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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.


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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Auction Preview: Hunt Auctions

B'nai B'rith ProgramHunt Auctions' May Internet/Phone auction includes several items of interest to Jewish sports collectors.

One of the auction's featured lots an event program from the September 20, 1959 B'nai B'rith Annual Awards Dinner held at the Boston Sports Lodge.

An interesting piece of Jewish ephemera in its own right, the program's autographs add its attractiveness to sports collectors.

Baseball Hall of Famer Ty Cobb, baseball/basketball player Gene Conley, baseball/basketball player and Rifleman actor Chuck Connors, boxing great Jack Dempsey, Jewish football Hall of Famer Benny Friedman, billiards great Willie Mosconi, the "father of amateur golf" Francis Ouimet, and John Quinn signed on the cover. 

Tennis champion Don Budge, Chuck Connors, basketball Hall of Famer Bob Cousy and Olympian Jesse Owens autographed the program's interior pages.

As of this posting, the bid on the program was $363. It is expected to realize $500-$750.

Among the other notable lots in the sale:

Bidding on the sale closes May 23. To search for individual items, visit HuntAuctions.com and search the current auction.

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Editor's Note: As I am able, I plan to spotlight on JewishSportsCollectibles.com Jewish sports cards and memorabilia up for bid in major auctions. If you are aware of any auction houses I should follow, please email jsportscollectr@gmail.com.


Ryan Braun Latest MOT To Make SI Cover

Ryan Braun SI Cover Jewish Major Leaguer Ryan Braun is the latest MOT to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated.

The Milwaukee Brewers star joins teammate Prince Fielder on the front page of the August 29 magazine.

This marks the second time the Brewers "Hebrew Hammer" has been on an SI cover. He was also featured on the magazine's March 31, 2008 issue.

Braun's cover means Jewish sports collectors who want to build a library of Sports Illustrated issues with MOTs on the cover can now have more than two dozen items on their shelves.

JewishSportsCollectibles.com featured a previous list of SI cover boys and girls when Duke hoops hero and MOT Jon Scheyer was featured on the front page of the vaunted magazine's April 10, 2010 issue.

I accidentally omitted several cover stars from that original list (thanks to the helpful reader who commented and corrected my mistake). Below then, is a (hopefully!) complete list of Jews on SI covers. Please note, this list includes athletes like David Beckham and Pete Sampras, who have Jewish heritage but may not themselves be practicing Jews.

 

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Baseball  

 Koufax SI CoverRon Blomberg
July 2, 1973

Ryan Braun
August 29, 2011
March 31, 2008

Sandy Koufax
March 4, 1963
April 13, 1964
December 20, 1965
May 15, 1967
July 12, 1999
October 9, 2006

Al Rosen

April 18, 1955


Basketball


Duke cover

Art Heyman

October 28, 1963

Ernie Grunfeld
February 9, 1976

Jon Scheyer
April 12, 2010

Jamila Wideman
March 17, 1997

 

 



Football

Art Modell SI Cover
Lyle Alzado

July 8, 1991

Jay Fiedler
October 1, 2001

Art Modell
December 4, 1995 

 

 

 

 


Hockey

Matthieu Schneider
June 14, 1993


Soccer

David Beckham
July 16, 2007


Tennis

Boris Becker
September 18, 1989

Pete Sampras
July 11, 1994
July 14, 1997
September 17, 1990


Olympic Sports

Mark Spitz 1972 SI Cover
Sarah Hughes

March 4, 2002

Mark Spitz
July 22, 1968
September 4, 1972

Suzy Weiner (with Mark Spitz)
May 14, 1973


Other

Howard Cosell SI Cover
Charles Goren
(bridge)

Oct. 14, 1957
May 23, 1960

Bob and Bus Mosbacher (sailing)
May 18, 1959

Toots Shor (restaurateur)
July 27, 1959

Howard Cosell (sportscaster)
August 8, 1983

Bar Refeali (swimsuit model)
February 11, 2009
 

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Did I miss any Jewish SI cover figures in this go 'round? Disagree with any of the listings? Let me know by commenting below.

Visit Sports Illustrated's Classic Cover Collection if you're interested in buying photo reproductions of any of the above Sports Illustrated covers. eBay is a good source for purchasing hard copies of SI back issues.

Adam Stern Makes 12 JMLs

The 2010 Major League baseball season started with enough MOTs to make a minyan (10 players).

Adam stern 2008 JML oriolesWith the May 12 call up of Canadian MOT Adam Stern from Triple-A Nashville -- as reported in the Jews In Baseball blog, and other sources -- the roster of JMLs now numbers an even dozen, if only for a while.

After a long lay-off -- Stern last played in the majors in 2007 -- the Brewers called up Stern to replace Carlos Gomez, who landed on the 15-day DL. Stern, who isn't expected to do more than serve as Gomez's temporary replacement, may last a bit longer, however.

As reported by Ron Kaplan, MOT superstar Ryan Braun got beaned, and has limited mobility of his elbow. Stern may stick around for a while longer if Braun goes down for anything beyond Gomez's time on the injury list.

Prior to his recent promotion, Stern played 46 games in the majors during parts of three seasons with the Red Sox and Orioles. He also starred on the Canadian Olympic baseball team in 2008 and the 2006 Canadian World Baseball Classic squad. As such, he's got a fair number of baseball cards for anyone seeking to add to their collection.

Stern was included in the 2007 Jewish Major Leaguers issue, on both a single player (#16) and a multi-player card (#58 featuring the four Jewish Red Sox in 2006 -- Stern, Kevin Youkilis, Gabe Kapler and Craig Breslow). The 2008 (#14) and 2010 (#23) editions of JML show Stern in his Orioles uniform.

Stern's mainstream cardboard -- most of which sell for $1 or less on eBay and Beckett -- includes:

  • 2001 Upper Deck Prospect Premiere (#18)
  • 2003 Topps Traded (#T232) and Bowman (#312)
  • 2006 Fleer World Baseball Classic (#7) and SPx WBC All-World Team (#3).

As a longtime minor league player, Stern also has MiLB cards with the PawSox (2006), Norfolk Tides (2007) and Huntsville Stars (2009).

Adam stern - WBCAdam stern - michaelAdam stern     Adam stern 2003 TT


Stern has been a gracious through-the-mail signer at all of his stops; I've mailed cards several times and received quick responses -- most personalized and inscribed -- each time.

It was my experience when the PawSox came through Columbus several years ago that Stern was a willing signer, but was tough before games as he took warm-ups seriously.

Any one else have TTM or in-person experiences with Stern? Other than baseball cards, does anyone have any unique Stern collectibles in their collection?