(Statistics through April 4)
Top of the week: Nine Jewish ballplayers made their team’s opening day rosters, including All-Stars Ryan Braun (Milwaukee Brewers), Ian Kinsler (Detroit Tigers), and Joc Pederson (Los Angeles Dodgers). Defensive magician Kevin Pillar moves into the leadoff spot for the Toronto Blue Jays. Danny Valencia earned a full-time spot for the Oakland Athletics, batting fourth and playing third base; teammate Sam Fuld begins his 2016 campaign on the disabled list. Craig Breslow joins his seventh team in 11 years, moving into the bullpen for the Miami Marlins. Scott Feldman remains a starter for the Houston Astros while sophomore hurler Jon Moscot, like Fuld, starts off on the DL for the Cincinnati Reds. Add Brad Ausmus, now in his third year as Tigers manager, and there’s your minyan.
On ice: Looks like Dallas Stars defenseman Jason Demers will not be a part of the post-season fun. With two games left, the Stars are tied for the No. 1 seed in the NHL Western Conference. Demers, who has been out of action since injuring his shoulder on March 8, joins the NJ Devils’ Michael Cammalleri as done for the season. Omri Casspi, the supersub for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, pulled a hamstring in Friday’s game against the Miami Heat and may also have seen his campaign end prematurely.
Born this week: Boxer Benny Leonard (April 7, 1896), bowler Mark Roth (April 10, 1951), and German track and field star Gretel Bergmann (April 12, 1914).
Sources: ESPN.com, Jewish Sports Review, Day by Day in Jewish Sports History.