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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.

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

MLB New Jew Review: Josh Zeid


Josh Zeid Topps Pro Debut solo signature card
Josh Zeid 2011 Topps Pro Debut solo signature card.
Photo courtesy of JSC.
Reliever Josh Zeid made his big league pitching debut on July 30 with the Houston Astros, joining Nate Freiman and Kevin Pillar among the ranks of the newest Jewish Major Leaguers.

Zeid, a 6'4" righty, was drafted by the Phillies in 2009, according to JewishBaseballNews.com. He was traded to the Astros in 2011, in the Phillies deal for Hunter Pence.

A veteran of the Arizona Fall League in 2010, Zeid also pitched for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic in 2012.

Jewish baseball collectors have access to cards and memorabilia associated with the big righty.

Zeid's pasteboard includes several cards from Topps and Bowman. Among them are 2011 Topps Pro Debut autographed cards (pictured right), two different 2011 Topps Heritage Minor League cards, and 2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects issues.

Short-prints and color variations of Heritage and Prospect cards exist.

All of these cards show Zeid in Phillies or Phillies minor league team uniforms.

His minor league cards include team issues from the 2009 Williamsport Crosscutters, 2010 Lakewood Blue Claws, 2012 Corpus Christi Hooks and 2013 Oklahomoa City RedHawks.

For a checklist of Zeid's cards, see Beckett.com.

Zeid's cards are plentiful, even the signed and limited edition issues. They sell for between $0.01 and $5 on eBay, Amazon.com and the Beckett Marketplace.

At the time of this posting, Zeid does not yet have any memorabilia, other than his baseball cards, available on eBay. This is certain to change in the future.

Nor does Zeid have any collectibles for sale in the Astros online shop, although collectors could customize jerseys to include his name and number.

Josh Zeid pitching for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic.
Josh Zeid pitching for Team Israel in the WBC. Photo courtesy of JewishLedger.com.

Zeid does not have any photos available in the MLB Photo Store. In the meantime, collectors can find images of Zeid online, many that would make nice additions to any photo collection. These include pictures of Zeid in his Team Israel uniform.

Following Israel's loss to Spain in the WBC Qualifiers, Zeid auctioned off his signed, game-worn cleats, with a portion of the auction's proceeds benefiting the Texas Children's Hospital.

Zeid has, during his minor league career, been a generous through-the-mail signer. He autographed several cards for me while with the Phillies farm teams and during his time in the Arizona Fall League.

Josh Zeid signed ticket
Josh Zeid signs for fans.
Photo courtesy of ZackHample.mlblogs.com.

As this image from Zach Hample's Baseball Collector blog on MLB.com shows, Zeid has been a willing in-person signer during his brief MLB career. Let's hope this trend continues in the future.

Zeid is an active user of social media. Tweet collectors can follow Zeid on Twitter.

Have you had the chance to meet Zeid or get his autograph? What other Josh Zeid cards or memorabilia might exist? Let JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers know by commenting below.


Ryan Braun Public Signing

Topps Triple Threads Hebrew Hammer
Ryan Braun 2012 Topps Triple Threads Hebrew Hammer card. Photo courtesy of BlowOutCards.com.
Legends of the Field, a Wisconsin-based sports card shop and memorabilia dealer, is scheduled to host a public signing with Jewish Major Leaguer Ryan Braun on Saturday, June 8, 2013 from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. in Mequon, WI.

The event is Braun's first public signing in five years, according to the company's web site (read about some of Braun's previous private signings here).

Collectors can purchase a variety of baseballs, bats, helmets, photos and artwork for signature. Jewish baseball collectors can also submit their own items to be autographed.

Collectors unable to attend the event in person can send in items to be signed, but memorabilia must be delivered to Legends of the Field by no later than Thursday, June 6.

Autographs on baseballs and flat items, less than 16"X20" cost $149.99. Signatures on premium items, including bats, helmets, jerseys, etc., cost $179.99. Inscriptions cost $79.99 each.

Additional information about the signing and items available for purchase is available on Legends of the Field's site, or by calling Legends of the Field at (262) 367-1300. 

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2013-topps-opening-day-baseball-cards-box
Topps 2013 Opening Day cards. Photo courtesy of Topps.com.

Braun is featured on the packaging for Topps' 2013 Opening Day card products, and Jewish baseball collectors have access to thousands of Braun cards. These include minor and major league cards of all form and fashions, with dozens of limited edition, autograph and memorabilia card varieties (Beckett.com shows 2,700+ different cards for Braun).

Among Braun's cards area 2012 Topps Triple Threads autographed memorabilia card bearing Braun's "Hebrew Hammer" nickname (pictured above).

There are thousands of other Braun cards and collectibles listed on eBay, and available for direct purchase in the Beckett.com MarketplaceAmazon.com, the MLB.com Shop and MLB Photo Store.

These include cards; bobble heads and figurines; photos; jerseys; bats; tickets associated with notable games; programs, yearbooks and other ephemera.

Jewish Baseball Players artwork
Jewish Baseball Players artwork. Photo courtesy of JewishBaseballPlayer.com.
Braun is also featured in the Jewish Baseball Players limited edition lithograph by sports artist Ron Lewis and promoter Greg Harris.

The Brewers star is also the subject of several Sports Illustrated covers, as detailed in this JewishSportsCollectibles.com posting. Collectors can purchase back issues of SI from Amazon.com or eBay, and can buy reprinted from SportsIllustrated.com.

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What Braun memorabilia should JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers know about? What Ryan Braun memorabilia do you have in your Jewish baseball collection?

Do you plan to attend or buy anything from the upcoming Braun signing?

Let JSC.com by commenting below.


Welcome Back, Danny Valencia

Danny Valencia
Danny Valencia. Photo courtesy of MLB.com, Orioles.com.
Danny Valencia has been called up from the minors by the Baltimore Orioles, according to JewishBaseballNews.com.

Valencia made his Major League debut in 2010 with the Minnesota Twins. He batted .311, swatted 7 HRs and 40 RBIs over 85 games, and garnered enough votes to finish third in the A.L. Rookie of the Year polling, according to JBallNews. After a significant sophomore slump in 2011, Valencia was sent to the minors by the Twins in 2011 and then traded to the Red Sox, for whom he appeared in just 10 games before being traded to the O's in the off-season.

Valencia had a strong showing with Baltimore in 2013 Spring Training, but started the season with the AAA Norfolk Tides. He performed well in the International League, batting .306 in 40 games with 11 HRs, 14 doubles and 35 RBIs before his call-up.  

Recalled on Sunday, May 19, the newest Jewish Major Leaguer whacked a double in his first at-bat of his first game with the O's.

Jewish baseball collectors have access to numerous of Valencia cards and memorabilia.

Valencia has more than 200 different cards, according to Beckett.com

This includes a wide variety of big league issues from Topps and Bowman. In addition to his standard cards, Valencia's pasteboard includes dozens of limited edition color variations, autographed and memorabilia cards, and serial numbered limited edition printings.

Danny Valencia 2012 Topps Danny Valencia 2011 Topps Triple Threads    Danny Valencia 2010 Topps Update RC  Danny Valencia 2011 Gypsy Queen

Among my favorites are Valencia's 2010 Topps Update Rookie card, 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen, 2011 Topps Triple Threads autographed memorabilia, and 2012 Topps cards, pictured above.

Danny Valencia New Britain Rock Cats
Danny Valencia New Britain Rock Cats card. Photo courtesy of eBay.
Valencia's minor league cards include team issues from the 2005 Glacier Pilots, 2006 Elizabethton Twins, 2007 Beloit Snappers, 2008 Fort Meyers Miracle, 2009 New Britain Rock Cats, 2010 Rochester Red Wings, as well as 2009 AA and 2010 AAA Top Prospects cards.

All of these cards are available on eBay, Amazon.com and in the Beckett.com Marketplace.

Minor league cards collectors can also look on MinorLeagueNetwork.comSTB Sports, and MinorLeagueSingles.com.

Prices vary widely, depending on the seller and the scarcity of the card you seek. 

Danny Valencia Signed Ball
Danny Valencia signed ball. Photo courtesy of eBay.

Among the Valencia memorabilia available on eBay and Amazon.com at the time of this posting were signed bats, baseballs, jerseys, batting gloves and mini helmets, along with a variety of autographed and unsigned photos. Prices range from $30-a few dollars to more than $250, depending on the item.

As always, buyers beware. 

Two photos featuring Valencia in his Twins uniform are available for purchase on the MLB.com Photo Store

Valencia Walkoff
Danny Valencia walk-off hit. Photo courtesy of MLB.com Photo Store. Photo by Hannah Foslien, Getty Images.
This includes an image of his teammates mobbing Valencia after an extra-innings game-winning hit. 

No Valencia memorabilia is available for sale in the MLB.com Shop, as of this posting.

In 2010, following his call up to the Majors during his rookie campaign for the Twins, I obtained a through-the-mail autograph from Valencia. I've subsequently mailed to him during Spring Training on two different occassions, without success. Has anyone else obtained Valencia's signature, either in person or through-the-mail.

What Valencia cards and memorabilia do you have in your Jewish baseball collection? Have you met him? Let JSC 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.