A sell-out, the February 27 event featured Jewish sportswriter and broadcaster Len Berman moderating a panel discussion that include three renowned Jewish baseball authors and two former Jewish Major Leaguers.
In an email following the festivities, Appel told JewishSportsCollectibles.com that Leavy shared with the crowd the story of Sandy Koufax attending her daughter's bat mitzvah.
"He doesn't like those sorts of things
because when he enters, 250 people come at him, it detracts from the
event, and engulfs him," Appel said, relaying Leavy's account of the day. "But he did this for Jane, who quickly hustled [Sandy] into a private study for peace and quiet prior to the ceremony.
the study was Emma, the bat mitzvah girl, and a friend of hers, a
boy. The boy asked Sandy how to throw a curve ball, and Sandy
demonstrated. The boy insisted he was wrong, that this is the
way you throw it.
"Amused, Sandy made the point that he had some
success with his style. The boy refused to budge and said Sandy was
not doing it right, he should do it his way.
"Finally, Sandy said, 'Look, this is how you $%^$E throw it!' The profanity was
ballplayer-talk, and brought the house down."
Several IBL veterans, including Nate Fish and Shlomo Lipetz, who coached and pitched with Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic qualifiers, and Secretary-General, Israel Association of Baseball Peter Kurz attended the function.
The event featured a display of Jewish baseball memorabilia, including autographed uniforms from Hank Greenberg, Sandy Koufax and a team signed Team Israel WBC jersey.
The artwork was auctioned during the event, with proceed benefiting AJHS.
The first 100 attendees who purchased $150 “reserved seats” received a gold-trimmed, limited edition set of the 2003 edition of Jewish Major Leaguers baseball cards, and attendees could also purchase JML card sets during the event.
I only wish I could have attended the AJHS Night of Jewish Baseball, instead of blogging about it from afar. Alas, I'm in Ohio and the event was held in New York City.
A Night of Jewish Baseball, AJHS, American Jewish Historical Society, Art Shamsky, Franklin Foer, Ira Berkow, Jane Leavy, Jewish Sports Collectibles, JewishSportsCollectibles.com, John Thorn, Len Berman, Ron Blomberg, Ron Lewis
A frequent signer, Blomberg items -- including signed and inscribed baseballs, photos, bats, jerseys and cards -- are plentiful on Beckett.com, eBay and Amazon.com. Collectors can also purchase memorabilia directly from Blomberg, via his website.
Art Shamsky Jewish Major Leaguers card. Photo courtesy of JSC.
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.
Ron Lewis Jewish Baseball lithograph. Photo courtesy of JewishBaseballPlayer.com and AJHS.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. And, stay tuned to JSC for pictures from the event in a future posting.
Collectors seeking Koufax cardboard have a wide variety of options.
Beckett.com lists 947 different Koufax cards in its online checklists. The Koufax card catalogue includes dozens of modern commemoratives that book for a few bucks, as well as vintage pasteboard and modern autograph inserts that can set you back thousands, even tens of thousands, of dollars.
The lefty's interesting cards include:
Koufax's Topps 1955 rookie and 1956 cards. Both feature beautiful designs and were among Topps' "All Time Fan Favorites" cards, as mentioned in a previous JSC.com posting.
The 2000 Upper Deck issued the Brooklyn Dodgers "Master Collection," a limited edition,15-card set numbered to 250 and 11 memorabilia chase cards.
The Koufax memorabilia card (LOF 11) includes an action shot of Koufax in full windup, over the exterior of Ebbett's Field. It includes an autograph and a swatch of one of the hall of famer's game-used jerseys. The card sells for $800-$1,800 on eBay.
Koufax also has a card in the 2003 debut Jewish Major Leaguers card set. His card is, in fact, the first in the set (JML 2003, #1). Like the lefty's other cardboard, the Koufax JML single commands a premium. The standard issue card sells for nearly $20 on eBay. Collectors should expect to pay as much as $65 for the gold limited edition card.
Despite the southpaw's notable public reclusiveness, there is no shortage of Koufax autographed baseballs on the market, for collectors wanting to put a signed orb on their mantle or in their display case.
Steiner Sports (fair warning: you'll inexcusably, in my opinion, be required to enter your email address in order to view the Steiner website!) offers five varieties of Koufax autographed balls, including signed balls with World Series, Perfect Game and Cy Young inscriptions, for $500-$1,000.
Amazon.com sellers offer more than 150 different Koufax autographed baseballs, including those offered by Steiner, Upper Deck and balls authenticated by James Spence and PSA/DNA. Cost varies widely by seller and inscription, but expect to pay at least $300.
Koufax signed jerseys -- both autographed and unsigned -- are also available on Amazon.com. Unsigned replica jerseys start at $75. Mounted Memories offers Koufax autographed jerseys -- including Mitchell & Ness home and away jerseys with a variety of inscriptions -- both on its site and Amazon. Prices range from $800-$1,000.
Vintage Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers team- and multi-signed jerseys, balls and bats occasionally come up for regularly bid at the marquee action houses. Given collector demand and the other Hall of Famers on the Dodgers squad, these always realize premium prices.
It's rare, however, to see a Koufax game-used jersey or glove on the auction market. And, when such items do go under gavel, they've commanded high-five- and even six-figure bids.
Koufax's signed 1966 World Series game-used leather -- which the pitcher autographed, inscribed and gifted to umpire Doug Harvey -- hammered for $107,550 during Heritage Auction Galleries' April 23-24, 2009 sale.
One of Koufax's signed, 1957 game-worn Brooklyn Dodgers road jersey gaveled for $77,675 during the September 11, 2004 sale by Heritage. A jersey like this would almost certainly realize more money now than it did 7 years ago, despite today's bleak economy.
If you like your collectibles hanging on the wall, there are numerous Koufax photos and artwork available for purchase.
Steiner Sports offers 15 Koufax photos. Expect to pay between $699-$1,400 for the unframed, autographed, 16X20 black and white images.
The same Steiner memorabilia is also available on Amazon.com. Purchasing through the Internet superstore can save budget-crunched collectors a few sheckels (as much as $150!).
Also available on Amazon.com are several Upper Deck Authenticated images of the southpaw, including the signed photo of Koufax celebrating his fourth no hitter shown to the right above.
The autographed displays will set you back approximately $1,000.
Koufax is also the subject of a well-known Leroy Neiman serigraph, pictured at right. Expect to pay $2,000-$6,000 on eBay for the print. Collectors with modest budgets can occassionaly find promotional postcards for the serigraph for about $10 on eBay .
I'd hoped to complete all of the profiles of the Jewish World Series MVPs during the World Series. This review of Sandy Koufax's collectibles took longer than expected, however, given the breadth of his available memorabilia.
While it may publish after the Series is over (come on Feldman and Kinsler!), stay tuned for a posting in the coming days on the cards and memorabilia of Steve Yeager -- who converted to Judaism after his career.
21: The Illustrated Journal of Outsider Baseball, Amazon.com, Beckett, Beckett Marketplace, Beckett.com, Big Book of Jewish Baseball, Brooklyn Dodgers, Day By Day in Jewish Sports, Dodgers, eBay, Ebbett's Field, Gary Joseph Cieradkowski, Infinite Baseball Card Set, James Spence, James Spence Authentication, Jewish Major Leaguers, Jews and Baseball, Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story, Larry Sherry, Leroy Neiman, Los Angeles Dodgers, Most Valuable Player Award, Mounted Memories, MountedMemories.com, no hitter, PSA/DNA, Sandy Koufax, serigraph, SI.com, signed photos, Sports Illustrated, Sports Illustrated's Classic Cover Collection, Steiner Sports, SteinerSports.com, Steve Yeager, The Baseball Talmud, Topps, Upper Deck, Upper Deck Authenticated, vintage photos, World Series, World Series MVP
The rear of the box included the series checklist. $100 might have purchased me a HOF plaque signed by Jewish Hall of Famers Lou Boudreau (commence arguing: Is he? Isn't he?), Hank Greenberg or Sandy Koufax.
For me, the $100 was too much. For some, the thrill of the pull might justify the cash.
If you're interested in the cards, but don't want to pay full price, sellers are offering unopened boxes of Legends of the Hall on eBay for less than $100.
As it marks its 60th anniversary of producing baseball cards, Topps is asking fans to vote for their favorite cards of the last 60 years. Among the nominees are three cards for Hall of Fame pitcher, and Jewish baseball fan favorite, Sandy Koufax.
From a Topps news release about the voting process:
"For 60 years, Topps has offered its collectors the best baseball cards in the world and now, the question will finally be addressed: What is the most popular Topps baseball card of all-time?Today,The Topps Company, the leading creator and marketer of sports cards and the official baseball card company of Major League Baseball®, announced the company’s plans to let collectors answer that question in its efforts to determine the top 60 cards in its illustrious history.
To celebrate the company’s 60th anniversary, beginning today, fans will have the chance to go to http://vote.topps.com to vote for their favorite Topps baseball cards of all-time. Voting will be live for 30 days. Based on the opinions of avid card collectors and Topps fans, the cards will be counted down from number 60 beginning on December 18 through February 15 when the greatest baseball card in Topps history will be revealed."
The three Koufax cards included for consideration in the voting are the lefty's 1955, 1956 and 1957 issues.
I'm partial to horizontal designs, and my favorite of the three options is the 1956 card, which combines a beautiful portrait and action shot of Koufax.