Jews In Sports: Exhibit Page @ Virtual Museum


Harold U. Ribalow and Meir Z. Ribalow
Page 116 of 290

Jewish Baseball Stars

all the mistakes I had picked up along the way. Until Paul took me over, I honestly didn't know the first thing about getting the side out."

In three seasons with Buffalo, Rogovin won thirty-two games and lost only seventeen. In 1949, he won sixteen games and struck out 163. This work earned him a call to Detroit, where he won only two games in 1950. Back to the minors he went and received a second crack at the majors in 1951, again with Detroit. He made an unfavorable impression on Red Rolfe, Tiger manager, and was traded to the Chicago White Sox, then being managed by Rogovin's old friend, Paul Richards. It was with Richards that Rogovin bloomed and became a star. Yet the inside story of how a man succeeds for one manager while failing for another indicates the importance of approach to a player as sensitive as Saul Rogovin. This is how Rogovin has told it.

"Red wanted to win that pennant badly in 1950 and I guess he thought I was alibiing when I told him I couldn't pitch." Rogovin was cursed with a chronic sore arm, a horrible fate for any pitcher, but Red Rolfe, the Tiger manager and a former New York Yankee star, had no interest in excuses. Rogovin's narrative points its own moral:

"I wanted to pitch more than he wanted me to, but my arm simply was shot. There's no worse feeling for a pitcher than when he has a bum hose. The whole trouble started, I guess, when we were coming north from Lakeland, Florida, 1950. Rolfe told me there was a chance to stay with the club as a relief pitcher. But I wanted to show him I could be a starter so I bore down extra hard. One night I got a chance to start against the White Sox in Memphis. It was very cold, below thirty degrees, I think. In fact it was