was the general counsel for the Washington Senators, and his dad grew up with Ted Williams (the Senator's manager at the time). So for Bregman, winning the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award in DC was extra special. Bregman is sure to be a mainstay in one of the best infields in baseball for many years.
Below is a list of other Jewish baseball players currently in the Major Leagues.
Milwaukee Brewers, outfielder
The veteran all-star, who is often called the "Hebrew Hammer," has batted .303, with 302 home runs and 989 runs batted in. Last year, he passed Hank Greenberg for second on the list of all-time hits for a Jewish player, only trailing Shawn Green.
Anaheim Angels, second base
After spending the first 12 years of his career with the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers, Kinsler is now a Los Angeles Angel in 2018. Batting in front of Mike Trout, Justin Upton and Albert Pujols will add to Kinsler’s resumé. For his career, Kinsler has used his power/speed combo to bat .273 with 234 home runs, 225 stolen bases and 1,149 runs scored.
Toronto Blue Jays, outfielder
A regular starter in Toronto’s outfield, Pillar finished 2017 with a career-high 16 home runs and 54 extra-base hits. He started off this season with a bang, as well, homering on opening day against the New York Yankees. His bat has continued to progress in his third season as an everyday player and his glove in center field is one of the best in the game.
Los Angeles Dodgers, outfielder
The “other” Jewish athlete to make it to the World Series last year, Pederson was limited to 102 games in 2017 because of injury. After hitting 25+ home runs in 2015 and 2016, Pederson hopes to bounce back and provide the Dodgers with some pop from the left side of the plate. At just 25 years old, this could still be a key year for Pederson.
Baltimore Orioles, 1B/3B/DH
The “Jewish Journeyman,” Valencia has played for the Twins, Red Sox, Orioles, Royals, Blue Jays, Athletics and Mariners. This year, he is back in Baltimore for a second tour. Valencia, who has 87 home runs and 369 RBIs in his career, will mostly be a platoon player against left-handed pitchers this season.
Other current notable Jewish MLB stars include Richard Bleier (Baltimore Orioles, relief pitcher), Zack Weiss (Cincinnati Reds, relief pitcher), Ryan Sherriff (St. Louis Cardinals, relief pitcher), as well as Gabe Kapler (Philadelphia Phillies, manager).
Do you love baseball as much as I do? Then join us for Grand Slam Sunday on August 19! You can still buy tickets through the Nationals HERE with promo code JCD. Hope to see you there!