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Jewish World Series MVPs

Jewish Major Leaguer Craig Breslow will become the 24 Jewish player to appear in the World Series, should he pitch for the Boston Red Sox in the 2013 Fall Classic.
Craig Breslow. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
The Boston Red Sox take on the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, which starts tonight, Wednesday, October 23. 

Should he have the opportunity to come on in relief, Red Sox pitcher Craig Breslow will become the 24 Jewish Major Leaguer to play in the World Series, as documented in these postings from Kaplan's Korner and Jewish Baseball News.

Koufax Upper Deck Print

Sandy Koufax Upper Deck artwork. Photo courtesy of Beckett.com.

 

During the history of the World Series Most Valuable Player Award (which started in 1955), two Jewish baseball players and a player who converted to Judaism after his career won a total of four MVP trophies.

Interestingly, all three played for the Los Angeles Dodgers when they captured the honors.

 

 

Larry Sherry 1960 Topps

Larry Sherry Topps card. Photo courtesy of eBay.com.

JewishSportsCollectibles.com offers reviews of the players' baseball cards and collectibles ... which range from common cards to $100,000+ game-used leather, from books to DVDs, from postcards and programs to books by the yard. 

Steve Yeager 2004 UD Legends 2 Autograph
Steve Yeager Upper Deck card. Photo courtesy of Beckett.com.

To read the JSC's overviews of the cards and memorabilia for World Series MVP winners Larry Sherry (1959), Sandy Koufax (1963 and 1965) and Steve Yeager (1981) click on the players' names.

Feel free to comment below, or in the individual postings, to let JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers know what your most treasured collectible for these World Series winners might be.

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Editor's Note: A version of this posting originally ran under the headline "Jewish World Series MVP Profiles" in 2011.

MLB New Jew Review: Josh Zeid


Josh Zeid Topps Pro Debut solo signature card
Josh Zeid 2011 Topps Pro Debut solo signature card.
Photo courtesy of JSC.
Reliever Josh Zeid made his big league pitching debut on July 30 with the Houston Astros, joining Nate Freiman and Kevin Pillar among the ranks of the newest Jewish Major Leaguers.

Zeid, a 6'4" righty, was drafted by the Phillies in 2009, according to JewishBaseballNews.com. He was traded to the Astros in 2011, in the Phillies deal for Hunter Pence.

A veteran of the Arizona Fall League in 2010, Zeid also pitched for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic in 2012.

Jewish baseball collectors have access to cards and memorabilia associated with the big righty.

Zeid's pasteboard includes several cards from Topps and Bowman. Among them are 2011 Topps Pro Debut autographed cards (pictured right), two different 2011 Topps Heritage Minor League cards, and 2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects issues.

Short-prints and color variations of Heritage and Prospect cards exist.

All of these cards show Zeid in Phillies or Phillies minor league team uniforms.

His minor league cards include team issues from the 2009 Williamsport Crosscutters, 2010 Lakewood Blue Claws, 2012 Corpus Christi Hooks and 2013 Oklahomoa City RedHawks.

For a checklist of Zeid's cards, see Beckett.com.

Zeid's cards are plentiful, even the signed and limited edition issues. They sell for between $0.01 and $5 on eBay, Amazon.com and the Beckett Marketplace.

At the time of this posting, Zeid does not yet have any memorabilia, other than his baseball cards, available on eBay. This is certain to change in the future.

Nor does Zeid have any collectibles for sale in the Astros online shop, although collectors could customize jerseys to include his name and number.

Josh Zeid pitching for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic.
Josh Zeid pitching for Team Israel in the WBC. Photo courtesy of JewishLedger.com.

Zeid does not have any photos available in the MLB Photo Store. In the meantime, collectors can find images of Zeid online, many that would make nice additions to any photo collection. These include pictures of Zeid in his Team Israel uniform.

Following Israel's loss to Spain in the WBC Qualifiers, Zeid auctioned off his signed, game-worn cleats, with a portion of the auction's proceeds benefiting the Texas Children's Hospital.

Zeid has, during his minor league career, been a generous through-the-mail signer. He autographed several cards for me while with the Phillies farm teams and during his time in the Arizona Fall League.

Josh Zeid signed ticket
Josh Zeid signs for fans.
Photo courtesy of ZackHample.mlblogs.com.

As this image from Zach Hample's Baseball Collector blog on MLB.com shows, Zeid has been a willing in-person signer during his brief MLB career. Let's hope this trend continues in the future.

Zeid is an active user of social media. Tweet collectors can follow Zeid on Twitter.

Have you had the chance to meet Zeid or get his autograph? What other Josh Zeid cards or memorabilia might exist? Let JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers know by commenting below.


MLB New Jew Review: Kevin Pillar

The newest Jewish Major Leaguer, according to JewishBaseballNews.com, is Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar.

Selected in the 32nd round of the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft, Pillar quickly rose through the Jays minor league system. He made his big league debut on Wednesday, August 14, after being called up from AAA Buffalo to replace the injured Colby Rasmus.

Kevin Pillar diving catch
Kevin Pillar makes a diving catch in his MLB debut. Photo courtesy of http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com.
At the time of this posting, Pillar is hitless in seven at-bats over two games, but he's had a couple of big defensive plays, including a diving catch in his first put-out attempt, and a bullet of a throw home to rob the Red Sox of a run.

A child of a mixed marriage, Pillar tells JewishBaseballNews.com that he attended Catholic school and was bar mitzvahed.

Pillar also says he regrets not knowing about Team Israel's tryouts for the World Baseball Classic, as he would have liked to play for the team.

While Jewish baseball collectors may have missed the opportunity to see Pillar in the WBC, the Jays rookie has no shortage of baseball cards available for purchase.

These include 2012 and 2013 Topps, Bowman and Upper Deck issues.

Kevin Pillar 2012 Topps
Kevin Pillar 2012 Topps Pro Debut. Photo courtesy of JSC.

Beckett.com shows 74 different variations, including limited edition and 1-of-1 editions. Prices for Pillar's in the Beckett Marketplace range from $0.25 to $500 for a 2012 Bowman Prospects Orange Refractors limited edition card (#24 of 25).

A search of eBay shows 200+ listings for Pillar memorabilia, mostly cards.Prices range from under a $1 to more than $150, depending on the scacity and condition of the items.

Also available, at the time of this posting, is an autographed Pillar game-used bat, with a Buy It Now pirce of $119. As always, buyer beware.

Assuming Pillar sticks with the Jays, collectors can expect to see additional memorabilia become available, including scorecards, programs, signed baseballs, photos, etc. Look for updates on JSC.com.

In the meantime, Tweet collectors can follow Pillar on Twitter.

I cannot discuss Pillar's in-person signing habits, as I missed seeing the Buffalo Bison when they came through Columbus to play the Clippers in July.

I did, however, receive a reply to my recent through-the-mail request for Pillar's signature. In fact, the signed and inscribed card pictured here arrived in the mailbox that same day as Pillar's Major League debut, less than two weeks after I mailed it.

Have you met Pillar in person or had success in obtaining his autograph via mail? What other Kevin Pillar memorabilia exists? Let JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers know by commenting below.


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. 

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Baseball  

 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

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Basketball

Duke cover
Art Heyman

October 28, 1963

Ernie Grunfeld
February 9, 1976

Jon Scheyer
April 12, 2010

Jamila Wideman
March 17, 1997

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Football

Art Modell SI Cover
Lyle Alzado

July 8, 1991

Jay Fiedler
October 1, 2001

Robert Kraft
February 6, 2012

Art Modell
December 4, 1995 

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Hockey

Matthieu Schneider
June 14, 1993

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Soccer

David Beckham
July 16, 2007

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Tennis

Boris Becker
September 18, 1989

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

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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

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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 ? Disagree with any of the listings? Let JewishSportsCollectibles.com 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 Amazon.com are a good source for purchasing hard copies of SI back issues.

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.