Welcome to JewishSportsCollectibles.com

This is an online community for collectors of sports cards and memorabilia associated with Jewish athletes. This includes competitors in all sports -- college, independent, minor and major league -- including baseball, football, basketball, hockey, boxing, track and field, racing, tennis, golf, etc. The hope is to foster a community where like-minded collectors can share resources, trade/sell/buy memorabilia, swap collecting stories and experiences, and enhance the collecting experiences of other site users.

There is no registration required to view this site, but only registered members may post entries, add photos, etc. Guest authors can click here to learn more about posting.

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Anniversary of Ron Blomberg's DH Debut

On April 6, 1973, Ron Blomberg -- the former Jewish Major Leaguer and Israel Baseball League manager -- became baseball's first designated hitter, according to Day By Day In Jewish Sports History.

Blomberg faced Luis Tiant of the Boston Red Sox in his first at bat, walking with the bases loaded. Blomberg would go 1-for-3 in the game, which the Yankees lost 15-5 to Boston.
Ron Blomberg Designated Hebrew

The distinction as the baseball's first DH is, arguably, the pinnacle of Blomberg's career, and certainly the highlight for which he is best known. The bat Blomberg used against Tiant is part of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, according to Wikipedia

Blomberg embraces the somewhat ignominious distinction, titling his autobiography Designated Hebrew

Blomberg memorabilia is plentiful, affording collectors lots of choices -- both in terms of type and price point.

Blomberg is the subject of numerous cards, both vintage and modern issues, including Upper Deck's Yankees history and the Jewish Major Leaguers sets (Beckett.com offers a complete checklist).

Ron Blomber 2003 Upper Deck Yankees Ron Blomberg 1972 Topps Ron Blomberg 2001 Upper Deck Ron Blomberg JML

In addition to his autobiography, Blomberg's story is also featured prominently in the Jews & Baseball: Volume 2, The Big Book of Jewish Baseball, and The Baseball Talmud.

Movie collectors can find Blomberg featured in Holyland Hardball and Jews & Baseball: A Love Story.

Ron Blomberg Sports Illustrated coverBlomberg was also featured with Yankees teammate Bobby Mercer on the front cover of the July 2, 1973 issue of Sports Illustrated.

A frequent signer, Blomberg items -- including signed and inscribed baseballs, photos, bats, jerseys and cards -- are plentiful on Beckett.comeBay and Amazon.com. Collectors can also purchase memorabilia directly from Blomberg, via his website.

What "Designated Hebrew" memorabilia do you have in your Jewish baseball collection?

New Marvin Miller Card in 2015 Topps Heritage

2015 topps heritage marvin miller
2015 Topps Heritage Marvin Miller card.

The 2015 Topps Heritage set includes a card for Marvin Miller, in addition to the Sandy Koufax cards mentioned in yesterday's post on JewishSportsCollectibles.com.

The former Player's Association executive director is featured on card NF-9, part of the issue's "News Flashbacks" subset, according to the set checklist on CardboardConnection.com
The Miller cards are currently selling for $1-2 eBay and between $0.30 and $1.50 on Beckett.com.

Interesting side note for collectors of Jews in Hollywood memorabilia and Trekkies: the set also includes a Star Trek card (NF-3) picturing MOTs William Shatner and Leonard Nemoy.

Marvin miller 1994 Upper Deck
Marvin Miller 1994 Upper Deck card.

Miller has been featured on several cards over the years. His cards include the 1994 Upper Deck "American Epic" set, a 2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites issue, cards with Donald Fehr and Michael Weiner the 2007 and 2010 Jewish Major Leaguers series, and a 2010 Topps Allen & Ginter issue.

Read JewishSportsCollectibles.com's post on Miller and the other Jewish labor leaders in the NFL and NHL  for more details.

I've just ordered the new Miller card, and am excited to add it to the other baseball labor leaders and executives portion of my Jewish baseball collection. Will you be buying Miller's new pasteboard? What memorabilia featuring the union head do you have in your Jewish baseball collection?

2015 Topps Heritage Set Features Koufax Cards

With the sheer volume of cards released every year, it can be tough for Jewish baseball card collectors to know what Jewish Major Leaguers have cards in newly issued sets.

Koufax a legend retiresToday, I was pleased to learn about the 2015 Topps Heritage cards featuring Hall of Famer pitcher Sandy Koufax.

According to CardboardConnection.com, the set includes a 15-card "A Legend Retires" subset. Cards are numbered SK-1 through SK-15. They are available exclusively in product sold at Walmart. A search on Walmart.com shows no product available. As such, I'm assuming the cards are available only in card packs purchased in-store.

The checklist for the Koufax special inserts is as follows:

  • SK-1 Sandy Notches Shutout at 19
  • SK-2 Teenage Whitewash
  • SK-3 "Student-Athlete"
  • SK-4 Koufax Proves He Belongs
  • SK-5 Sandy Isn't Rusty
  • SK-6 18 Go Down on Strikes
  • SK-7 Matty's Mark Falls
  • SK-8 Mets' Can't Muster a Hit
  • SK-9 Sandy Slays the Giants
  • SK-10 Sandy Pitches L.A. to Title
  • SK-11 Practically Perfect in Philly
  • SK-12 Absolute Perfection
  • SK-13 Koufax Sets Season K Mark
  • SK-14 Twins Tamed by Koufax
  • SK-15 One for the Ages

The Walmart inserts are selling for a few dollars a piece, and in lots with prices exceeding $10 a group, on eBay.

In addition to the "Legend Reitres" subset, Koufax is featured on nearly a dozen other cards that are part of the 2015 Topps Heritage product. These include:

  • Card BF-10 Sandy Koufax - Los Angeles Dodgers, the last in the 10-card "Baseball Flashbacks" inserts.
  • ROA-SK Sandy Koufax - Los Angeles Dodgers, a "Real One Autographs" card. The limited edition redemption cards are going for $800 or more on eBay!
  • Five different "Then & Now" cards, pairing the Hall of Fame lefty with current pitchers Clayton Kershaw (TAN-6 and TAN-8), David Price (TAN-7 and TAN-9) and Adam Wainwright (TAN-10). These cards are interesting, but only Kershaw belongs in the same breath as Koufax, let alone the same cardboard, in my opinion. 

Do you have any of the 2015 Topps Heritage Sandy Koufax cards in your Jewish baseball collection? Will you be going to Walmart (or eBay) to buy any? Do you have any to sell or trade?

Let fellow Jewish baseball card collectors know by commenting below.


Jewish World Series MVPs

Jewish Major Leaguer Craig Breslow will become the 24 Jewish player to appear in the World Series, should he pitch for the Boston Red Sox in the 2013 Fall Classic.
Craig Breslow. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
The Boston Red Sox take on the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, which starts tonight, Wednesday, October 23. 

Should he have the opportunity to come on in relief, Red Sox pitcher Craig Breslow will become the 24 Jewish Major Leaguer to play in the World Series, as documented in these postings from Kaplan's Korner and Jewish Baseball News.

Koufax Upper Deck Print

Sandy Koufax Upper Deck artwork. Photo courtesy of Beckett.com.


During the history of the World Series Most Valuable Player Award (which started in 1955), two Jewish baseball players and a player who converted to Judaism after his career won a total of four MVP trophies.

Interestingly, all three played for the Los Angeles Dodgers when they captured the honors.



Larry Sherry 1960 Topps

Larry Sherry Topps card. Photo courtesy of eBay.com.

JewishSportsCollectibles.com offers reviews of the players' baseball cards and collectibles ... which range from common cards to $100,000+ game-used leather, from books to DVDs, from postcards and programs to books by the yard. 

Steve Yeager 2004 UD Legends 2 Autograph
Steve Yeager Upper Deck card. Photo courtesy of Beckett.com.

To read the JSC's overviews of the cards and memorabilia for World Series MVP winners Larry Sherry (1959), Sandy Koufax (1963 and 1965) and Steve Yeager (1981) click on the players' names.

Feel free to comment below, or in the individual postings, to let JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers know what your most treasured collectible for these World Series winners might be.


Editor's Note: A version of this posting originally ran under the headline "Jewish World Series MVP Profiles" in 2011.

Glickman Documentary Pays Tribute to Sprinter, Broadcaster

Glickman The Film
A movie poster for Glickman. Photo courtesy of GlickmanTheFilm.com.
Glickman, a documentary film that looks at the life and legacy of Marty Glickman, a towering figure in the world of both Olympic track and field and sportscasting, premiered on HBO on Monday, August 26.

James L. Freedman wrote, produced and directed the movie, his first documentary. Famed director Martin Scorsese served as the film's executive producer. 

The documentary is "a labor of love" for Freedman, who got his start in media because of Glickman. According to the film's web site, Freedman -- while still in high school -- produced Marty Glickman’s late night radio program, one of the first all sports call-in shows in the country, on WNEW in New York.

The story of Glickman's life and career, both on the field and in the broadcast booth, is remarkable.

A track star in high school and at Syracuse University, Glickman was part of the U.S. 4X100 meter relay team sent to Germany to compete in the 1936 Olympic Summer Games.

The day before the race, coaches replaced Glickman and teammate Sam Stoller, the only two Jews on the U.S. Olympic team, on the relay squad with runners Ralph Metcalfe and Jesse Owens. Owen's protested the move and urged his coaches to allow Glickman and Stoller to run.

The removal of the Jewish sprinters was seen by many as a clear showing of antisemitism and a move designed by American Olympic Committee chair Avery Brundage, a Nazi sympathizer, to appease Hitler.

Ironically, both Owens and Metcalfe were African-Americans, also members of "inferior races," according to the Nazis. Led by Owens, the American sprinters set a world record and won gold in the relay. The Germans finished fourth. 

Glickman passes the baton to Jesse Owens during a relay race. Photo courtesy of GlickmanTheFilm.com.
The relay victory earned Owens his fourth gold medal in the Olympic Games. Owens' achievement catapulted him to international fame, though it didn't earn him racial respect at home. Owens' record stood until 1984, when Carl Lewis matched the feat in the Los Angeles Olympics.

Spurned in Berlin, Glickman returned to Syracuse University, where he starred in football and basketball. His prowess on the playing field led a local station to offer Glickman his first radio job, which paid $15 a broadcast. 

After college Glickman worked in radio in New York City before enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1943. Following action in the Pacific Theater during WWII, Glickman returned to New York and started his broadcasting career in earnest.

During a career that would span more than 50 years, Glickman covered almost every sport that could be broadcast.

Glickman provided radio play-by-play for Knicks games and served as the first television announcer for the NBA. In describing basketball for radio listeners, Glickman created the language used by players, fans and broadcasters throughout the world today. He invented terms like "lane," "key" and "Swish!" 

"Marty Glickman wasn't the first man to do basketball on radio, but he was the first to establish the precise geometry of the court, using a language and terminology that survives more than half a century later." writes Dennis D'Agostino in a rememberance of Glickman on NBA.com.

"I strove to create a word picture that the listener could see in the mind's eye," Glickman wrote in his autobiography, The Fastest Kid on the Block: The Marty Glickman Story. "Not only see it, but feel it as well -- the excitement, the colors, the tension, the enthusiasm of the winner and the despair of the loser."

Glickman broadcasting a Giants football game
Glickman broadcasts a Giants football game. Photo courtesy of Getty Images, GlickmanTheFilm.com.
In addition to covering basketball, Glickman provided radio and television play-by-play and broadcast pre- and post-game shows for the New York (football) Giants, New York Jets, New York Rangers, New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers.

He also narrated sports news reels for Paramount films, announced horse races at Yonkers Raceway, and covered tennis matches for HBO Sports.

As busy as he was on-air, Glickman made time to teach and mentor a generation of sports broadcasters, including luminaries like Marv Albert (also Jewish), Bob Costas, Dick Engberg and Dick Stockton.

Albert, who is interviewed in the documentary, once described Glickman as "the greatest radio broadcaster of all time," according to Investor's Business Daily.

Glickman's professional accolades lend credence to Albert's statement. Glickman is a member of the National Sportscasters & Sportswriters Hall of Fame, winner of the Curt Gowdy Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and a member of the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

Yet, in spite of his success, Glickman faced discrimination in his professional career. According to the HBO web site, when the NBA signed a national TV deal, Glickman was passed over for a broadcaster with a "more Midwestern voice." Whether this decision was made by an executive who didn't like Glickman's New York accent, or subtle antisemitism on the part of the TV networks is open for debate.

Freedman tells Glickman's story in a 75-minute documentary combining archival photos and footage with modern interviews. There is, for obvious reasons, a focus on Glickman's releigion.

"People ask if I set out to make a Jewish film," Freedman said in an email to JewishSportsCollectibles.com. "My answer is not at all. The heart of the film explores what happens when an 18-year-old's dreams are crushed by racism and prejudice. Do they become bitter?  Or do they triumph in life as Marty did? Marty happened to be Jewish -- but I feel the story is universal."

In a posting on IndieWire, reviewer Kevin Jagernauth describes the film this way:

"Freedman ... does an admirable job of capturing the broadcaster, even if the structure is a little old fashioned, moving as it does between vintage footage (which has been smartly assembled) and talking heads. He veers toward hyperbole from time to time ... but what he gets right is conveying the spirit of Glickman, the excitement of his work (even if you don’t know your three-point shot from a touchdown, it’s infectious) and the aura of someone who became a legend by not being as manipulative, cheap, mean, blindly ambitious or coldly cruel as so many others around him were. Marty Glickman was simply being the best Marty Glickman he could be. For many he wasn’t just the best Marty Glickman he was simply: the best."

A preview for Glickman is available by clicking on the video window below. 


Collectors have access to a wide array of memorabilia associated with the famed Jewish sportscaster, but little associated with the film itself.

Glickman radio ad ebay
A WOR Radio ad for Jets games featuring Marty Glickman. Photo courtesy of eBay.
Glickman memorabilia on eBay at the time of this posting include photos, a 1937 Syracuse University yearbook, ads for Glickman's radio shows, and copies of his book.

Glickman played football and basketball at Syracuse, and enjoyed brief professional careers in both sports. Patient collectors may be able to find vintage sports memorabilia associated with Glickman's college career on eBay.

While not specific to Glickman, eBay offers a wide array of collectibles and memorabilia associated with the 1936 Olympics.

Glickman is featured on 2012 Sportskings Series E one-of-a-kind cards. These include a Top 50 Broadcasters cut autographs card and a redemption sketch card, according to Beckett.com.

These cards are not available for purchase in the Beckett Marketplace, eBay or Amazon, at the time of this posting. As one-of-a-kind cards they are extremely rare and would likely be expensive to buy, if they ever come up for sale.

Fastest Kid on the Block Marty Glickman
The Fastest Kid on the Block, Glickman's autobiography. Photo courtesy of Amazon.com.
Among the books about Glickman on Amazon.com are his autobiography, The Fastest Kid on the Block. Others include Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler's OlympicsGhost Runners (an historical fiction novel inspired by Glickman and Stoller's experience), Great Jews In Sports and the Encyclopedia of Jews in Sports.

Also, while not specifically about Glickman, Jack Kerouac described Glickman as "absolutely the greatest announcer I ever heard" in On The Road.

Memorabilia associated with Glickman the documentary is scant, however. "There is no merchandise or memorabilia associated with the film," Freedman tells JewishSportsCollectibles.com. "That is not why I made it. It was a true labor of love having worked for Marty producing his radio show when I was 17."

Before its HBO broadcast debut, numerous film festivals, including the February 2013 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, screened Glickman. The Newhouse Sports Media Center at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications hosted a New York City premiere on August 24 that featured a roundtable discussion, “Memories of Marty,” featuring Costas, Albert and Freedman. Dedicated collectors may be able to find tickets, programs or advertisements for these festivals and events.

And, social media enthusiasts can collect tweet and postings about Glickman on Twitter and Facebook. The film's Twitter feed is particularly interesting.


Have you seen Glickman? What did you think about the documentary? Did you ever have the chance to meet Marty Glickman? What Glickman memorabilia do you have in your Jewish sports collection?

Let JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers know by commenting below.