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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. 

Running-a-Relay-with-Jesse-Owens
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. 

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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.

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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.


Wilt Chamberlain: 'Borscht Belt Bellhop'


Wilt Chamberlain BellHop
Wilt Chamberlain: Borscht Belt Bellhop. Photo courtesy of Kutshersdoc.Jimdo.com.
Wilt Chamberlain: Borscht Belt Bellhop is currently airing on ESPN's 30 for 30 series. The documentary short film, from the Jewish filmmakers who made Welcome to Kutsher's, sheds light on basketball great Wilt Chamberlain's Jewish connections and ties to the famed Catskills resort.

Directed and produced by Caroline Laskow and Ian Rosenberg, both Jews, Borscht Belt Bellhop examines Wilt Chamberlain's time working at Kutsher’s Country Club in New York's Catskill Mountain region in the summer of 1954.

Then a senior in high school, the future Basketball Hall of Famer served as a bellhop by day, and played basketball for the Kutscher's basketball team, which was coached by Jewish coaching legend Arnold "Red" Auerbach, who would later go on to a Hall of Fame career coaching the Boston Celtics.

According to the film's web site:

"Mixing rarely-seen archival video and interviews with people who lived and worked with Wilt during that magical summer, this documentary short reveals an unexplored and pivotal chapter in the life of one of basketball’s greatest players, and a fascinating glimpse of a time when a very different era of basketball met the Borscht Belt in its heyday." 

Wilt Chamberlain BellHop screencap
The film is available to view, in it's entirety, on ESPN's web site (or by clicking on the image above). Borscht Belt Bellhop is also being screened at a variety of film festivals. Visit the documentary's web site for a list of upcoming showings.

The mini-documentary about Chamberlain is an outgrowth of Laskow and Rosenberg's Welcome to Kutsher's: The Last Catskills Resort.

That film, released in 2012, takes a "fuller look at the increasingly forgotten aspects of this unique chapter of the Jewish American experience," Rosenberg said in an email to JewishSportsCollectibles.com. The film is expected to release on DVD later this year, according to Rosenberg.

Other than the soon-to-be released Welcome to Kutsher's DVD, memorabilia from both films is extremely limited. Rosenberg says that he and Laskow don't expect to have any merchandise to sell. "ESPN Films may later make the 30 for 30 Shorts available for sale at some point," Rosenberg told JSC, "but that's out of our hands." 

For now, posters from and tickets to the various film festivals at which the documentaries have been (or will be) shown may be a Jewish basketball collector's only option. Borscht Belt Bellhop made is festival debut at the internationally-acclaimed Tribecca Film Festival, for example. Visit the film's web site for a list of past and upcoming screenings.

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In addition to the documentary film, Jewish basketball enthusiasts have access to a wide variety of cards and memorabilia associated with Chamberlain and Auerbach, including books, jerseys, autographed photos, basketballs, etc.

Wilt Chamberlain card
Wilt Chamberlain Panini Century Greats card. Photo courtesy of eBay.
Chamberlain is the subject of hundreds of basketball cards and numerous books. For a checklist of his pasteboard, visit Beckett.com. To purchase Chamberlain's cards and other collectibles, visit the Beckett Marketplace, eBay or Amazon.com.
Red Auerbach
Red Auerbach Center Court Art postcard. Photo courtesy of eBay.

Likewise, Red Auerbach cards -- including several specifically Jewish basketball cards -- and memorabilia is plentiful. For a checklist of his cards, visit Beckett.com. To purchase Auerbach collectibles, visit the Beckett Marketplace, eBay or Amazon.com.

For a look at some of the Red Auerbach memorabilia collection sold at auction by SCP Auctions in 2011, check out this posting from JewishSportsCollectibles.com.

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Have you seen Borscht Belt Bellhop or the Kutsher's documentary? What Red Auerbach memorabilia is part of your Jewish basketball collection? Given his connections to the community, does Wilt Chamberlain have a place in your Jewish basekball catalogue?

Let JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers know by commenting below.


Upcoming Appearance: Jewish Boxer Dmitriy Salita


Dmitriy Salita Flier
Dmitriy Salita Meet and Greet promotional materials.
Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/Dmitiy Salita.
Orthodox Jewish welterweight boxer Dmitriy "The Star of David" Salita is scheduled to take part in a meet and greet scheduled for 7.30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8, at the Chabad House of Greater Hartford, Connecticut, according to several recent postings on the boxer's Facebook page.

According to the Chabad House's web site, the cost to attend the function is $12 for advance registrations and $15 at the door. No program appears on the organization's site, and there is not indication that Jewish boxing collectors are prohibited from obtaining autographs or photos with the famed fighter.

Born in 1980 in Odessa, Ukraine in the former Soviet Union, Salita moved to Brooklyn at age nine, according to his Wikipedia bio, to escape anti-Semitic violence. Bullied in Brooklyn schools, Salita took up karate and boxing to learn to defend himself, and began boxing competitively at age 13.

He won a championship in the April 2001 New York Golden Gloves competition and turned pro at age 19 later that year. Salita holds a record of 35-1-1, according to BoxRec.com, with his last victory coming over Brandon Hoskins on October 20, 2012. Salita was scheduled to fight Hector Camacho, Jr. on February 9, 2013, but the fight was cancelled.

Salitas is fully observant, keeps kosher and observes Sabbath, refusing to fight before sundown on Saturdays, or on Jewish holidays.

In a recent interview in Ha'aretz with Israeli sports journalist Raphael Geller, Salitas says his religious observance sometimes makes it difficult to schedule fights, and hints that he may be seeking opportunities outside the ring.

As indicated in this October 2012 posting on JewishSportsCollectibles.com, Jewish boxing fans have access to a small, but varied, number of Salita collectibles.

Dmitriy Salita Gloves
Salita signed
boxing gloves.
Photo courtesy DSalitas.com.
The boxer, who fights wearing trunks that bear a Star of David, maintains a web site, on which he sells merchandise, including autographed, training ring worn boxing gloves and signed fight worn corner jackets. Cost for either item is $250 plus $20 shipping.

There are also a number of high quality images available on Salita's web site. The action shots would make nice additions to a boxing collection, especially if a collector could get a print signed by the Jewish fighter.

Orthodox Stance
Orthodox Stance DVD. Photo courtesy of OrthodoxStance.com.
Salita is also the focus of a documentary film, titled Orthodox Stance. DVDs of the film can be purchased on Amazon.comand eBay, but not from the film's web site.

A search of eBay yielded little beyond the DVD, at the time of this posting.

Amazon.com sellers were offering no Salitas memorabilia, other than Orthodox Stance at the time of this posting.
Likewise, Beckett.com lists no boxing card for Salitas, and the Beckett Marketplace was also void of the fighter's collectibles.

Certainly, other Salitas collectibles exist, including tickets, programs and promotional materials for his fights.

For fans who collect friends and tweets, Salida is active on Twitter (@DSalita) and Facbook.

Do you know of other Salitas collectibles exist? What memorabilia associated with the fighter do you have in your Jewish boxing collection? Are you planning to attend the upcoming meet and greet with Salitas?

Let JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers know by commenting below.


Jewish Gymnast Aly Raisman 'Dancing With the Stars'

Raisman Montage eBay
Aly Raisman Olympic montage photo. Photo courtesy of eBay.
Aly Raisman – the Jewish gymnast who captained the 2012 U.S. Women's Gymnastics Olympics team in London, earned a gold medal for her floor routine choreographed to Hava Nagilia (the celebratory Hebrew song that is a staple at bar mitzvahs and weddings), and honored the Israeli Olympians slain at the 1972 Munich Olympics – is currently competing on ABC's Dancing With the Stars.

As captain of the “Fierce Five,” Raisman was a media darling before the start of The Games, and her star rose further with each metal-winning performance.

In addition to her gold medal for floor exercises at the London Games, the first ever gold in the event for an American female gymnast in the event in Olympic history, Raisman earned gold with the U.S. Team in the all-around competition, the first for the U.S. Women since 1996, and a bronze metal for her individual performance on the balance beam.

Collectors of Jewish Olympic memorabilia have access to a wide range of Raisman collectibles.

Her cards (visit Beckett.com for a more inclusive checklist) include:

  • A 2012 Topps Olympics issue, including parallel, autograph and memorabilia cards;
  • An ACEO trading card;
  • A limited edition FA Productions Olympic preview card;
  • and, a 1/1 artist sketch card by an illustrator known as "Q."

Aly Raisman Sketch Card  FA Productions Raisman Card  ACEO Card  Aly Raisman Topps Olympics

Aly Raisman Topps Olympics Memorabilia Card
Aly Raisman Topps Olympics memorabilia card. Photo courtesy
of eBay.
Raisman's 2012 Topps Olympic autographed editions offer a variety of different limited edition printings. The Rainbow (one-of-a-kind) Gold (limited to 15), Silver (30) and Bronze (50) versions. The Topps memorabilia cards include feature Olympic pins, American flag patches and swatches of fabric from competition-worn leotards.

Raisman's cards sell for a little as a few dollars to as much as $200 in the Beckett Marketplace, Amazon and eBay, depending on the variation and scarcity of the card a collector is seeking. 

Other Raisman memorabilia includes a variety of unsigned and autographed photos, available on eBay and Amazon.com. These include group and individual photos, candid and action shots. As always, buyer beware when purchasing signed items from the auction or retail giants.

Aly Raisman SI Cover
"Fierce Five" SI Cover. Photo courtesy of Amazon.com.

Raisman and her Olympic teammates are featured on the cover of the July 23, 2012 issue of Sports Illustrated (see JSC.com's previous posting for a list of other Jews to grace the cover of SI).

Back issues of SI can be purchased on eBay and Amazon.com. Reproduction covers were not available for purchase on SI.com as of this posting, but should be in the near future.

Raisman Daily News Cover Haaretz
Aly Raisman NY Post Cover. Photo courtesy of NYPost.com.

The Jewish gymnast also graces the cover of the August 8, 2012 issue of the New York Post. The paper carries the headline "Star of David: Jewish girl wins gold, honors slain Israeli Olympians.

eBay or Amazon.com are the most likely source of back issues of the newspaper. eBay or Amazon are likely your best source for finding back issues.

Named as a "Bostonian of the Year" in 2012 by the Boston Globe, Raisman was honored at a Red Sox game last year, where she threw out the first pitch. Raisman autographed baseballs sell for between $100 and $200 on eBay.

A wide variety of other Olympic memorabilia, including a "Got Milk ad" picturing Raisman and other Olympians, tickets, programs, books (including The Fab Five) and DVDs are also available.

Raisman participated in the 2012 Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions. Tickets and programs from the tour are no doubt obtainable, and Raisman and her fellow Olympians were featured on Corn Flakes box put out by the cereal company. Boxes featuring Raisman can be found on eBay occassionally. 

Aly Raisman Pandora Ad
Aly Raisman Pandora ad. Photo courtesy of Aly Raisman/
Facebook.com.

Raisman has endorsement deals with, among others, Pandora. She is featured in the jewelry company ads, which some Jewish Olympics enthusiasts might want to add to their ephemera collections.

An active social media user, anyone wanting to "collect" bits and bytes in the forms of posts and tweets can follow Raisman on Facebook and Twitter.  

Do you have any Raisman memorabilia in your Jewish Olympics collection? What's your favorite piece? Have any JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers had a chance to meet the Olympic star or obtain her autograph? 

Let JSC know by commenting below.

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Orthodox Boxer Dmitriy Salita Fights October 20


Dmitriy Salita Fight
Dmitriy Salita (left) vs. Ronnie Warrior Jr. Photo by Alex Gorokhov, courtesy of www.dsalita.com.

Orthodox Jewish welterweight boxer Dmitriy "The Star of David" Salita will step into the ring as part of the opening night fights at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday, October 20.

Salita will fight either Brandon Hoskins, according to a report on KaplansKorner.com, in one of the under card bouts scheduled for the grand opening event.

Salita's story is intriguing.

Born in 1980 in Odessa, Ukraine in the former Soviet Union, Salita moved to Brooklyn at age nine, according to his Wikipedia bio, to escape anti-Semitic violence.

Bullied in school, Salita took up karate and boxing to learn to defend himself. "That is how it all started. I got called into the principal's office. I got suspended a few times, but I got my respect. I started kicking some ass at school."

Salita began boxing competitively at age 13, won a championship in the April 2001 New York Golden Gloves competition and turned pro at age 19 later that year. He has since won 36 fights, losing only one match and fighting to a draw in one, according to BoxRec.com.

Orthodox Stance
Orthodox Stance DVD.
Photo courtesy of
OrthodoxStance.com.
Dmitriy Salita Gloves
Salita signed
boxing gloves. Photo courtesy DSalitas.com.
While growing up in Brooklyn, Salitas was exposed to Orthodox Judaism and became fully observant. He keeps kosher and observes Sabbath, refusing to fight before sundown on Saturdays or on Jewish holidays.

Jewish boxing fans have access to a small, but varied, number of Salita collectibles.

The boxer, who fights wearing trunks that bear a Star of David, maintains a web site, on which he sells merchandise, including autographed, training ring worn boxing gloves and signed fight worn corner jackets. Cost for either item is $250 plus $20 shipping.

There are also a number of high quality images available on Salita's web site. Most (like the one featured above) feature the boxer in the ring, and would make nice additions to a boxing collection, especially if a collector could get a print signed by the Jewish fighter.

Salita is also the focus of a documentary film, titled Orthodox Stance. DVDs of the film can be purchased on Amazon.com and eBay, but not from the film's web site.

The trailer for the documentary can be seen below.

 

A search of eBay yielded little beyond the DVD, at the time of this posting. A poster for Salita's 2009 championship fight against Amir Khan, which Salita lost by knockout in 76 seconds, is for sale on the auction giant.

Khan Salita Poster
Khan vs. Salita poster. Photo courtesy of eBay.

Amazon.com offers photos, puzzles and photo mugs with images of Khan from the fight, but none of Salitas.

Beckett.com lists no boxing card for Salitas, and the Beckett Marketplace was also void of the fighter's memorabilia.

Certainly, other Salitas collectibles exist, including tickets, programs and promotional materials for other fights.

For fans who collect friend and tweets, Salida is active on Twitter (@DSalita) and Facbook.

What other Salitas collectibles exist? What memorabilia associated with the fighter do you have in your Jewish boxing collection? Let JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers know by commenting below.