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Orthodox Boxer Dmitriy Salita Fights October 20


Dmitriy Salita Fight
Dmitriy Salita (left) vs. Ronnie Warrior Jr. Photo by Alex Gorokhov, courtesy of www.dsalita.com.

Orthodox Jewish welterweight boxer Dmitriy "The Star of David" Salita will step into the ring as part of the opening night fights at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday, October 20.

Salita will fight either Brandon Hoskins, according to a report on KaplansKorner.com, in one of the under card bouts scheduled for the grand opening event.

Salita's story is intriguing.

Born in 1980 in Odessa, Ukraine in the former Soviet Union, Salita moved to Brooklyn at age nine, according to his Wikipedia bio, to escape anti-Semitic violence.

Bullied in school, Salita took up karate and boxing to learn to defend himself. "That is how it all started. I got called into the principal's office. I got suspended a few times, but I got my respect. I started kicking some ass at school."

Salita began boxing competitively at age 13, won a championship in the April 2001 New York Golden Gloves competition and turned pro at age 19 later that year. He has since won 36 fights, losing only one match and fighting to a draw in one, according to BoxRec.com.

Orthodox Stance
Orthodox Stance DVD.
Photo courtesy of
OrthodoxStance.com.
Dmitriy Salita Gloves
Salita signed
boxing gloves. Photo courtesy DSalitas.com.
While growing up in Brooklyn, Salitas was exposed to Orthodox Judaism and became fully observant. He keeps kosher and observes Sabbath, refusing to fight before sundown on Saturdays or on Jewish holidays.

Jewish boxing fans have access to a small, but varied, number of Salita collectibles.

The boxer, who fights wearing trunks that bear a Star of David, maintains a web site, on which he sells merchandise, including autographed, training ring worn boxing gloves and signed fight worn corner jackets. Cost for either item is $250 plus $20 shipping.

There are also a number of high quality images available on Salita's web site. Most (like the one featured above) feature the boxer in the ring, and would make nice additions to a boxing collection, especially if a collector could get a print signed by the Jewish fighter.

Salita is also the focus of a documentary film, titled Orthodox Stance. DVDs of the film can be purchased on Amazon.com and eBay, but not from the film's web site.

The trailer for the documentary can be seen below.

 

A search of eBay yielded little beyond the DVD, at the time of this posting. A poster for Salita's 2009 championship fight against Amir Khan, which Salita lost by knockout in 76 seconds, is for sale on the auction giant.

Khan Salita Poster
Khan vs. Salita poster. Photo courtesy of eBay.

Amazon.com offers photos, puzzles and photo mugs with images of Khan from the fight, but none of Salitas.

Beckett.com lists no boxing card for Salitas, and the Beckett Marketplace was also void of the fighter's memorabilia.

Certainly, other Salitas collectibles exist, including tickets, programs and promotional materials for other fights.

For fans who collect friend and tweets, Salida is active on Twitter (@DSalita) and Facbook.

What other Salitas collectibles exist? What memorabilia associated with the fighter do you have in your Jewish boxing collection? Let JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers know by commenting below.


Colt Cabana Wins NWA Wrestling Championship, Again

Colt Cabana with the NWA Championship BeltColt Cabana, "the first ever openly Jewish NWA Champion" is now a two-time NWA champion, as reported by The Great Rabbino (thanks, Rabbi!) and WWE News

The list of Jewish professional wrestling champions is a short one. Cabana (real name Scott Colton) joins Goldberg and Macho Man Randy Savage (the "who's Jewish" expert Neil Keller lists Savage as having a Jewish mother) as the sport's other champions.

JewishSportsCollectibles.com reported on the dearth of Cabana memorabilia last year, after Cabana won the belt the first time.

My assumption that Cabana's success in the ring in 2011 would lead to more collectibles being available outside the squared circle proved wrong. 

Cabana still doesn't get much love as far as main stream memorabilia goes (unlike Jewish wrestler Goldberg, who has collectibles aplenty).

WeLoveColt.com BannerFor now, the best for memorabilia remains the wrestler's web site. Cabana offers DVDs, "worker shirts," wrestling masks, pins, posters and photos, and a variety of t-shirts. Many items can be autographed.

Colt Star ShirtThe "I Jewish Star Colt" t-shirt ($20) and pin ($8) are likely to be the items of most interest to collectors seeking an obvious ethnic identity in their memorabilia.

Autograph collectors wishing to meet Cabana can find a list of his upcoming appearances on his web site.

An eBay search turns up plenty of DVDs featuring Cabana's matches, but no Cabana trading cards, action figures, etc. I stand by what I wrote last year, that programs, ticket stubs, promotional posters, etc. must surely exist.

What say you, JSC readers? Any Colt collectibles in your possession?

Photos courtesy: NWAWrestling.com and WeLoveColt.com.


Joe Ginsberg & The 50th Anniversary of the Mets' First Game

As Jewish sportscaster Len Berman today reminded readers of his web site, ThatsSports.com, April 11, 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the expansion New York Mets' first-ever game.

Joe Ginsberg 2009 JML

Former Jewish Major Leaguer Myron Nathan "Joe" Ginsberg was behind the plate that day in St. Louis (the Mets opened on the road against the Cardinals), a member of the starting 9 for the 1962 Mets.

Ginsberg played from 1948 through 1962 for the Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, and Boston Red Sox and Mets.

In addition to taking the field for the Mets on Day One of their existence, among Ginsberg's career highlights was catching one of Virgil Truck's no-hitters.

Ginsberg has a variety of memorabilia available for collectors, as indicated in this 2010 JewishSportsCollectibles.com posting.

Several years ago, I had success requesting a through-the-mail autograph from Ginsberg, who returned my cards signed in just a few weeks. Has anyone had luck recently?

What Ginsberg items do you have in your Jewish baseball collection?


Jewish World Series MVP Profile: Steve Yeager

During the World Series, JewishSportsCollectibles.com has provided overviews of the cards and memorabilia for Jewish World Series MVP winners Larry Sherry (1959), Sandy Koufax (1963 and 1965).

Steve Yeager 2004 UD Legends AutographIn this posting, the final in the series, we look at the collectibles of Steve Yeager -- who converted to Judaism following his playing career -- who shared the 1981 World Series MVP hardware withDodgers teammates Ron Cey and Pedro Guerrero.

The former backstop has nearly 150 different cards available, according to Beckett.com checklist and TradingCardDatabase.com.

These include dozens of different Topps, O-Pee-Chee, Donruss and Fleer cards from 1973 through 1987, and more than a dozen oddball and regional issues, including several Dodgers team cards, package insert cards from Burger Chef, Hostess, Mother's and Nestle, and a Hero Deck playing card.

Steve Yeager 1984 DonrussYeager also is the subject of numerous Topps and Upper Deck modern tribute and archival issues from 2000 to present, including several memorabilia and autograph cards (like the 2004 Upper Deck Legends autograph card pictured above right).

As a minor league and independent league coach and skipper, Yeager is also featured on cards for the San Bernadino Stampede, Long Beach Breakers, Jacksonville Suns, Las Vegas 51s, Inland Empire 66ers, and Long Beach Armada.

Yeager, of course, also has a card in the Jewish Major Leaguers series (JML 2003, #106).

With the exception of a small handful of the vintage regional and oddball cards and the modern autograph and memorabilia cards, most of Yeager's cards are considered common. Printed during the glut of over-printed, poorly-designed issues in the 1980s, they sell for $1 or less in ungraded conditions on eBay and the Beckett.com Marketplace.

The vintage regional and modern memorabilia cards will set collectors back $20-$30, or more, on eBay and Beckett, depending on condition and variation.

Steve Yeager Signed BaseballA bevy of Yeager photos -- including autographed publicity stills and vintage newspaper pictures -- signed bats, baseballs, helmets and bases, and programs, scorecards, yearbooks and ticket stubs can be found on Amazon.com and eBay

Prices vary widely by seller, season and piece. Expect to pay approximately $75-$100 for Yeager autographed memorabilia, $200-$300 for tri-MVP signed items, and more for team signed collectibles. As always, buyer beware.

Yeager MaskAs to equipment, a catchers' mask would make an especially interesting addition to one's Yeager collection. In 1976, after being impaled in the neck by shards from a shattered bat, Yeager and the Dodgers team trained invented and patented a throat protector for his catcher's mask. The gear is now standard equipment for most backstops. Do any JSC.com readers have a signed catchers mask, with Yeager throat protector, or a chest protector or shin guards in their collection?

Steve Yeager Major LeagueFor collectors with more esoteric interests, the former catcher's collectibles extend well beyond the ball field.

In 1989, Yeager made his movie debut in Major League, with a bit part as Duke Temple. Yeager also appeared in the film's two sequels, and on several television programs in the '70s and '80s.

Memorabilia from the original Major League includes movie posters and lobby cards, Major League etc. There are also promotional baseball cards -- including one for Yeager as Temple -- put out by the studio and by art card creators. Does anyone have these oddball issues in their collection? More importantly, does anyone else appreciate the irony of his character's name, considering Yeager's conversion?

Movies aren't the only place Yeager shows his face and other (ahem!) assets. He also graces the pages in several editions of Playgirl, the infamous magazine that provides "entertainment for women."

Steve Yeager Playgirl CoverApparently the convert catcher had major '80s sex appear (must be the hair!), because he's the "celebrity nude" in the October 1982 edition and has images in the January 1983 issue, with fellow major leaguer Bucky Dent and two other players in the September 1983 issue, and again in the January 1984 edition.

Back issues of Playgirl featuring Steve Yeager's tush can be found on Amazon.com and eBay for $10-20, in case you were wondering. For reasons unknown to me, one Amazon seller lists the Yeager magazines for more than $300. Really.

Do you have this most intimate of Yeager items (if you must, click here to see Yeager in all his glory!) in your collection? Would you ever want it (not that there's anything wrong with that!)? If you did, would you want to have Yeager sign the centerfold?

If you asnwered yes to the last question, you'd have plenty of opportunity. Yeager is a regular on the autograph circuit, according to SigningsHotline.com. His most recent appearance was in September at Dodger Stadium.

Have you had the chance to meet the World Series MVP? What's your favorite Yeager memorabilia? Leave a comment below and let JSC.com readers know.


Goldberg's Wrestling Return

Goldberg "The most famous Jewish wrestler of all time" (let the arguments begin!) will step back into the squared circle for tzedakah.

Former WCW and WWE champ (Bill) Goldberg plans to participate in an upcoming wrestling match in Africa to raise money for a variety of charities, according to late August postings on AllWrestling.com and TMZ.com.

Special thanks to TheGreatRabbino.com for the alert to these articles.

As JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers may remember from this 2010 posting, there exist a bevy of Goldberg collectibles for Jewish wrestling enthusiasts.

These include trading cards, signed photos, programs, poker chips, action figures, posters, t-shirts and much more -- including a few items relating to Goldberg's brief, pre-wrestling football career -- all of which can be found on eBay

A variety of Goldberg's wrestling trading cards are also available on Beckett.

Do you have Goldberg in your collection? Has anyone 'graphed the grappler? Any in-person experiences to share with JSC readers?