Thursday, October 24, 2013

Selig Meeting with Ruttman at World Series

Photo courtesy of Major League Baseball.
On October 24, 2013, Larry Ruttman presented the ‘first copy’ of American Jews and America’s Game to the commissioner of Major League Baseball, Allan H. “Bud” Selig, at Fenway Park just prior to the second game of the 2013 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals. Selig wrote the Foreword for the book.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Ausmus in Welfleet

Former MLB catcher Brad Ausmus (left), who managed Team Israel in the WBC Qualifier, (and is considered a future MLB manager by many), appeared this week at a talk in Wellfleet, MA (Cape Cod) with author Larry Ruttman - whose "American Jews & America's Game" book has been very well received. Ausmus, who is a chapter in the oral history, has Jewish bloodlines on his mother's side.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

American Jews and America’s Game

American Jews and America’s Game
Voices of a Growing Legacy in Baseball
Larry Ruttman
Foreword by Bud Selig
Introduction by Martin Abramowitz

Most fans don’t know how far the Jewish presence in baseball extends beyond a few famous players such as Greenberg, Rosen, Koufax, Holtzman, Green, Ausmus, Youkilis, Braun, and Kinsler. In fact, its presence extends to the baseball commissioner Bud Selig, labor leaders Marvin Miller and Don Fehr, owners Jerry Reinsdorf and Stuart Sternberg, officials Theo Epstein and Mark Shapiro, sportswriters Murray Chass, Ross Newhan, Ira Berkow, and Roger Kahn, and even famous Jewish baseball fans like Alan Dershowitz and Barney Frank.

The life stories of these and many others, on and off the field, have been
compiled from nearly fifty in-depth interviews and arranged by decade in this edifying and entertaining work of oral and cultural history. In American Jews and America’s Game each person talks about growing up Jewish and dealing with Jewish identity, assimilation, intermarriage, future viability, religious observance, anti-Semitism, and Israel. Each tells about being in the midst of the colorful pantheon of players who, over the past seventy-five years or more, have made baseball what it is. Their stories tell, as no previous book has, the history of the larger-than-life role of Jews in America’s pastime.


“The historian Jacques Barzun was right when he said, ‘Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball.’ Larry Ruttman knows that too, and that is why I chose to write the foreword to his book American Jews and America’s Game. His stories cover almost one hundred years of American history and the place of American Jews in that history. . . . This is a book that celebrates family—baseball’s, yours, and mine.”
—Allan H. “Bud” Selig, Commissioner of Major League Baseball


“This book of intimate and revealing conversations with Jews who care passionately about baseball is a surprise and delight. . . . In the tradition of Studs Terkel, Ruttman’s warm and folksy style lets us feel like we’re in the room with them as they share their thoughts and feelings about Judaism, baseball, and life. It’s a great read. Ruttman has a gift for bringing people out and the results are fabulous.”
—Rabbi Rebecca T. Alpert, associate professor of religion at Temple University and author of Out of Left Field: Jews and Black Baseball


“There may well be more books about Jews and baseball than there are Jews who played professional baseball. But this one is different. Here baseball’s most interesting Jews speak in their own words about their lives, their love of the game, and above all about their Judaism. Informative, inspiring, historically significant and a pleasure to read, this is a book that anybody who cares about America’s game or America’s Jews will cherish.”
—Jonathan D. Sarna, author of American Judaism: A History and chief historian of the National Museum of American Jewish History


“American Jews and America’s Game is a highly accessible book about the game America’s Jews love to love. The author allows his subjects great latitude to comment on their Jewishness and their association with the game. The interviewees range from baseball’s best to ordinary fans, united around their faith and favorite sport. This is an enjoyable read.”
—Daniel Kurtzer, former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt and Israel and the first Commissioner of the Israel Baseball League