Monday, July 2, 2007

Stuck a sheitl in her hat and called herself a Yankee

If you ask most Americans why the Yankees win as much as they do, you might hear, “because of Jeter.” or a spiteful, “because Steinbrenner is a smart businessman who knows how to buy the best players off of other teams.” or a simple, “because they’re the best.” But on a recent trip to The Big Apple from the Kashabasket of White Russia, Eritchka learned the real reason for the superhuman Yankee success, and that the reason for the success is truly superhuman.

The New York Yankees, or the “Bronx Bombers,” is the most triumphant team, scoring 26 World Series titles and 39 American League Pennants. This professional Major League Team is the most successful franchise in North American professional sports history, consisting of some of history’s most famous all-stars such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Joe DiMaggio.

But how did this Yankees heritage of triumph begin? And what sustains it? For the answer to this question, let us go back in time.

The year is 1903: the New York Highlanders are born and as little bat younglings, take to the field for their first game on April 22, playing the Washington Nats. That same year, New York was in the midst of tackling an immigration boom, and Eastern European Jews fleeing persecution in search of opportunity were amongst the various internationals arriving en masse. By 1924, just after the Highlanders became the Yankees, and Babe Ruth joined the team, two million Jews had already arrived to the United States, a huge number of them settling down in New York City.

Many Jews wanted to make America’s culture their own, and accordingly, made America’s game their own. The Big City in the early 1900s mass-produced Jewish baseball fans, and even bred some New York City Jews who proudly donned the pinstripes themselves, though not necessarily for the Yanks, such as Moe Berg, Alta Cohen, Harry Eisenstat, Leo Fischel, and of course, Hank Greenberg.

Baseball is the ultimate Jewish gene which can be transmitted patrilinially and matrilinially. With all those New York Jews scattered around the United States, it's not difficult to understand why most American Jews still root for the Yanks. And what other team sells Kosher Carvel soft serve in adorable helmet cups? What other stadium sells Hebrew National and Glatt hotdogs?

When they have enough minyans at a game, the Yankees always win enough points from above to be victorious. Just as the Israelites prayed for food and received manna from the heavens to sate their hunger, so too, can modern Jewry sanctify the Bronx with a grand slam.

PHOTOS: Top- a religious Jew, his wife, and her sister grab a nosh at the kosher pretzel stand in Yankees Stadium. The wife is a self-proclaimed Yankees fan "born and bred." Photo 2- can you guess that sect? Even the chassidim like to play America's sport. Photo 3- Evening minyan gathers in the halls of the Stadium. There are at least 2 minyans that night praying for a Yankee victory, which God indeed delivered later that night. Photo 4- Hungry Jews gather around "Strikly Kosher" hotdog stand in need of some kosher comestibles. Below- Jewish girl openly shares her Jewish love for Jeter. "Even if he's not Jewish, at least our children will be."


frenchpresse said...

Awesome, Shvesties!!

BEING HAD said...

Super essay. Makes me nostalgic to go to a game!

Sarah said...

Ahahaha!! I cant believe you posted that picture of Suss!! That's totally awesome! Now I wanna go to a Yankee game! Ah, to sit at a baseball game and have a real hot dog!!!! Lo Ye'uman!