Top of the list: Brendan Leipsic, a 21-year-old left-winger for the Toronto Maple Leafs, scored a goal in his NHL debut on Feb. 13 to help his team beat the host Vancouver Canucks, 5-2. The Leafs called up the Winnipeg, Manitoba, native that morning as an emergency fill-in. He had 14 goals and 20 assists in 47 games with the Leafs’ minor league affiliate, the Marlies, who also play in Toronto.
Best of the rest: Former NY Mets slugger Ike Davis signed a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers on Feb. 14, according to the Dallas Morning News. Davis, who has also played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Oakland Athletics, had a number of injuries that have plagued his career. He had three home runs in 74 games for Oakland last year before undergoing surgery in August to repair a torn labrum in his left hip. He also missed a month with a left quadriceps strain. Davis has 81 home runs in six Major League seasons. It had been rumored that the NY Yankees were interesting in signing the 28-year-old Davis.
Calling all (Jewish) athletes: Maccabi USA is seeking Jewish athletes to represent the United States at the 20th World Maccabiah Games in Israel, July 5-17, 2017. An estimated 7,500 athletes in 40-plus sports from more than 70 countries are expected to take part in the Games, the third-largest international sporting competition in the world and the largest international Jewish event. The U.S. delegation is expected to number 1,200, the largest traveling delegation from the USA to participate in any international sporting event. For more information, visit MaccabiUSA.com or contact Shane Carr at 267-627-5647 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Birthday greetings: Adam Greenberg, who was hit in the head in his debut at bat for the Chicago Cubs in 2005, turns 35 on Feb. 21. Greenberg never recovered from his injury enough to get another chance at the Majors until the Miami Marlins signed him for a one-day contract in 2012, thereby giving him his only “official” career at bat. Barney Dreyfuss, owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the man credited with inventing the World Series, was born on Feb. 23, 1865.
Sources: Dallas Morning News, ESPN.com, Day by Day in Jewish Sports History
For the latest news on Jewish Sports, visit Kaplan’s Korner at njjewishnews.com/kaplanskorner.