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Baseball Yarmulkes:

Like David, I take no position on whether religious Jews should put political slogans or sports team names on yarmulkes or even whether they should wear yarmulkes at all. However, for Jewish baseball fans who do decide to wear yarmulkes with a team name on them, here are some compelling reasons to choose the Boston Red Sox yarmulke, or at least avoid the New York Yankees version:).

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Baseball Yarmulkes:
  2. The Obama-kah:
Justin (mail):
His caricature of Yankee fans is pure fantasy. Yankee fans get beer poured on them at Fenway Park by Red Sox fans. Oddly enough, Yankee fans also get beer poured on them at YANKEE STADIUM by Red Sox fans. Red Sox fans instigate fights at Yankee Stadium - the fact that this is done says a lot about the etiquitte of BOTH sets of fans.
8.30.2007 12:29am
Ilya Somin:
His caricature of Yankee fans is pure fantasy. Yankee fans get beer poured on them at Fenway Park by Red Sox fans. Oddly enough, Yankee fans also get beer poured on them at YANKEE STADIUM by Red Sox fans. Red Sox fans instigate fights at Yankee Stadium - the fact that this is done says a lot about the etiquitte of BOTH sets of fans.

I would like to see some proof of these assertions, particularly the claim that Red Sox fans misbehave, yet Yankees fans don't. I've been to both Fenway and Yankee Stadium. While fans at both were mostly well-behaved, there was a significantly larger minority of abusive fans at the latter (e.g. - shouting lewd and in a few cases racist insults at visiting players, who in this case were not even Red Sox players).
8.30.2007 12:36am
Jim Hu:
I'm not sure if it counts for or against, but an old non-Jewish friend of mine from New England refers to the Green Monster as his Wailing Wall. This was many years before they finally won it, of course.

Personally, I can't stand the Red Sox, even though it's really not the team's fault that Dan Shaughnessy writes about them. I think it's that in academia, it's hard to avoid Red Sox fans who for all those years whined about their cursed fate while fans of many other teams would have been ecstatic to have been in the playoffs and series as often as the Old Towne Team. This is especially annoying from people who aren't even from New England...they just spent time at Harvard or MIT et al. and picked up Red Sox fandom as a marker of having been there.
8.30.2007 1:18am
halos:
If the column was not ridiculous, it would have to include Hank Greenberg's outstanding Rosh Hashanah performance (I believe it was 1934) that led the Detroit Free Press to print--in Hebrew--the headline "l'shana tova" (happy new year). Perhaps somebody with better Google skills can find an image of this paper.
8.30.2007 2:15am
Jim Tyre:
I couldn't quickly find the paper, but the poem that Edgar Guest wrote about it is here.
8.30.2007 3:28am
Don (mail):
As a Giant fan, I hate the Dodgers, but as against the Red Sox the kippah equities aren't even close.

(1) The Dodger colors are blue and white, close to the right shade of blue, even. Clean, classic graphics. No fat socks. The kippah looks cool, not contrived. (Not as cool as a black kippah with subtle SF logo, but Sid Gordon and Steve Stone just ain't Shawn Green and Sandy Koufax.) (2) In Green and Koufax, the Dodgers had two of the three best Jewish players of all time for the best years of their careers (all of Koufax'). If only they had Greenberg, too. (3) The Dodgers had three Jewish teammates on the roster for a little of 1959 and all of the next three years: Koufax, Larry Sherry, and his brother, future manager Norm Sherry, who caught both of the other two. Two were signficant contributors. Larry was the first Jewish World Series pitching hero, winning 2 and saving 2 more as the Dodgers clipped the White Sox in 1959. Koufax (who lost his only start 1-0 in that series) was the second when he stuffed the Yanks twice in the '63 sweep. I vaguely remember seeing that Harry Bright, his 15th and last strikeout victim in Game 1, was Jewish, but Bright doesn't appear on any lists I could find tonight. (4) The West Side of LA thinks it's the center of the American Jewish universe. The weather is better and the people are more beautiful than in NY, let alone Boston. They are, however, less attentive baseball fans than their eastern (or northern) counterparts. (5) Brooklyn. If the analogue to LA is surely Babylon, the place from whcih the Dodgers were exiled must be ... that's going too far, but Brooklyn has way more Jewish soul than Boston ever will.

But the Dodgers still suck.
8.30.2007 5:19am
Hoosier:
The Red Sox they're talking about?

It's the Cubs they should wear! Underdogs--they need to stick together.

The nebbish has spoken.
8.30.2007 5:48am
Justin (mail):
Ilys,

I can only tell you what I've physically seen going to games. I didn't take a videocamera or anything.
8.30.2007 9:36am
kevin r (mail):

This is especially annoying from people who aren't even from New England...they just spent time at Harvard or MIT et al. and picked up Red Sox fandom as a marker of having been there.


This happened to me. I offer no apologies. Spend several years up there and the Red Sox thing gets into you by osmosis.

Also, I'd like to point out that Fenway has not needed to bring out the riot police during a game. Unlike, say, Yankee Stadium (2004 ALCS game 6)... :P

Seriously though, there are 'bad' fans of both teams. Generally if you avoid the bleachers, you'll find intelligent fans in both parks, of both teams. Perhaps the Yankee fans are a bit less intelligent, but hey. ;)
8.30.2007 10:34am
Bob from Ohio (mail):
Red Sox fans are more annoying than Yankee fans because the Sox have done nearly nothing as a baseball team, yet they act like the Sox are just incredible. They win a Series every 80 years. Even my Indians have been better than that. The vaunted Fenway Park is a pit, something no decent high school team would play in.

The whining 20 years later over Bill Buckner is especially annoying.

The Yankees have been the dominent team in baseball since the Sox traded Ruth. So, while I am no fan of either the Yankees or their followers, at least they have reason to be arrogant.
8.30.2007 11:48am
Ilya Somin:
They win a Series every 80 years. Even my Indians have been better than that. The vaunted Fenway Park is a pit, something no decent high school team would play in.

Actually, the Indians have won exactly 1 world series (1948) since 1920, and only 3 other pennants during that time. That is a significantly worse record than the Red Sox over the same time period, especially when you factor in the teams' relative winning percentages. As for Fenway, even most Yankees fans would probably disagree with your assertion.
8.30.2007 11:52am
Bob from Ohio (mail):
Man, I just read the Bradford R. Pilcher piece. Exhibit A to prove my above point. What a piece of ...
8.30.2007 11:53am
Al Maviva (mail) (www):
There's a bit of pot/kettle in arguing that the Yankee payroll (#1 in MLB) is a strong reason to choose the lovable, down &out, shoeless Red Sox (#2 payroll in MLB) as your team.

Plus, anybody who knows anything about anything, knows that like Judaism, you're born a Yankees or Sox fan, you can't convert, not very easily anyhow. Sure, some people only discover later in life they were born into one or the other religio-ethnic heritage (like Hillary Clinton, who only discovered she has always been both Jewish and a Yankees fan around the time she ran for the Senate) but it doesn't change the fact that you can't just up and convert from one to the other. It doesn't work that way. Well, except for Babe Ruth, Johnny Damon, Wade Boggs, and Roger Clemons. Kind of like circumcision, it doesn't seem to work out as well if you try to go in the opposite direction. See, e.g. David Wells.
8.30.2007 12:44pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):

Actually, the Indians have won exactly 1 world series (1948) since 1920, and only 3 other pennants during that time. That is a significantly worse record than the Red Sox over the same time period, especially when you factor in the teams' relative winning percentages.


I was not really comparing the Tribe with the Sox but the Sox to successful franchises. By my count, the Sox have 2 more appearances. Not exactly significant over 85 years so I see why you need to go to win %. Since 1990, 2 appearances each.

My larger point is that the Sox have been moderately succcessful but their fans act like they are a legendary franchise and have no reason for the arrogance many display. Off hand, I would say the Tigers, As, Braves, Cardinals, Dodgers and Reds are more successful. Mets also. Heck, even the Marlins have 2 WS wins. Not even remotely close to the Yankees.

Well, maybe the Tribe can start to catch up this year.
8.30.2007 2:10pm
KeithK (mail):

Plus, anybody who knows anything about anything, knows that like Judaism, you're born a Yankees or Sox fan, you can't convert, not very easily anyhow. ... Well, except for Babe Ruth, Johnny Damon, Wade Boggs, and Roger Clemons.


You can convert but only with the aid of a paycheck from the other team. Those of us who have not been blessed with major league talent must stay with the team they were born to or else be branded a bandwagon fan.

BTW, I'm a Yankees fan and have always enjoyed the rivalry that can make an otherwise meaningless game into an event. But the level to which ESPN has hyped it - to where it's almost a holy war - is ridiculous. I suspect it's yet another negative brought on us by the wild card. It's a lot easier to fan the flames in a short series than in a real pennant race.
8.30.2007 2:35pm
Joe Gator (mail):
I would like to see some proof of these assertions, particularly the claim that Red Sox fans misbehave, yet Yankees fans don't. I've been to both Fenway and Yankee Stadium. While fans at both were mostly well-behaved, there was a significantly larger minority of abusive fans at the latter (e.g. - shouting lewd and in a few cases racist insults at visiting players, who in this case were not even Red Sox players).

Gary Matthews would disagree with you.

Angels outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. thinks he knows why it's so difficult for visiting teams to win at Boston's Fenway Park, where the Angels will play this weekend. Matthews said the boisterous fans rattle the uninitiated because they are loud and obnoxious and it's "one of the few places where you hear racist comments every once in a while."

Matthews further stoked the fire when he said New York Yankees fans have more class than Boston's.

"At least in New York they appreciate players who play hard and play the game right," Matthews said. "And they let you know it, even though you're part of the visiting team. In Boston they just smash you for three straight days, verbally assault you the whole time."
8.30.2007 6:39pm
LM (mail):
Boston is to New York what the European Union is to the United States: a bastion of politically correct narcissists, resentful of those who have usurped their pre-eminence. Fun to visit, but their best days are behind them, and they hide their jealousy behind pretenses of academic, cultural and moral superiority. Apparently lost on them is the irony that their younger, more prosperous rivals have thrived precisely by ignoring the rigid class, cultural and even racial boundaries still erect in their own midst.

Likewise, Red Sox fans cling to their Democratic, populist underdog image, along with their quaint, traditional ball park, where, when I last regularly attended in the 1970's, you ironically saw very few faces that weren't white and prosperous. The Yankees are the pinstriped Republicans, and their messier, heterogeneous fan base bespeaks admirably the unrestrained free-market meritocracy of their team.

I say this as an unapologetic liberal Democrat, who needless to say believes there's a lot to criticize in Republicanism and conservatism. But when I lived in Boston I felt embarrassed by this ugly aspect of liberal hypocrisy.

(By the way, the same kind of relationship, though less acrimonious, exists between San Francisco and Los Angeles.)
8.30.2007 7:32pm
David Chesler (mail) (www):
Plus, anybody who knows anything about anything, knows that like Judaism, you're born a Yankees or Sox fan, you can't convert, not very easily anyhow.

I'm a Jew from the Bronx who was married to a Boston Irish Catholic girl. I figured if I was going to be living here and asking her to bring the kids up Jewish, the least I could do was convert to Red Sox. Besides, what have I got left to cheer for? Pinstripes? Steinbrenner? (But I did get nostalgic for a while thinking about the Scooter.)
8.30.2007 11:54pm
theobromophile (www):

Plus, anybody who knows anything about anything, knows that like Judaism, you're born a Yankees or Sox fan, you can't convert, not very easily anyhow.

I'm the child of a Yankees fan and a Sox fan. (Stating the obvious: that marriage was doomed from the start!) Grew up with the Sox parent in Boston and inherited the Red Sox gene. My happiest day at law school was when the Sox won it all 1L year.
8.31.2007 12:48am
Eli Rabett (www):
Since many observant Jews wear baseball caps as head coverings on occasion there is nothing wrong with this except in places where baseball caps are not appropriate (in the synagoge for example)
8.31.2007 1:24am
liberty (mail) (www):
that is ridiculous. Jewish X have a greater history with New York. You do the math.
8.31.2007 1:40pm