9 Incredible Jewish Books About Baseball

Jewish people have been involved in many aspects of Major League Baseball since its founding. In honor of the upcoming World Series, here are some of our favorite books about baseball:

For younger readers (ages 5-8)

Across the Alley by Richard Michelson

Recommended for ages 6-7

Abe’s grandfather wants him to be a violinist; Willie’s father assumes he’ll grow up to be a baseball superstar. As it turns out, the boys are happiest when they exchange hobbies!


Hammerin' Hank by Yona Zeldis McDonough

Recommended for ages 8 and up

This story introduces Hank Greenberg, baseball superstar and the first Jewish inductee to the Hall of Fame. Greenberg’s story takes place at a time when “outsiders” were breaking through barriers in American professional sports.


Lipman Pike by by Rich Michelson

Recommended for ages 8 and up

As a child, Lipman Pike helps out in his family’s dry-goods store in Brooklyn, but what he really loves is baseball, a new ballgame that everyone’s talking about -- and he’s good at it, too. In a few years, Lip’s offered a job playing baseball profesionally! His parents think it’s crazy -- but Lip knows this is the life for him.


You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! by Jonah Winter

Recommended for ages 7-8

This book opens a window into the life of the major league baseball player many called the greatest lefty who ever pitched. Included in this story is Koufax's famous decision to sit out the first game of the 1965 World Series rather than play on Yom Kippur.

For PJ Our Way subscribers (ages 9+)

All Star Season T. S. Yavin

Recommended for ages 9+

Batter Up! Reuven and Avi, pitcher and catcher, may share the same mom and dad, but only one of them will make it to the All-Star Game...Who will it be?


Stealing Home by Ellen Schwartz

Recommended for ages 9+

Baseball is a great escape, but can it solve your problems? Nine year-old Joey Sexton has to grow up fast – his African American dad is gone, his Jewish mother just died, and now he has been sent to live with his mother’s family in Brooklyn. Joey’s zayde (grandfather) acts as though Joey can’t do anything right. Sure, Joey can play a mean game of baseball, but is that enough to impress the person whose affection he wants most?


For grownups

Called Out But Safe: A Baseball Umpire’s Journey by Al Clark with Dan Schlossberg

An inside look at the world of professional baseball from behind the plate.


Jewish Major Leaguers in Their Own Words: Oral Histories of 23 Players by Peter Ephross with Martin Abramowitz

A big hit with any baseball fans, this book is full of great interviews with players from several generations.


Pitching in the Promised Land: A Story of the First and Only Season in the Israel Baseball League by Aaron Pribble

An indepth look at the history and players of the Israel Baseball League's only season.


Want to learn more about the history of Jews and baseball? Read Forget Peanuts and Cracker Jack. What Jews Love About Baseball Is Jewish Players from Tablet Magazine and Jews & Baseball from My Jewish Learning.

 

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