My pal Sam Borden, the Journal News columnist, did a nice piece yesterday on an author who wrote a book about Jewish ballplayers.
To me, that has always been one of the great things about baseball, how much we as fans can identify with certain players. Unlike football players, who are largely anonymous, we feel like we get to know baseball players.
I remember a few years ago, some Native Americans in Minnesota came to visit Joba Chamberlain. Derek Jeter always gets some applause in Detroit. When I was a kid, we all followed Jerry Remy when he played for the California Angels because he grew up a few towns over. The local paper always identified him as “Jerry Remy, of Somerset.”
New Jersey folks might pull for Mark DeRosa. On Long Island, Craig Biggio was their guy.
What about you? Anybody you keep tabs on just because?
UPDATE, 1:36 p.m.: Nearly 100 comments already on this post, pretty cool. Everybody, it seems, has their favorite.
Somebody asked me who I rooted for. I’m a fan of Kansas City’s Mike Aviles. He went to Concordia College in Bronxville, N.Y., and I wrote a feature story on him back in 2002. I always check the boxes to see how he does. Westchester representing.