The benches have been warned
May 11, 2009 3:59 PM   Subscribe

At least one of these things is true, and possibly both: (a) This was the most tense game of baseball ever played; or (b) relations between Jews and the Klan have deteriorated dramatically since 1926. Bill Francis, a research librarian at the Baseball Hall of Fame, unearths a tantalizing newspaper clipping.

No update as to how a cat named Flaherty ended up on the "Hebrew All-Star Nines" or, unfortunately, as to the result.
posted by kosem (44 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Look to the cookie!
posted by Ratio at 4:01 PM on May 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


The following players, who will represent the Hebrews... Nate Sauber, Povich, Myers. Lipkin, Flaherty, J. Sauber, Willie Wolf, Milwit, Jaffe, Gischner, H. Sauber, Sam Simon and "Ikey" Dreyfus.

Even speaking as a Jew, "Sauber to Lipkin to Gischner" just doesn't have the same ring as "Tinkers to Evers to Chance".
posted by Joe Beese at 4:05 PM on May 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I sure wish he'd unearthed more than a clipping. Like, for example, a story. Neat find, but this is just one big tease.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:08 PM on May 11, 2009


Gives new meaning to three strikeouts on the board.
posted by ornate insect at 4:09 PM on May 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Update.
posted by Morrigan at 4:11 PM on May 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks, Morrigan. Also, apologies. I scoured for an update, but inexcusably, not back to Goldberg's blog, which I read more or less daily.
posted by kosem at 4:17 PM on May 11, 2009


Games like this start riots! A Jewish ball team nd Nazi spectators clashed in Toronto in the 30's
posted by joelf at 4:18 PM on May 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


>> Update.

That's not how the movie is supposed to end!
posted by poppo at 4:26 PM on May 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Not directly related, but close, and fantastic: The Golem's Mighty Swing
posted by kosem at 4:26 PM on May 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


How do you run the bases in those white robes?
posted by kuujjuarapik at 4:30 PM on May 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


The game was stopped by rain while Raines was batting. Freaky.
posted by smackfu at 4:42 PM on May 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Picture?
posted by empath at 4:46 PM on May 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why aren't their baseball caps pointy? Also, the bat should be burning.
posted by DU at 5:17 PM on May 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


During the 7th inning stretch, some Jewish comedians performed the beloved "Who's on First" sketch. As a result, no less than 6 KKK players heads exploded in the mental effort to follow along.
posted by Senator at 5:18 PM on May 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Apparently, the KKK won, 4-0.
posted by movicont at 5:23 PM on May 11, 2009


This gives new meaning to Woody Allen's line about defending to the death their right to march and then going down and meeting them with baseball bats.
posted by wsg at 5:32 PM on May 11, 2009


I think if I was the type of person who was ever presumptuous enough to think I could ever understand a time period in which I did not live, I would print this article out and put it on my bathroom mirror just so I would be reminded daily, "No, actually, you do not."
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:40 PM on May 11, 2009 [11 favorites]


No update as to how a cat named Flaherty ended up on the "Hebrew All-Star Nines"

Flaherty (or his ancestor) probably had an Irish father, hence the surname, and a Jewish mother, hence the Jewish cultural identity. Or maybe he converted.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:42 PM on May 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


But who won?

That's all that matters, eventually.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:48 PM on May 11, 2009


The weirdness of the KKK and Jews playing baseball prevented me from realizing that "a cat named Flaherty" wasn't a literal domesticated feline.
posted by DU at 6:03 PM on May 11, 2009


Picture?

Nice uniforms. I bet they paid retail.
posted by hal9k at 6:13 PM on May 11, 2009 [5 favorites]


Flaherty (or his ancestor) probably had an Irish father, hence the surname, and a Jewish mother, hence the Jewish cultural identity. Or maybe he converted.

No doubt. No doubt. Intermarriage was a decided rarity round the turn of the century, but that is certainly possible. Hell, my last name is as Anglo as it gets, but I'm as yidishe of a bocher as ever was. Also, I play on an Asian league basketball team.
posted by kosem at 6:44 PM on May 11, 2009


picture?

the guy at the far upper right looks a little wopish to me. but then, this jew's always been rather purist.
posted by sarcasman at 6:53 PM on May 11, 2009


June 21, 1925: "The all-black Wichita Monrovians, a 'fast colored team' just back from a barnstorming tour in Oklahoma, [played] the Ku Klux Klan No. 6 semi-professional team. To discourage favoritism, the game was... officiated by two white Catholics, "Irish" Garrety and Dan Dwyer."
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:41 PM on May 11, 2009 [5 favorites]


Sorry: Monrovians 8, KKK 6.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:44 PM on May 11, 2009


No update as to how a cat named Flaherty ended up on the "Hebrew All-Star Nines"

Now if his name had been "Sean Ferguson"...
posted by asterix at 8:49 PM on May 11, 2009


i saw a book once that might have been related, i'll try to find a link for it. it was a photographic history of hebrew baseball teams. they all had long beards, and there was a sense of showmanship that reminded me of the harlem globetrotters. i had the feeling that when they traveled to towns without jews the spectacle would help business for the home team. is it possible the whole event was staged by promoters and actually there wasn't much tension at all?
posted by ioesf at 9:47 PM on May 11, 2009


Povich is no doubt Shirley Povich, the well-known sportswriter for the Washington Post, and the father of Maury Povich. but there's no mention of the Hebrew All-Star Nines in his book All Those Mornings.
posted by TMezz at 12:30 AM on May 12, 2009


it's much easier to hit a baseball with a burning cross than with a star of david.
posted by analogue at 12:50 AM on May 12, 2009


Rematch!!!
posted by Darned account name at 4:12 AM on May 12, 2009


it's much easier to hit a baseball with a burning cross than with a star of david

or that a hood is better for keeping the sun out of your eyes than a hat with no brim.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:36 AM on May 12, 2009


i saw a book once that might have been related, i'll try to find a link for it. it was a photographic history of hebrew baseball teams. they all had long beards

The House of David.

Povich is no doubt Shirley Povich, the well-known sportswriter

Why on earth do you say that? Povich is not that uncommon a name. Just because there's a well-known Povich doesn't mean that anybody with that name is "no doubt" him.
posted by languagehat at 6:18 AM on May 12, 2009


Wow. I was under the impression that the House of David actually was a group of Jewish barnstormers. But, from languagehat's link:

MYTH: The House of David was a group of Jewish baseball players.

TRUTH: The Israelite House of David consider themselves Christian Israelites and follow the faith that was originally started by Joanna Southcott in the 1600's.


Not Jews, then. The graphic novel I linked to above, The Golem's Mighty Swing, apparently takes the House of David as a point of departure. From a review:

"Here Sturm here dovetails two historical oddments: Der Golem, Paul Wegener's internationally popular film of 1920; and the practice of hiring black ballplayers to Jewish or "Israelite" clubs, most famously carried off by Satchel Paige, who donned a false beard to play with the House of David (actually a Christian Israelite team). "

Fascinating stuff.
posted by kosem at 6:47 AM on May 12, 2009


A few weeks ago in Berlin, as part of a program to promote religious tolerance and multiculturalism, a soccer game was organized: priests vs. imams.

The ref was a rabbi.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 7:18 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Somebody should write a thesis about the decision process that comes up with ethnic group Z as the ideal referee in contests between ethnic group X and ethnic group Y, where X and Y would rather be stabbing each other than playing a sporting match.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:59 AM on May 12, 2009


You call that tension? You should have been there in 1921 at the opening of the Hitler/Kandinsky joint exhibition.
posted by PlusDistance at 8:01 AM on May 12, 2009


The ref was a rabbi.

That doesn't seem like a good idea. They'd spend most of the game arguing about weather something was a foul or not.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:52 AM on May 12, 2009


They'd spend most of the game arguing about weather

Exactly.
posted by applemeat at 8:54 AM on May 12, 2009


or whether, your choice.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:55 AM on May 12, 2009


That's not how the movie is supposed to end!

Yeah, here's a better ending:
KKK Coach: I know we had our differences, but at least we settled it right here on the ball field. My boys would like to say something to your team. Boys...

KKK Team Captain: We just wanna say you guys played a good game. And we treated you pretty unfair all season. We want to apologize. We still don't think you're all that good a baseball team...but you got guts, all of you. Let's give them a cheer. Come on.

KKK Team (in unison): Two, four, six, eight! Who do we appreciate? Jews! Jews!

Tannerstein: Hey, Goyim! You can take your apology and your trophy...and shove it straight up your ass! [throws trophy]

Lupusberg: And another thing, just wait till next year!
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:39 AM on May 12, 2009



They'd spend most of the game arguing


No, that would have taken two Jews.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 11:06 AM on May 12, 2009


The House of David.

exactly. thanks languagehat.
posted by ioesf at 7:11 PM on May 12, 2009


I have a good friend who is descended from members of the House of David; they indeed were not Jewish. The only remnant of the religion left in my friend's family was devout vegetarianism. And some really cool baseball caps.
posted by Bookhouse at 7:58 PM on May 12, 2009


In all seriousness, I can't wait for the film, directed by Spielberg, with Brad Pitt and George Clooney.
posted by marmaduke_yaverland at 5:51 AM on May 13, 2009


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