American Jews & America’s Game: Book Review and Interview
A while back, my friend Marty Appel, the renowned author of my favorite New York Yankees book, Pinstripe Empire, asked me to read a book called American Jews & America’s Game by Larry Ruttman and to review it. So first, here is my review of the book and then continue reading for the interview I conducted with Ruttman.
The book American Jews & America’s Game by Larry Ruttman is a book of over 500 pages filled with biographies and interviews of Jews in baseball since the time of Hank Greenberg. The book is not just with players, however. It also includes former owners, general managers, and even some other Jewish authors. Each interview is jam packed with great information that was not only inspirational at times, but also very interesting to read. Ruttman conducted all the interviews himself, traveling across the states and to as far away as Israel. Overall, I think the book is really excellent!! You will learn so much and Larry has a great writing style. I would highly suggest buying it, for anyone who is interested. Well, that’s the book review. Now it’s on to the interview with Larry Ruttman. However, before that, let me tell you a little bit about him first.
Larry grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts as a very big Red Sox fan. His first book, which he wrote at the age of 74, Voices of Brookline, was a national finalist for the 2005 American Association of State and Local History Award of Merit. The Korean War veteran and lawyer for over fifty years has been writing books since he was 72 and is currently 82 years old. Well, now it’s on to the interview.
Matt: Why did you decide to write this book?
Larry: I’ve always been a fan of baseball. I thought that it was a good topic to pursue and that it was very important for people to know how the Jews in baseball got to where they are today.
Matt: Have you always been interested in writing about baseball?
Larry: Not really. I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer until I was about 72, but because I love baseball so much, writing about it almost seemed natural.
Matt: Who is your favorite person in the book?
Larry: I think it would have to be Marvin Miller. He is the sole reason why baseball has free agency. He was also a wonderful guy to talk to, considering we didn’t stop talking for three hours. We actually got to be good friends until he passed away. However, everyone was very nice and I’m glad I got the chance to talk to them.
Matt: Who is your favorite baseball player in history?
Larry: Probably Ted Williams. He was active during the important years of my life and I would go see him a lot, because I lived right near Fenway Park. I never saw a player hit like him. His swing was so smooth and put so much power on the ball. Also, not only was he a good player, but he was also a great guy.
Well, that’s the interview. Shout out to Marty Appel for setting me up with this interview. Anyway, thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back in a couple of days for more of “all the buzz on what wuzz.”