March 16, 2006
FROM THE RED SEA TO THE RED SOX:
The Shmooze: Swinging into Canada's Baseball Pantheon (ANTHONY WEISS, March 17, 2006, The Forward)
On Tuesday, March 7, Adam Stern was a well-regarded prospect for the Boston Red Sox. On the disabled list in the middle of the 2005 season, he had a decent but far-from-certain shot at a permanent berth as a back-up outfielder in 2006.
By Thursday, March 9, Stern was Canadian national hero.
In between, the London, Ontario, native led Team Canada to "the biggest win in Canadian baseball history," according to Tom Valcke, president and CEO of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. In Canada's 8-6 shocker over vaunted Team USA in the inaugural World Baseball Classic, Stern went 3-for-4, including a rare inside-the-park home run and four RBIs. He also managed two spectacular catches in center field, including a leaping eighth-inning grab that helped Canada preserve its lead.
With that game, Stern, 26, leaped into the pantheon Canadian baseball greats, alongside the likes of pitching ace and Cooperstown Hall-of-Famer Ferguson Jenkins as well as current major league star Eric Gagne and National League Rookie of the Year Jason Bay.
He had already entered Jewish baseball history in 2005, when Boston fielded him along with Gabe Kapler and Kevin Youkilis during the ninth inning of an August 8 game against the Texas Rangers. It was the first time any team had put three Jewish players on the same field at once since the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1960s.
Stern is only the second Canadian Jew to play the major leagues. The first was Goody Rosen, "The Toronto Tidbit," a center fielder for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1930s and '40s.
Posted by oj at March 16, 2006 7:09 PM