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AJHS Hosting Night of Jewish Baseball

AJHS_Jewish_Baseball_InvitationThe American Jewish Historical Society is hosting “A Night Of Jewish Baseball” on Wednesday, February 27. Unfortunately, as of this posting, the event is sold out and no additional tickets are available for purchase.

But, for Jewish baseball enthusiasts and collectors fortunate enough to be able to go, the event promises to be exciting.

Author and sportscaster Len Berman is moderating a panel discussion that is scheduled to include four renowned authors and two former Jewish Major Leaguers, both of whom are also published authors.

The Jewish sportswriters and authors schedule to appear include:

Former baseball players Ron Blomberg and Art Shamsky are also scheduled to participate.

Ron Blomber 2003 Upper Deck Yankees
Ron Blomber 2003 Upper Deck card. Photo courtesy of JSC.
Blomberg, famed as baseball's first designated hitter, is the co-author of Designated Hebrew: The Ron Blomberg Story. Blomberg is also a veteran of the Israel Baseball League, where he managed the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox. 

He is the subject of numerous cards, including including Upper Deck's Yankees history card (pictured left) and the Jewish Major Leaguers sets. Beckett.com offers a complete checklist

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.

Art Shamsky JML Card
Art Shamsky Jewish Major Leaguers card. Photo courtesy of JSC.

Shamsky, a member of the 1969 "Miracle Mets" is the author of The Magnificent Seasons: How the Jets, Mets, and Knicks Made Sports HIstory and Uplifted a City and the Country. Shamsky also managed in the Israel Baseball League, as the skipper for the Modi'in Miracle. 

Collectors have access to dozens of Shamsky cards (see Beckett.com for a checklist). His cards and other collectibles, including autographed memorabilia, are plentiful on eBay and Amazon.com. Jewish baseball enthusiasts can also purchase memorabilia from Shamsky's web site.

AJHS will have a display of Jewish baseball memorabilia, including autographed uniforms from Hank Greenberg, Sandy Koufax and the World Baseball Classic Team Israel during the event.

Jewish Baseball Lithograph
Ron Lewis Jewish Baseball lithograph. Photo courtesy of JewishBaseballPlayer.com and AJHS.

An autographed, limited edition All Jewish Baseball Players lithograph by artist Ron Lewis will also be on display.

The lithograph will be available for bid at silent auction.

The first 100 attendees who purchased $150 “reserved seats” will receive a gold-trimmed, limited edition set of the 2003 edition of Jewish Major Leaguers baseball cards. 

Are any JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers planning to attend the AJHS Night of Jewish Baseball? Share your experiences from the evening by commenting below, or by emailing jsportscollctr@gmail.com. And, stay tuned to JSC for pictures from the event in a future posting.

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Jewish World Series Heroes

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

The Boston Red Sox take on the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, which starts tonight, Wednesday, October 23.

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

 

Click on the links that follow to read the JSC overviews of the cards and memorabilia for World Series MVP winners Larry Sherry (1959), Sandy Koufax (1963 and 1965) and Steve Yeager (1981).

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.

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

Josh Zeid's WBC Cleats Sell for $105.50

Josh Zeid Cleats

Two bidders duked it out to own pitcher Josh Zeid's game used cleats, worn by the Team Israel pitcher in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifiers.

The winning bidder paid $105.50 for the shoes, which Zeid, a prospect in the Houston Astro's minor league system, signed. He also included a photo of himself wearing the shoes while pitching in the WBC.

Josh Zeid
Josh Zeid.
Photo courtesy of MiLB.com.
The cleats were being sold by "stvufit" on eBay. Starting bid was $75, with shipping priced at $4.99. The auction ran through Saturday, October 6, 2012. According to the listing, 50 percent of the sale's total price will be given to Texas Children's Hospital.

Zeid confirmed ownership of the cleats to JewishSportsCollectibles.com via Twitter, telling JSC that he wore the shoes during the last two games in the qualifiers, both against Spain.

Josh Zeid Twitter
I'm not one for game used memorabilia, but I think Zeid's cleats would have made a unique addition to my Jewish baseball collection. Unfortunately, even at $100, the price was too much for my collecting budget. 
What do you think? Let JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers know by commenting below.

Own Josh Zeid's Team Israel WBC Cleats


Josh Zeid Cleats
Josh Zeid cleats. Photo courtesy of eBay.

Just a week after Team Israel's heartbreaking extra innings loss to Spain in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifiers, Jewish baseball collectors have the opportunity to own game used cleats from one of the team's top pitcher.


Josh Zeid
Josh Zeid.
Photo courtesy
of MiLB.com.
Pitcher Josh Zeid, a prospect in the Houston Astro's minor league system, is selling a pair of his Team Israel cleats.

The cleats are being sold by "stvufit" on eBay. Starting bid is $75. Shipping is priced at $4.99. The auction runs through Saturday, October 6, 2012.

The listing says 50 percent of total price paid will be donated to charity, though it doesn't specify which organization.

Israel Baseball League veteran and Team Israel bullpen catcher Nate Fish maintains a blog, called The King of Jewish Baseball. According to Fish's "The Gear" video posting, each Team Israel WBC player was issued one pair of blue Under Armour cleats. Apparently, however, not every player wore the official issue cleats during game play.

The cleats up for bid at New Balance shoes. They match a pair of cleats shown in the background of a picture of Zeid on Fish's blog

Josh Zeid locker room
Josh Zeid in the Team Israel locker room.
Photo courtesy of http://kingofjewishbaseball.wordpress.com.

Further, they match the cleats worn in a picture of Zeid pitching Friday, September 21 victory over Spain that is posted on the Israel Baseball Facebook page

Josh Zeid Pitching
Josh Zeid pitching for Team Israel. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Adding to the authenticity of the shoes is the fact that the sale of the cleats was promoted by Team Israel on it's Facebook page, in a September 30 posting.

Josh Zeid Cleats Posting
Team Israel Facebook posting about Josh Zeid's cleats. Photo courtesy of Facebook.com.

And, most important in determining the provenance of the cleats is the fact that Zeid himself confirmed ownership of the cleats to JewishSportsCollectibles.com via Twitter.

The pitcher says he wore the shoes during the last two games in the qualifiers, both against Spain, adding that he would sign a photo of himself pitching, and wearing the shoes, for the winning bidder.

Josh Zeid Twitter
Josh Zeid Twitter conversation, confirming provanance of his WBC cleats.
Photo courtesy of HootSuite.com.

So, if you have cash to spare, and want to own a pair of size 13 cleats used by a Team Israel pitcher in the World Baseball Classic as part of your Jewish baseball memorabilia collection, bid away!

 

 

 


Auction Preview: Pete Rose Banishment Document

PeteRose1
Pete Rose banishment document.
Photo courtesy of GoldinAuctions.com.
Among the more than 1,000 lots up for bid in Goldin Auctions' October 10 through November 17, 2012 sale is a signed document billed as "the single most significant document in the history of baseball," paperwork that shaped and dramatically changed the course of 20th Century baseball history.

So, what is the document that's creating such buzz?

Pete Rose's copy of the August 29, 1989 agreement that ended a six-month investigation by the Office of the Commissioner into allegations that Rose bet on baseball while the manager of the Cincinnati Reds and permanently banished the all-time hits leader from baseball. 

"Peter Edward Rose engaged in conduct not in the best interests of baseball in violation of Major League Rule 21," reads the document's first page, "including but not limited to betting on Major League Baseball games in connection with which he had a duty to perform."

Page four of the document spells out Rose's lifetime banishment from baseball. "Peter Edward Rose is hereby declared permanently ineligible in accordance with Major League Rule 21 and placed on the Ineligible list."

PeteRoseDocument-Signature
Pete Rose banishment agreement.
Photo courtesy of GoldinAuctions.com
Page five of the document is bears the full, legal signatures of Rose, Rose's attorney Rueven J. Katz, Baseball Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti and Deputy Commissioner Fay Vincent.

"The banishment of Pete Rose from baseball is one of the most significant events in baseball in the past 50 years, making this among the most important documents in baseball history," says auctioneer Ken Goldin in a news release, "not just because if it's significance but because it is the only known document signed by Rose, Giamatti and Vincent - the three key figures in the decision that has left baseball's Hit King and one of the most popular players in baseball history exiled from the game."

Auctioneer Goldin says the five-page document, which carries a minimum bid of $100,000, could fetch highest price for a baseball document since Sotheby's and SportsCards Plus sold the contract that sold Babe Ruth to Yankees sold for $996,000 in 2005, according to the auction house.

"I believe that this certainly has the potential to be a million dollar plus document," Goldin said in an interview with ESPN, "perhaps obtaining the status of the most valuable sports, not only document, but item of memorabilia ever sold."

The banishment agreement on the auction block is one of two copies of the document that Rose signed for Major League Baseball to settle the investigation into his gambling.

Hall of Fame sportswriter Murray Chass writes that Major League Baseball's copy of the agreement is presumed to be housed in New York offices, though where specifically no one can say.

The auction house's lot description says the document for sale is Rose's personal copy of the agreement, and the document for sale comes with letter of provenance from Rose, as well as full PSA/DNA letter of authenticity.

It is important to note, however, that the document up for sale, purported to be Rose's original, was not consigned by Rose.

"I don't know what Pete did with the original or when he made copies last year, if he actually owned the document," Goldin told ESPN's Mint Condition. "Pete Rose helped me obtain the document, but he was not the consignor on the document. I don't know if it's been in someones collection for years, or how that worked out. ... It belonged to an individual collector, who wishes to remain anonymous, and was formerly the property of Pete Rose."

While we may never know who did consign the document, it's fun to speculate that it might have been Rose's Jewish attorney, Rueven J. Katz.

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Reuven J. Katz is a well respected sports attorney and the founding partner of the law firm of Katz, Teller, Brant & Hild in Cincinnati.

A friend of Katz's confirmed to JewishSportsCollectibles.com that Katz is Jewish, and his legal bio states that Katz served on the board of Jewish Vocational Service in Cincinnati.

In his autobiography, My Prison Without Bars, Rose describes Katz as "my friend and lawyer."

"Katz had been a father figure to me ever since my dad passed away. He handled all of my finances and business ventures and provided me with some much needed moral support. ...Ever since losing my father, Reuven had been a trusted friend -- my go-to-guy."

Katz was both Rose's attorney and agent -- he served as the agent to the Big Red Machine's Johnny Bench and Tony Perez, according to the Sports Lawyer's Association -- and formed the for-profit Pete Rose Enterprises, Inc. on February 13, 1972, according to BusinessProfiles.com.

Katz no doubt took care of Rose. The attorney also may have enabled Rose's gambling habits by failing to take Rose to task for the nature of his financial requests, according to Hustle: The Myth, Life, and Lies of Pete Rose

"Katz was sort of a father figure to Rose. He watched his bank accounts, cosigned his checks, advised him on his investments, and told him how much he should spend each month. Rose often told people that Katz had him on an "allowance." ...

When the scope of Rose's gambling became public, the reaction of many Cincinnatians was that Rose must have broken from Kat'z leash -- that Katz either did not know what Rose was doing or had tried to control him but could not.

But if Katz was naive about Rose's gambling and his gambling debts, he remained so partly because of the questions he apparently chose not to ask."

Other than Pete Rose's autobiography and the books about Rose, there are few true Katz collectibles.

Cinci Magazine
Cincinnati Magazine photo of Reuven J. Katz. Photo courtesy of Google Books.
The December 1989 edition of Cincinnati Magazine includes a cover story titled, "The Selling of Pete Rose." The magazine profiles Katz and Rose's public relation's agent, hired by Katz. It contains a photo of Katz that might interest collectors. The magazine is available on Amazon.com. I could not find it in a search of eBay
Reuven Katz Pete Rose photo
Reuven Katz with Pete Rose.
Photo courtesy of eBay.
An eBay search for "Reuven Katz +Pete Rose" yielded nothing of consequence, at the time of this posting.

A eBay search for "Pete Rose +lawyer" did find an auction for a 1978 news photo of Katz and Rose, closed by the time article was posted, from the Chicago Tribune. The photo sold for $10.

Nothing else came up, as of the time of this posting. Presumably, Katz's signature is on checks, player contracts and other legal documents, baseballs, etc. Patient collectors may have luck, given time.

In researching this posting, I mailed an autograph request to Katz, using his firm's Cincinnati mailing address. I received an autographed Signature Card and an unsigned business card back within a little more than a week..

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Do you have any Reuven Katz memorabilia in your Jewish baseball collection? What collectibles exist? Share your thoughts with JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers by commenting below.

In the meantime, if you can't afford to bid on the "original" Pete Rose banishment document, but still interested in owning a copy of this important baseball history, you're in luck.

Rose sells notarized photo copies of the document for $500 on his web site, PeteRose.com. Each copy, encased in a snazzy leather binder, contains Rose's autograph and the inscription, "I'm sorry I bet on baseball, Pete Rose, Hit King, 4256." Pete will personalize the document at no extra charge, according to his web site, which contains a range of other memorabilia available for sale and a calendar of Pete's signing schedule at the Mandalay Bay casino's Mandalay Place shops -- really! -- in Las Vegas.