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Zach Boren Attending NFL Combine, Appearing At Cleveland Auto Show

Zach Boren photo
Zach Boren autographed photo.
Courtesy of JewishSportsCollectibles.com.
At least one Jewish collegiate football player -- Zach Boren, the fullback/linebacker from The Ohio State University Buckeyes -- will be attending the February 23-26 NFL Scouting Combine, after which he's schedule to sign autographs at the Cleveland Auto Show.

A tenacious blocker and stalwart defender, who was key in helping the Buckeyes to an undefeated season in 2012, Boren is the younger brother of Justin Boren -- a former Michigan transfer and OSU player.

An offensive lineman, Justin went undrafted in 2011 and has been signed by the Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos, but has seen no game action.

Zach and Justin's father is former Michigan linebacker Mike Boren.

While their names have been absent from recent Jewish Sports Review football lists, the Boren family is Jewish, according to this article from Cleveland.com and Zack's Wikipedia page.

I met Zach during a December 16, 2012  appearance and autograph signing at Giant Eagle (a large chain of Midwest grocery stores) in Zach's hometown of Pickerington, Ohio. It was there that I obtained  the above signed photo of him standing over Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner, who Boren blasted on a sack during the 2012 OSU/Michigan game.

During our brief conversation, I told Boren about JewishSportsCollectibles.com and asked him if I could feature him on the web site.

Zack said that while he didn't actively practice Judaism, “being on the website would make my elders proud.”

Jewish football enthusiasts have the opportunity to add numerous Boren photos to their collections.

Zach Boren Running Dispatch
Zach Boren running. Photo courtesy of Columbus Dispatch.
The Columbus Dispatch Photo Store offers a wide variety of images featuring Boren available for purchase. These include offense and defensive action shots, like the iconic image of Boren standing over Michigan quarterback Gardner from “The Game”), as well as more casual sideline shots of Boren with teammates.

Boren has been a regular on the signing circuit this winter in Central Ohio. He's done public signings at a variety of sports memorabilia stores, including Sports Possessions, and shows. For a complete list of Boren's past and future appearances, visit SigningsHotline.com or BuckeyeSignings.com.

Boren is scheduled to appear at the Cleveland Auto Show after the Combine on Tuesday, February 26 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Autographs at the show are limited to one per person and are not guaranteed.

Zach Boren signing photo
Zach Boren autographs a picture in December 2012. Photo courtesy
of JSC.com.

Collectors who have the chance to meet Boren will likely come away from the experience pleased.

Boren was pleasant during our brief meeting at Giant Eagle in December. He took photos and chatted with fans throughout the time I observed him.

The same was true when I had occasion to meet Zach and Justin at a charitable function in 2009. The Boren Brothers each graciously signed OSU pocket schedules for me at that time.

Justin and Zach Boren signed OSU Football schedules. Photo courtesy of JewishSportsCollectibles.com.
Justin (l) and Zach Boren (r) signed OSU Football pocket schedules.
Photo courtesy of JSC.com.
Zach's 2012 autograph looks very similar to his 2009 signature.

Beyond the photos of Boren from the Columbus Dispatch, I know of no other collectibles for the versatile Buckeye .

Other items, including team programs, yearbooks, magazines, etc., must certainly exist.

A search of the OSU Official Online Store for Boren items yielded no results. The online shop does, however, offer collectors the ability to purchase a memorabilia suitable for getting autographed by Boren and other players, including a variety of 2012 undefeated season items.

If Boren performs well at the combine and sees action in the NFL -- where he'd join fellow Buckeye and Jewish football player Nate Ebner of the New England Patriots -- he'll likely be the subject of future football cards.

In the meantime, fans can follow Boren on Twitter

Do any JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers have any Boren memorabilia in their collections? Let JSC know by commenting below.


2012-2013 Football Preview

NFL ShieldThe football season kicks off tonight. There are 10 Jews and players with Jewish heritage (talk amongst yourselves, but I'm taking a big tent approach!) -- many of whom have memorabilia available to Jewish pigskin collectors -- among the players on teams 2012/2013 rosters.

This year's roster of Gridiron MOTs includes:

The-not-nearly-complete list of collectibles associated with each player who will start follows ...

Greg Camarillo

Greg Camarillo 2009 UD
Greg Camarillo 2009 Upper Deck. Photo courtesy of eBay.
Camarillio has more than 50 cards available in the Beckett Marketplace. These include standard issue 2008-2010 pasteboard from Score, Upper Deck and Topps, along with a bevy of signed cards.

Most of the wide receiver/punt returner's cards sell for under $5, with a few of the limited editions booking for as much as $12-20.

Signed photos of the Stanford grad, in both his college and pro uniforms, are available on eBay for between $10-25. Football programs (typically $10 or less) can also be found on the auction giant; they typically sell for $10 or less, depending on the opponent.

 

Gabe Carimi Crown Royal
Gabe Carimi Crown Royale card. Photo courtesy of eBay.
Gabe Carimi

The Wisconsin grad is, truly, a "monster of the Midway." A highly-touted rookie, Carimi has nearly two dozen cards available in the Beckett Marketplace.

A search of eBay yields the "Hebrew Bear's" 2011 Senior Bowl Card ($1.25), several signed photos, a Combine worn and signed Under Armour shirt and a Rose Bowl worn and autographed warm-up jacket. As always, buyer beware.


Brian de la PuentaBrian de la Puente

The Beckett Marketplace shows no cards available for the New Orleans Saints offensive guard, who's mother has Jewish heritage, as reported on Kaplan's Korner on Jews and Sports.

Searching eBay may prove more fruitful for for Jewish football collectors seeking de la Puenta memorabilia. The auction site offers a Saints practice jersey, signed gloves and a jersey name plate, along with Vikings tickets and a program.

What de la Puenta collectibles do you have on your shelf? Anything from his college playing days with Cal?

Julian Edelman

Julian Edelman
Julian Edelman Exquisite LE Signature card. Photo courtesy of eBay.

The Beckett Marketplace offers a selection of nearly two dozen Edelman cards, ranging from $0.25-$15. These include standard issue as well as memorabilia and autograph cards.

Offerings on eBay include Edelman's cards, signed photos, autographed jerseys and footballs. As always, buyer beware.
 
Antonio GarayAntonio Garay
Still no cards -- yet -- for this former practice squad player (check out this terrific, feel good article about Garay from the San Diego Jewish World), according to Beckett.

An eBay search yielded Garay's autograph on a Chargers team signed helmet and an autographed index card.

This is both a bummer -- and an opportunity -- for collectors. Does anyone have any Garay memorabilia in their collections?

Erik Lorig

Erik LorigeBay offerings include a team signed ball and a Stanford media guide, but there are no cards yet for the dual threat full back/tight end, according to Beckett.

Do you know if Lorig is featured in any other Stanford collectibles? Has anyone had success obtaining Lorig's signature through the mail?

Taylor Mays Bowman
Taylor Mays 2010 Bowman Sterling. Photo courtesy of eBay.
Taylor Mays

As a highly-touted rookie out of USC, Mays started his career with the 49ers and was traded to the Bengals. The Beckett Marketplace includes 60 cards for Mays, including standard issues, autograph and limited editions cards.

A wide range of the safety's collectibles, in all price points, including jerseys, signed photos, helmets, etc. can be found on eBay.

Adam PodleshAdam Podlesh
Sadly, Beckett offers no cards for the Bears punter.

An eBay search shows several signed photos, including pictures of the punter in both his professional and college uniforms, and a Maryland 'Terps program. Other memorabilia includes Bears team signed items with Podlesh's autograph.

Certainly the outspoken punter is featured in other media guides, team publications, etc. What do you have in your collection?

Sage Rosenfels
Sage Rosenfels Press Pass rookie card. Photo courtesy of eBay.
Sage Rosenfels
The veteran back-up QB has perfected the art of carrying the clipboard on the sideline. This begs the question, will Rosenfels even have a shot at seeing the field in 2012?

For collectors, the answer may not matter. Rosenfels has a slew of cards, dating back to his 2001 rookie campaign.

Beckett search results in more than 150 different cards. This includes dozens from the major issues, and numerous special inserts, relic cards, etc. Prices range from less than $1 to about $20 for some of the rarest memorabilia cards. 

Rosenfels fans can a find game-used equipment, signed photos and team-signed memorabilia at a variety of price points on eBay, in addition to the QBs football cards. As always, buyer beware.

Geoff SchwartzGeoff Schwartz
Offensive lineman play a critical role in the success, or failure, of any team's offernse. They big men, however, often toil in obscurity, insofar as their collectibles are concerned.

Such is the case for Geoff, who is best known as the big brother to Cleveland Browns draftee Mitchell Schwartz.

Unfortunately for collectors, Beckett shows no cards for the Vikings o-tackle. Collectors can find several Oregon Ducks programs that include Schwartz The Elder, along with an unsigned photo and several team autographed items that include the lineman's signature on eBay.

What Schwartz collectibles do you have in your collection? Anything from his college days with the Oregon Ducks?

Mitchell Schwartz

Mitchell Schwartz Senior Card
Mitchell Schwartz Senior Bowl Card. Photo courtesy of eBay.
Mitchell Schwartz is the only Jewish player from drafted in 2012 to land a roster spot. The second round pick of the Cleveland Browns (read more about Schwartz and the Jewish undrafted free agent signers in this JSC posting) has a limited edition Senior Bowl facsimile signature card, which sells for $1-$15 (the more expensive cards have been autographed) on eBay and $1.50 on Beckett.com.

Collectors can find Cal Bears helmets, jerseys, logo footballs, tickets, programs, yearbooks and other ephemera (including this poster schedule) on eBay and Amazon.com.

 

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The 2011/2012 Jewish football players and 2012 draftees currently without a home, due to late roster cuts and other circumstances, are:

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I may have missed some players, and I'm sure I've missed numerous collectibles in highlighting the offerings above. What can you add to the list? What's your favorite collectible associated with the current Jewish NFL players? Let JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers know by commenting below.

 

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NFL Draft New Jew Review

Three Jewish football players joined the ranks of "JFLers" during this past weekend's 2012 National Football League draft and subsequent signings by teams of undrafted free agents, according to TheGreatRabbino.com.

Mitchell Schwartz, drafted by the Cleveland Browns, has a Senior Bowl card, and collectors have access to a variety of college logo merchandise associated with undrafted free agents Alex Hoffman-Ellis and Alex Gottlieb.

Mitchell Schwartz

Mitchell Schwartz Draft ImageThe Cleveland Browns drafted Mitchell Schwartz, an offensive lineman who played at Cal, in the second round.

Mitchell Schwartz Senior CardAs detailed in this article from the Jewish Journal, the selection creates a Jewish o-line duo in the NFL, where Mitchell joins his older brother, Geoff Schwartz (as detailed in JewishSportsCollectibles.com's 2011-2012 football preview, the elder Schwartz has no specific professional collectibles).

Mitchell does has a limited edition Senior Bowl facsimile signature card, which sells for $1-$6 (the more expensive cards have been autographed) on eBay and $1.50 on Beckett.com.

According to eBay listings, the Senior Bowl cards are 3"X5" with blank backs. They are available only to fans attending the Senior Bowl Fan Frenzy in Mobile, AL in January.

While I found no other specific Schwartz collectibles in an eBay search, collectors can find Cal Bears helmets, jerseys, logo footballs, tickets, programs, yearbooks and other ephemera (including this poster schedule) on eBay and Amazon.com.

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Alex Hoffman-EllisAlex Hoffman-Ellis

The St. Louis Rams signed Alex Hoffman-Ellis, an outsider linebacker who played his college football with the Washington State Cougars and discussed his Jewish heritage in this interview with TheGreatRabbino.com, as an undrafted free agent. 

As of this posting, I found no specific Hoffman-Ellis collectibles found on eBay or Beckett.com.

eBay  and Amazon.com do, however, provide collectors with numerous opportunities to purchase numerous Washington State football collectibles including team logo footballs, mini-helmets, jerseys, etc. 

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Alex GottliebAlex Gottlieb

The Detroit Lions inked Alex Gottlieb as an undrafted free agent, as the former William & Mary TE announced on Twitter

Neither eBay nor Beckett show specific Gottlieb collectibles.

Amazon.com and eBay do offer collectors plenty of William & Mary merchandise, including logo hats, flags, etc. though. 

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Mitchell Schwartz is likely to play this season for the Browns. If he does, will you attempt to get any Schwartz Brothers memorabilia for your Jewish football collection?

It remains to be seen whether Hoffman-Ellis and Gottlieb will make their teams for the 2012-2013 season. Do you have any of the undrafted free agents' college memorabilia in your Jewish football collection? Let JSC.com know by commenting below.


Greenberg to Coach Maccabiah Basketball

Seth Greenberg VT PhotoFormer Virginia Tech basketball coach Seth Greenberg [Editor's note: Greenberg was coach at VA Tech when this post was published on April 17; he was fired April 23, as reported in this article] has been named coach of the U.S. Maccabiah Games men’s basketball team for the July 2013 Maccabiah Games in Israel, according to this JTA article that appeared on JewishJournal.com.

Greenberg, one of several Jewish basketball coaches in the NCAA, has a career record of 383-293, in 22 seasons as a collegiate head coach, and a 170-123 record in nine seasons at Virginia Tech. He was inducted into the The National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in April 2010.

“This volunteer position is important to me because any time you can represent your country and your faith in the same event, it’s something very special,” Greenberg said in a statement.

Jewish basketball fans have ample opportunities to add Greenberg memorabilia to their collections.

Seth Greenberg UD World of Sports AutographGreenberg is featured on two, 2010 Upper Deck World of Sports cards -- a base card (2010 WOS #375) and an autographed version (2010 WOS Autographs #375) -- and a base card in Upper Deck's 2011 World of Sports series (2011 WOS #83), according to Beckett.com

The base cards sell for $0.75-$3.00 in the Beckett Marketplace and for similar prices on eBay. Greenberg's autographed card fetches $12-$15 on eBay.

Seth Greenberg SPPhotos of the coach -- signed and unsigned -- are also available on eBay. The VaTech Photo Store also offers a variety of photos of Greenberg.

VT BasketballCollectors can also purchase an official VT replica basketball through the Hokie's online gift shop

Although it requires a bit more filtering, collectors can find programs, used game tickets, and media guides from Greenberg's tenure with Virginia Tech on eBay.

Similar items from the coach's previous employers, and even his playing days during the 1970s at Fairleigh Dickinson University, can no doubt be found by collectors with patience (visit eBay to search on vintage FDU sports memorabilia).

Maccabiah Games LogoAnd, while the July 2013 Maccabiah Games are still a year away, there is bound to be collectibles associated with the event -- including programs, media guides, tickets and other commemorative items.

Do you have any Seth Greenberg memorabilia in your Jewish basketball collection? Do you plan on buying any Maccabiah Games collectibles?

Let JewishSportsCollectibles.com know by commenting below.

Top photo courtesy Hokies Photo Store.