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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Catskills Baseball

This was a funny piece to read in this morning's NYT:
MONTICELLO, N.Y., Aug. 25 — Who is the most formidable Jewish ballplayer who ever lived?

A) Sandy Koufax

B) Hank Greenberg

C) Chaim Silber

If you did not choose Mr. Silber, a ferocious former second baseman known in these parts as Lobo, you clearly have not spent a steamy Sunday cheering on members of the Orthodox Bungalow Baseball League, a devout collection of rabble-rousers who have spent three decades tearing up the moderately manicured softball diamonds that pock the Catskill Mountains.

...Since 1977, the Orthodox league has been providing a healthful escape for thousands of men who might otherwise spend Sundays inside cramped bungalows, their wives threatening them with the prospect of laundry-folding.

There are six divisions, and the winner in each is rewarded with a classy-looking trophy, and most important, bragging rights during the long off-season months, when the players return to their winter homes, most in Brooklyn, Staten Island or the Five Towns of Long Island.
Read the whole thing for a bit of the flavor of one of these games - saying they are taken seriously by some among the Bungalow Colony set would be an understatement.


Blogger shanna said...

Threatened with laundry folding? For real?

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many factual mistakes. Among the most glaring is that Jerry Schrek goes to Clearview and not Greentree Acres.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The question is where do these guys have more arguments...in shul or on the baseball field?

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renting a plane to fly your team's banner. . . just another glaring example of Five Towns excess. How are we supposed to teach our kids "tzniut" (not just the modest dress kind) in a neighborhood where people are spending on airplane rentals enough to feed a family in Bnei Brak for a month?

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey anon 10:33

you are right in a sense. however, chaim silber (aka - Lobo) is one of the most generous charity givers in the 5 towns and formerly brooklyn. what he does with his money is his own business; especially, because he probably gives enough tzedakah to feed hundreds of families in bnei brak for an entire year.

i toot his horn and im not even related to him - thats how generous he is.

11:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The point is not whether Mr. Silber gives enough tzedaka to feed hundreds of families in Bnei Brak. The point is whether an Orthodox baseball league ought to be having planes with banners flying. It is certainly NOT how Milton Pfeiffer and Jerry Shrek envisioned their "Sunday morning something for the guys to do" activity. And yes, it is Clearview Bungalows where both gentlemen resided for the summer.

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And just by the by, at the time that the League was begun "threatening a man with laundry folding" would have been like speaking Swahili to someone who only spoke Greek--it wasn't going to happen.

Most of the women at Clearview, and I imagine in the other colonies as well, were all in favor of the League. The men took all the older kids with them to act as a cheering squad, giving the mothers some much needed breathing space.

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