Jews In Sports: Exhibit Page @ Virtual Museum


Harold U. Ribalow and Meir Z. Ribalow
Page 28 of 290

Jewish Baseball Stars

It was wrong to compare Andy Cohen with Rogers Hornsby. It was not fair to the Jewish boy and Hornsby was generous about it. When a New York paper ran a daily box score on both Hornsby and Cohen - to show that Andy was outshining the veteran - Hornsby said, "That's a lousy trick to play on the kid. I ain't hittin' now, but when I start I'll lose him." And Frank Graham, who told this story, added, "Which, of course, he did."

But the hysteria over a potentially great Jewish ball player was tremendous. Here is Grantland Rice's story in the New York Herald Tribune the day after Cohen made his debut with the Giants. To add to the drama, the Giants were facing the Boston Braves, with whom Hornsby was playing.

"It was Andy Cohen, the young Jewish ball player from Alabama University, who stepped into Hornsby's job at second for the Giants and lifted 30,000 frozen spectators to their frostbitten feet at the season's formal opening by taking full charge of a wild attack that beat Boston, 5 to 2.

"It was Andy Cohen, the Tuscaloosa Terror, who drove in two Giant runs, scored two more on his own hook, and covered the infield sod of the Polo Grounds, like a ballplaying centipede, to send the Giants spinning along to victory through a wind that came sweeping down from the Barren Lands with a rush and a roar.

"You may have heard of the Cohens and Kellys in the halls of the cinema, but it was the Cohen of Coogan's Bluff who took over the pictorial lead and kept the crowd from freezing stiffer than a Lapland iceberg . . .

"One old-timer became so excited that he stood up near the close of the game and begun to recite: