The New York Times' Bats blog today featured an interesting entry on the newest Jewish Major Leaguer and collectibles superstar, Ike Davis.
The article describes Davis's Jewish heritage, particularly his given name, Isaac.
From the article:
Ike Davis's Real First Name Has A History of Its Own
"… But Davis’s real first name is Isaac and it has its origins in the Jewish tradition of naming children after deceased relatives.
Davis’s mother, Millie, is Jewish, and she named her son after her
grandfather. Davis said a large portion of his family on his mother’s
side, which was from Lithuania, perished in the Holocaust. He learned
about his family’s history by doing family trees as part of school
projects. He said his great aunt on his mother’s side was a Holocaust
survivor who came to the United States, and it was initially through
her that the family story has been preserved."
The article mentions Davis's reaction to being compared to several other Jews who played for New York teams, including Shawn Green, Art Shamsky, Sandy Koufax, Scott Schoenweis.
“I’m aware of it,” he said of the inevitable
interest in his background, “but it’s not really something I’m looking
to promote. I’m just here to play baseball and help the Mets to win.”
A great attitude from Davis, although I doubt it will do anything to diminish Jewish fans' pride in one of their own. If anything, I think Davis's humility will help stoke interest in him as a player and for collectors of his memorabilia.