"Growing up, we knew we were Jewish, but we didn't do anything with it," says Green. "I've learned more about my religion in the five years I've been in the majors than in the 21 years before that. The Jewish communities in Toronto and New York and other places made me feel very welcome. It was a great feeling to know that so many kids were looking up to me just because I was Jewish." Since making the majors, Green has never had a game on Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. He says he would likely not play baseball on Yom Kippur in the future (it falls on Oct. 8-9 next season), not for religious reasons, but to make a statement.
Over the years many alltime, all-Jewish lineup cards have been written by Jewish baseball fans with too much time on their hands. Historically, they have looked something like this:
Rod Carew, 2B, Hall of Famer
Buddy Myer, SS, career .303 hitter
Al Rosen, 3B, had 145 RBIs in '53
Hank Greenberg, IB, Hall of Famer
Sid Gordon, RF, 202 career homers
Benny Kauff, LF, lifetime .311 hitter
Elliott Maddox, CF, career .989 fielder
Moe Berg, C, spoke 12 languages, hit in none
Sandy Koufax, P, ranked up there with Moses.
Poor Sid Gordon. His spot is starting to look iffy. If Green keeps up his good work, he could be batting fifth and playing right in the alltime, all-Jewish lineup. All he has to do is keep doing what he's been doing. Shawn Green has all the stuff to become a hero to his people. He has all the stuff to become a hero, period.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]