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Sports Illustrated Cover Jews

Updated April 4, 2013

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

Below 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. 



 Koufax SI Cover

Ron 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



Duke cover
Art Heyman

October 28, 1963

Ernie Grunfeld
February 9, 1976

Jon Scheyer
April 12, 2010

Jamila Wideman
March 17, 1997



Art Modell SI Cover
Lyle Alzado

July 8, 1991

Jay Fiedler
October 1, 2001

Robert Kraft
February 6, 2012

Art Modell
December 4, 1995 



Matthieu Schneider
June 14, 1993



David Beckham
July 16, 2007



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

Aly Raisman
July 23, 2012

Mark Spitz
July 22, 1968
September 4, 1972

Suzy Weiner (with Mark Spitz)
May 14, 1973



Howard Cosell SI Cover
Charles Goren
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


Did I miss any Jewish SI cover figures ? Disagree with any of the listings? Let 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 and are a good source for purchasing hard copies of SI back issues.

Jews on MLS Rosters?

Columbus Crew Logo Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew are hosting Jewish Heritage Night on Wednesday, September 14.

Plans include having a local Jewish choir sing the National Anthem and stadium vendors offering a selection of Kosher food.

This news got me thinking ...

I know several Jews played on the 2010 U.S. World Cup team.

David Beckham UD World of Sports Wikipedia offers a list of Jewish soccer players. Not on the list is David Beckham, although the Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder's maternal grandfather was Jewish and he says he considers himself "half Jewish" (let the arguments begin!). Beckett and eBay offer a wide range of Beckham memorabilia at a variety of price points.

The Crew roster includes Cole Grossman. I'm not sure if he's Jewish, though, and The Crew media relations department didn't respond to my inquiry. Can any readers confirm? In any event, Beckett shows no cards for Grossman; an eBay search yielded his autograph on a Crew team signed ball and jersey.

So ... Are there Jewish players on any of Major League Soccer team rosters? If so, what memorabilia do they have?

Can any readers help? I'd welcome your comments and suggestions.


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World Cup Follow-Up: Argentina's MOT Walter Samuel

With apologies to Argentina's Walter Samuel, I offer this update ... better late than never, right?

Walter samuel 2006 card

As I'm not a soccer fan, I managed to overlook the inclusion of Walter Samuel, an MOT and defender on the Argentine national team. Kudos to The Great Rabbino for flagging Samuel's inclusion on the Argentine team roster.

According to Wikipedia: "Samuel is of Jewish ethnicity. Walter Samuel himself stated he is aware of the fact he is Jewish, but it doesn't play a major role in his life." In this regard, how much different is he than most American Jewish baseball players?

Considered "as the best Jewish player in the world today," (thanks, TGR!) Samuel has played in the World Cup and for Roma and Real Madrid in the European professional leagues.


El Moro's ("The Wall") has a fair number of collectibles available, especially if you're willing to buy internationally.

Available on the global auction bazaar known as eBay are team signed jerseys and balls bearing Samuel's signature. Expect to pay upwards of $200, and be careful of authenticity issues.

For collectors with more limited means, Samuel's pasteboards all sell for $1 or less on Beckett, and slightly higher on eBay. His cards include: 

  • 2002 Panini World Cup #22
  • 2006 Panini World Cup #42
  • 2010 Panini World Cup #111

Do you have any of the Argentine's memorabilia in your collection?

Team USA's World Cup MOTs

Today's frantic come-back (and near win) means that Team USA, and it's three Jewish players, are not yet out of the action in FIFA’s World Cup soccer tournament.

When the U.S. team takes the pitch, as many as three Jewish players on the roster could see action.

Jonathan bornstein  Benny feilhaber Jonathan spector

Jonathan Bornstein (left), Benny Feilhaber (center) and Jonathan Spector (right) have been the subject of coverage in Ron Kaplan’s blog (despite his protests about not liking soccer, Ron is topical!).

Bornstein mls card Bornstein has several soccer cards. These include:

  • 2007 Upper Deck MLS (#16)
  • 2007 UD MLS Perfect Pitch (#PP17)
  • 2008 UD MLS (#13)
  • 2008 UD MLS Materials (#MM12)
  • 2009 UD MLS (#105)
  • 2008 UD MLS All-Stars (#AS3)
  • 2010 UD MLS (#13)
  • 2010 Panini Adrenalyn World Cup XL (#26)

Bornstein's common cards sell for less than $1 to as much as $2 on Beckett and eBay. The memorabilia card can be obtained for $10 or so.

Benny feilhaber SP Jonathan spector Feilhaber is not the pasteboard star that Bornstein is. His lone card is the 2010 Panini Adrenalyn World Cup XL (#80). The card sells for $0.50 on Beckett and slightly higher on eBay, where collectors can also find a variety of signed photos for approximately $25.

Spector has a Panini sticker and a West Ham ATTX trading card. You'll need to buy from eBay to find these. While there, you can also find Spector SPs and team signed memorabilia available to under $25. The ATTX cards are produced in the UK, and generally available from British eBay sellers.

A variety of FIFA World Cup memorabilia is also available through FIFA’s World Cup store. Additional World Cup collectibles are likely to be readily available on eBay and through other collectibles sellers as the tourney progresses.

Does anyone have Bornstein, Feilhaber or Spector memorabilia in their collections? Has anyone had experience in obtaining the autographs of these players?

What about collectibles associated with other Jewish soccer players, including Columbus Crew keeper Andy Gruenebaum? I must confess, while I like soccer, I don't follow the sport. Who are the other MLS MOTs?