I told this story about the struggle to balance my devotion to Judaism and Baseball for The Stoop Storytelling Series—a ​program on Baltimore’s NPR affiliate.

Here’s an Iphone video of my performance. T​he audio is more muddled than the official recording, but ​it includes my expressions: http://youtu.be/qSUw59sGFuw 

Here’s the official recording in crystal clear audio: http://www.stoopstorytelling.com/storytellers/1474 ​


Ira Gewanter 

I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the “Chasing Dreams” exhibition on June 13, 2014 at the NMAJH.  Ironically, my visit brought back memories of a critical game in the 1969 pennant race between the NY Mets and the Chicago Cubs, when Tom Seaver faced Ken Holtzman at Shea Stadium.  Holtzman, who would later author 2 no-hitters, was beaten by the Mets and Seaver that night, but the real story was the almost perfect game that Seaver pitched, broken up with one out in the 9th inning by Jimmy Qualls’ single. My two high school friends and I had purchased tickets from a scalper in the parking lot and we sat in the aisle in the upper deck, mesmerized by Seaver’s total command of the game.  Art Shamsky, who was on that soon to be championship Mets team, also is featured in the NMAJH exhibit, and it was great to relive those moments while visiting “Chasing Dreams.”

How do I submit to your blog?

Asked by

Good morning!

There is a “Submit” button towards the bottom of the left side-bar: http://chasingdreamsbaseball.tumblr.com/submit. Complete the form on that page and upload your image or type in your story. I look forward to hearing from you and hope you can visit the Chasing Dreams exhibition, now open and on display until October 26, 2014.

Please let me know if you have any difficulties. I would be happy to help.


Alisa Kraut, Curatorial Assistant

"Cohen at the Bat"



In the late 1920s, the New York Giants were looking to appeal to the large Jewish population that made up New York City. John McGraw’s Giants, a force for the first quarter century in the National League, were still atop the standings in the 1920s both through play and at the gates. Hoping to appeal to the large Jewish population of New York, the Giants signed a young, Texan infielder of Jewish decent to play second base. His name was Andy Cohen. Cohen would play 2 full years for the Giants (with some time late in 1926 as well) averaging .281 over that span.

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The last time he went to CBP was when we did a tour for his birthday in February 2012. Attached is a picture of us in the dugout.

The first is from 1997 when our grandparents took the six oldest grandchildren to Cooperstown. We all still agree this was one of the best vacations we took as kids. Our grandfather is the son of Jewish immigrants who fled Russia and Lithuania to live in NY in the 1920’s. The picture from Cooperstown is in front of an Ebbets Field mural where he watched the Dodgers play when he was a boy.

My father passed away when I was in the 3rd grade. Grandpop took us to several Phillies games in the coming years and we watched countless more over the phone. The night the Phillies won the World Series was the greatest phone call of our baseball lives as I cried to him and thanked him for everything including “Thanks for introducing me to baseball!.” 

I have two kids now (6 and 3) and they know that when the Phillies game is on and something good happens, they bring the phone over to me yelling “Call Grandpop Lou! Call Grandpop Lou!” We still watch games over the phone together, but he prefers that to going to the games. The last time he went to CBP was when we did a tour for his birthday in February 2012. Attached is a picture of us in the dugout.

Thanks Nicholas!

Submission from Karen in Philadelphia:

Attached are photos of the San Francisco Giants’ Jewish Heritage Night “Rally Rabbi” giveaway from August 8, 2007.  The previous night (August 7, 2007), Barry Bonds had hit homerun number 756, officially breaking Hank Aaron’s all-time homerun record that had been set in 1976.  Bonds hit another homerun—757—on Jewish Heritage Night, breaking his own record less than 24 hours after breaking Aaron’s.

On a personal note, my dad and I go to a ball game together every year, even though I now live in Philadelphia and he’s still in San Francisco. We try to make it a Giants game, but sometimes he comes out for a Phillies game (we even managed to score tickets to Game 5 of the 2008 World Series when the Phils won the championship over two nights).

Sometimes there are giveaways, sometimes not, and most of the time it’s kitsch, but the both of our Rally Rabbis have been proudly displayed since we received them. Mine is now with me in my apartment in Philadelphia, and I love that my dad has an identical one in his office back in California.

Thanks for the submission Karen! I hope you and your father make a trip to see Chasing Dreams, opening March 13!

-Alisa, Curatorial Assistant