Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story
When you watch a good ballplayer, do you think “Man, that Methodist can hit!” or “There’s nothing like a Presbyterian pitcher!”? Me either. Everyone in America loves baseball—you’re not American if you don’t. I hate sports, but even I have a soft spot in my heart for baseball, probably stirred by memories of warm summer days when Dad was listening to a game on the radio, and those announcers’ voices provided a soundtrack to family picnics and barbecues.
Dustin Hoffman narrates Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story, a documentary about the role of Jewish athletes in the game and “Jewish America’s love affair with baseball,” which will be released on DVD and digital, April 19 by Docurama Films. Participants include popular baseball legends (Sandy Koufax, Yogi Berra), players’ families and friends, journalists, and baseball fans like Larry King and Ron Howard. Archival photos, film footage, and baseball-related music complement the narration and memories.
Told against the background of historical events (World War II, strife in the sixties), Jews and Baseball explores the impact Jewish players had on the game, on American Jews, and on Jewish American culture. It also traces the origins of the players’ union.
Directed by Peter Miller, Jews and Baseball traces the history of baseball as well as the contribution of Jewish players and, eventually, team owners. It is a respectful tribute to and celebration of the contributions made by Jews to that most American of sports.