Jewish players throughout Red Sox history

League Championship Series - Houston Astros v Boston Red Sox - Game One
League Championship Series - Houston Astros v Boston Red Sox - Game One / Elsa/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox will acknowledge Jewish history on May 30 with Jewish Heritage Celebration festivities. Shirts written in Hebrew will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. With Passover now upon us, I will expand the celebration since it brings me the Jewish connection to the diamond for the Red Sox. Baseball and the Red Sox have quite a list of Jewish players.

The most apparent connection is not on the diamond but in management with Chaim Bloom. Bloom has undoubtedly not been exempt from criticism in his role of rebuilding the Red Sox into a viable contender. Sadly, often that criticism has exceeded the boundaries of common sense, subjecting Bloom to antisemitism.

The current roster has lefty Richard Bleier, who the Red Sox picked up from the Marlins for Matt Barnes. Bleier is a six-year vet whose primary call to duty is out of the bullpen.

A second possible addition to the Red Sox Jewish roster is lefthander Ryan Sherriff who is with the WooSox. Sherriff signed a deal with Boston and has limited experience at the MLB level tossing 44.1 innings at stops with the Cards and Tampa Bay.

Red Sox championship teams in the 21st century had significant Jewish player contributions

The most notable Jewish player in Red Sox history is Kevin Youkilis, who, in his Boston tenure, was a Gold Glove award winner, a three-time All-Star, and a member of the 2004 and 2007 championship teams. Youk is now an established presence in the broadcast booth.

The 2004 championship team also had a popular "Dirt Dog" in Gabe Kapler. Kapler was an excellent role player for six MLB teams and a forgettable journey to Japan, where Kapler hit just .153. Kapler later managed the Phillies and is now the Giant's manager.

Lefty Craig Breslow got his ring in 2013, and his career is typical of a situational lefty. Twelve MLB seasons with multiple organizations before moving to the Chicago Cubs, where the former Yale grad has had various roles, with the latest being assistant GM.

Kevin Pillar played just 30 games for the Red Sox in the COVID ruined season. Pillar is best remembered locally as a member of the Rays, where he was a regular on defensive highlights. Pillar recently made the opening day roster of the Atlanta Braves. Superman is back.

How about a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame? Lou Boudreau was a player-manager for the Cleveland Indians and later for the Red Sox. Boudreau did little to turn the Red Sox around in the early 1950s and lasted three seasons. But the former MVP had a memorable part in Red Sox history.

In 1948 the Red Sox and the then Cleveland Indians were in a three-team race with the New York Yankees for the AL pennant. Boston and Cleveland tied, and a one-game playoff took place. Boudreau went 4-4 with a pair of home runs, and Cleveland took the title, but Boudreau was not through punishing Boston. The Indians beat the BosBraves 4-2 in the World Series.

How about a spy playing for the Red Sox? Moe Berg was a 15-year journeyman catcher, and two seasons were with the Red Sox. As a baseball pundit once said: "Berg can speak seven languages and not hit the curve in any of them." Berg reportedly was a spy on a baseball tour of Japan and later continued that role in WW II.

Infielder Buddy Myer could be of value to today's Red Sox. Myer was brought to Boston in a trade with the Washington Senators and spent two seasons with Boston hitting .301. Myer also led the AL in steals in 1928 (30). His lefty bat and fleet foot could be of value today. Boston shipped Myer back to Washington, where he won a batting title in 1935 (.349).

If there is a first on the Red Sox Jewish roster, it would be a lefty-hitting outfielder George Stone. Stone got just two at-bats with the 1903 Red Sox (Pilgrims) and then a return to the minors. Stone resurfaced with the Browns in 1905 and won the AL batting crown in 1906 with a .358 average.

There are several others that I have bypassed and others who may have chosen to avoid any connection and remained insular on their religious/cultural affiliations. The previously mentioned Stone appears on some lists and not others.