The last word on Jewish baseball players

I'll give it to Jon Stewart and Denis Leary.

By Joan Walsh
September 5, 2007 4:25AM (UTC)
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I didn't anticipate so many negative letters about Jonah Keri's great piece on Jewish baseball players. I'm a New York Irish Catholic who grew up with Jewish friends; I married one. He's not a baseball fan, not even a little bit, but he knew Dodgers great Sandy Koufax was Jewish. At the risk of stereotyping, I have to just say: Jews tend to know famous Jews; baseball fans tend to make lists (when I turned 40, I made a list of great active ballplayers my age or older; thank God for Julio Franco, the only one who's still around). And Jewish baseball fans, and their friends, have been known to make lists of Jewish ballplayers.

I was somewhat sympathetic to complaints that such lists are divisive, though they reminded me of my good friend Stephen Colbert, who claims he doesn't see race. Divisions exist, people categorize one another, but it's noble to hope for a day when we're beyond such things. But there was an undercurrent of anti-Semitism in the letters that disturbed me. I went into letters on Friday night to weigh in; I was grateful that Jonah Keri did, too, and did it with much more grace.


I'm just going to give the last word to Jon Stewart and Denis Leary:

Joan Walsh

Joan Walsh is the author of "What's the Matter With White People: Finding Our Way in the Next America."

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