Saturday, December 03, 2005

2006 Jewish Major Leaguer Update Edition Set

2006 Update Edition of Jewish Major Leaguer Baseball Cards Features New Players, Discoveries From the Past

Women from the AAGPBL, Israeli National Team,
Selig, Miller, Fehr, Pioneers, and More

55 Carefully Researched Cards that update the Highly Successful, Collectible ‘First Ever’ 142 Card Set From 1870-2003

New York, December 1, 2006 – The 2006 Update Edition of Jewish Major Leaguers baseball cards has been released, featuring Jewish players who debuted since the 2003 All-Star Game through 2005, newly discovered old time players, players from the women’s league of the 1940’s, pioneers on and off the field, and much more.  

The 55-card set is a follow-up to the hit series of 2003, considered one of the most successful “niche” card sets to ever be introduced in the hobby, and the source of a wealth of attention and publicity.  That set, limited to 15,000 and a virtual sellout, led to a weekend seminar at the Baseball Hall of Fame to further pursue the topic.  Eight of the players from the original set participated in that seminar.

The new set, handsomely packaged in a strong clear plastic box, suitable for display,  and available online at, or by calling 1-866-740-8013, sells for $36 plus shipping and handling, and is produced by the American Jewish Historical Society in partnership with Jewish Major Leaguers.  The 2006 Update Edition is limited to 10,000 sets.

The set was printed by The Upper Deck Company, and is licensed by Major League Baseball Properties and the Major League Baseball Players Association.  

“We never expected the reaction we got to the original set,” explained Martin Abramowitz, creator of that 142-card set and of this new set as well.  “It became a widely sought after bar mitzvah and Chanukah gift, we received national attention, and I even threw out a first pitch at Fenway Park.  {There is a card in the Update Edition to prove it}. We sought to present an educational tool in connection to the 350th anniversary of Jews arriving in America, and we created a phenomenon.  At the heart of the set were questions raised in the first set – questions asked at our talks around the country.   We felt the reaction merited this 55 card second set, and we think fans and collectors will love it.”

There are 13 cards in the set to recognize the Jewish Major Leaguers from 2005, believed to be the most to ever appear in one season in history.  These players include Shawn Green, Brad Ausmus, Mike Lieberthal, Al Levine, Scott Schoeneweis, Jason Marquis, Gabe Kapler, John Grabow, Kevin Youkilis, Adam Stern, Craig Breslow, Adam Greenberg, and Scott Feldman. Grabow, Youkilis, Stern, Breslow, Greenberg and Feldman, have reached the majors since the first edition was released.  (Breslow and Feldman have yet to have licensed cards released by any of the major manufacturers).

The set also includes “newly discovered” Jewish players of the past, including Hall of Famer Lou Boudreau (whose mother was Jewish), Jose Bautista, Lefty Weinert, Jacob Atz, Bob Davis, and Jacob Livingston, a 1901 New York Giant who was not present when the team photo was taken, leaving no available photo source.  In his stead is that team photo, without him. (But WITH Christy Mathewson).   Weinert is notable for having been the first major leaguer born in the 20th century, and for his inclusion in a book on the “worst pitchers of all time.”

There is a combined card for Jake Levy and Hal Saltzman, who were on Major League rosters but did not appear in a game.

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has a card, and there is a card honoring Players Association leaders Marvin Miller and Donald Fehr.  Miller, considered a “future Hall of Famer” by baseball scholars, has never appeared on a card before.  Neither has Selig, although some of his predecessors as Commissioner have been on cards.

Four women who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) have cards of their own – Thelma “Tiby” Eisen, Anita Foss, Blanche Schachter and Margaret Wigiser.  (The tale of this league was told in Penny Marshall’s film, “A League of their Own.” The card backs feature information on the league by Sue Macy, author of A Whole New Ballgame: The Story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League).

A card features a team photo of the Israeli National Team, which just missed playing in the championship round of a European tournament last year.  Baseball has been played in Israel in an organized manner since1986.

“Pioneers” include umpire Dolly Stark, Pittsburgh owner Barney Dreyfuss (considered the originator of the modern World Series), Hank Greenberg (who moved from the playing field to the front office), Richie Scheinblum (the first Jewish player to play in Japan), Ron Blomberg (the first designated hitter), Mel Allen (the great broadcaster), Lipman Pike (the first Jewish player, manager and umpire), Abe Yager, a founder of the Baseball Writers Association of America, and statistician Allen Roth.

There is a prospect card recognizing hot prospects who played in the minors in 2005 – Aaron Rifkin, Scott Schneider, Tony Schrager and Jeff Picker, and “In memoriam” cards for Harry Danning, Sam Naham and Cy Block.  There is also a card honoring the oldest living Jewish players – Mickey Rutner (soon to be 86) and Lou Limmer (soon to be 81), both New Yorkers who played for Connie Mack.

A card honors Solomon Israel, a World War II veteran who played minor league ball after the war, representative of the many Jewish minor leaguers who never “got the call.”  Another card salutes the two “Clown Princes of Baseball,” entertainers Al Schacht and Max Patkin.  Another features a group photo of the eight players who participated in the Cooperstown program last year.

There is a “double play” card with Moe Berg (then an infielder) and Heinie Scheer, who turned twin killings with the 1925 Reading team, perhaps the only Jewish DP combo.  There is a card featuring Saul Rogovin and Joe Ginsberg of the Tigers and Lou Limmer of the A’s, the battery and batter in a 1951 game; another showing Youkilis, Kapler and Stern, three Jewish Red Sox in the lineup at the same time last August 8, and a “Half a Minyan” card showing five members of the ’46 New York Giants – Sid Gordon, Goody Rosen, Morrie Arnovich, Mike Schemer and Harry Feldman – twenty percent of the roster, believed to be a record.

Additional cards list the all-time roster of Jewish players and career leaders in major categories.

Jewish Major Leaguers is a Boston-based, not-for-profit Jewish baseball history organization with a mission to document America’s Jews in America’s Game.  In addition to the card sets and the Cooperstown seminar, the organization is working on a volume of oral history interviews of former players, and providing guest lectures.  The website for the organization is

The American Jewish Historical Society ( is the oldest national ethnic historical organization in the United States.  Its mission is to foster awareness and appreciation of the American Jewish heritage and to serve as a national scholarly resource for research through the collection, preservation and dissemination of materials relating to American Jewish history.

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