Star Jewish High School Baseball Player Draws Comparisons to Koufax (VIDEO)

April 22, 2013 9:25 pm 3 comments

Robert Kaminsky. Photo: Youtube.

Robert Kaminsky is one of the best pitching prospects in high school. The lefty has that mixture scouts love: velocity and control. Kaminsky is a Jew and throws left-handed, which invariably means he gets compared to that greatest of hard-throwing left-handed Jewish pitchers: Sandy Koufax.

“Sandy Koufax was a Jewish guy playing baseball, and so am I, and that’s rare,” Kaminsky told the New York Daily News. “Even being in the same sentence with him would be an incredible honor.”

Kaminsky isn’t exactly downplaying the comparison either. Last year’s New Jersey State Player of the Year has one very prized possession that sits on a shelf next to his bed: A Sandy Koufax baseball card.

The importance of Koufax was inculcated in Kaminsky from an early age. The precocious ballplayer’s father, Alan,was also very much a fan, and imparted the Koufax lore on his son, especially the story of how he sat during a playoff game because it fell on Yom Kippur.

“(That) decision has been a source of inspiration for legions of sports fans, both Jews and non-Jews, (and) has taken on legendary significance,” Alan Kaminsky told the New York Daily News.

Kaminsky might just end up getting his chance to emulate Koufax in the pros. Scouts are salivating over his skill-set and he’s projected as a top pick in this spring’s Major League Baseball draft.

“He’s a major-league curveball right now,” Frank Rendini, a Jersey-based scout for the Seattle Mariners, told the Daily News.

Adds an NL scout who asked to remain nameless, “There’s no question about his ability. The big point he has in his favor is that he’s a pitcher more than a thrower. He understands you don’t have to break the radar gun to win. For the most part he can put the ball right where he wants. That’s not something you see from very many kids his age.”

Kaminsky’s dominance at the high school level is obvious. His record for the season is 4-0 and he hasn’t given up an earned run in 26 innings.

“I’ve been doing this 26 years and he’s not just the best player I’ve ever coached; he’s one of the best people I’ve ever coached,” Frank Salvano, Kaminsky’s coach at St. Joseph Regional High School of Montvale, N.J, says. “If you walked in our locker room, you couldn’t tell Rob from anybody else. He just wants to be one of the guys and help his team win games.”

Kaminsky, whose Bar Mitzvah was baseball-themed, has signed a letter of intent to play at the University of North Carolina, but his future remains up in the air, especially considering the possible payday that would accompany a high draft slot. Whatever happens, it can’t hurt to have such a model of excellence inspiring him.

Watch a video of Kaminsky below:

3 Comments

  • Marcum Sussly

    In order to play on a national baseball stage in HS in US, you generally need to play at a parochial school. From all accounts, Kaminsky is a proud Jew, and even speaks Hebrew! Also, from all accounts, St. Joseph’s is a great school. All the best to him!

  • What is he doing at ST Joseph?

  • Julian Tepper

    Perhaps I will live long enough to see him pitch in the bigs against Alex Bregman, LSU’s greater than phenomenal freshman shortstop who hails from Albuquerque, NM.

    Julian Tepper
    Placitas, NM

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Book Reviews Personalities How a Jewish Leader With 3 Months to Live Created a ‘Seminar’ on Life

    How a Jewish Leader With 3 Months to Live Created a ‘Seminar’ on Life

    JNS.org – What would you do if you found out that you had only three more months to live? Gordon Zacks was a successful businessman, a leader of Jewish life, and a confidante and adviser to President George H.W. Bush. He knew that he had prostate cancer, but doctors advised him that it was very slow-growing and nothing to worry about. Then came the day when the doctors told him his cancer metastasized to his liver, and that he had [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Theater 10 Things I Learned From My Play About Holocaust Denial

    10 Things I Learned From My Play About Holocaust Denial

    Last month, my one-man show Hoaxocaust! Written and performed by Barry Levey with the generous assistance of the Institute for Political and International Studies, Tehran ran in the New York International Fringe Festival, where it won an Overall Excellence Award. The play has now been selected to run in the Fringe Encores Series at Baruch College’s Performing Arts Center, for four performances which started on Thursday, September 11. Getting the play to the stage was not easy, however. Here are [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israel Israeli Music Producer Racks Up Over 535,000 YouTube Hits – in Two Days

    Israeli Music Producer Racks Up Over 535,000 YouTube Hits – in Two Days

    Phenomenon: Tel Aviv-based musician and “sampler” extraordinaire, Kutiman (aka Ophir Kutiel) has hit another one out of the park with “Give It Up,” a fully-functioning song in its own right, assembled from hundreds of ameteur and instructional music videos. The Jerusalem-born musical prodigy is best know for his diverse online musical projects. In the latest video, uploaded to YouTube on Sept. 12th, Kutiel thanked most of the musicians and individuals he chose to include in the meticulously-edited clip, which opens with [...]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada Behind-the-Scenes Reel of Ridley Scott’s Moses Epic Shows Scenes Using 4000 Extras (VIDEO)

    Behind-the-Scenes Reel of Ridley Scott’s Moses Epic Shows Scenes Using 4000 Extras (VIDEO)

    A recently released behind-the-scenes reel of Ridley Scott’s upcoming film Exodus: Gods and Kings shows just how far the director has gone to portray one of the Bible’s most famous narratives. In the clip, which shows scenes involving up to 4,000 extras, the visionary director discusses what drew him to the biblical tale of Moses. “The Moses story was a massive challenge, which I really love. I wanted to explore the complexity of his character and I was stunned by [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Turner Classic Movies Showcases ‘Broad Sweep’ of the Jewish Experience on Film

    Turner Classic Movies Showcases ‘Broad Sweep’ of the Jewish Experience on Film

    JNS.org – Since 2006, the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) cable and satellite TV network has hosted “The Projected Image,” a month-long showcase examining how different cultural and ethnic groups have been portrayed on the big screen. At last, after previously covering African Americans, Asians, the LGBT community, Latinos, Native Americans, Arabs, and people with disabilities, the annual series is delving into Jewish film this month. “The Projected Image: The Jewish Experience on Film,” whose first segment aired Sept. 2, runs [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity An Inside Look at the Hasidim (REVIEW)

    An Inside Look at the Hasidim (REVIEW)

    The sight of young girls in pinafores and young boys wearing peyos – sidelocks – dangling over their ears is a sure sign that you have entered the enigmatic precincts of the Hasidim – the pious ones. Veteran New York Times journalist Joseph Berger’s new book, THE PIOUS ONES: The World of Hasidim and their Battles with America, takes the reader on a journey into the enclaves where various sects of Jews live a seemingly outmoded way of life in [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity How Jewish Television Pioneer Milton Berle Inspired Modern Comedy Stars

    How Jewish Television Pioneer Milton Berle Inspired Modern Comedy Stars

    JNS.org – Today’s comedy superstars, especially those whose careers are driven by television, may very well owe their success to pioneering Jewish entertainer Milton Berle. Born Mendel Berlinger in Manhattan in 1908, Berle became America’s first small-screen star. Aptly nicknamed “Mr. Television,” he influenced and helped promote the work of hundreds of younger comics. “Milton Berle was deceptively successful and very Jewish,” says Lawrence Epstein, author of The Haunted Smile: The Story of Jewish Comedians in America, published the year [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ a Secret Weapon for NBA Stars

    Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ a Secret Weapon for NBA Stars

    JNS.org – Idan Ravin’s friends chipped in to buy him a humble but life-changing bar mitzvah gift—a basketball hoop his father attached to the roof of his garage. Little did his friends know that years later, he would be the personal trainer of National Basketball Association (NBA) stars Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, and Stephen Curry. Ravin’s new book, “The Hoops Whisperer: On the Court and Inside the Head of Basketball’s Best Players,” details his rise from a Jewish upbringing [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.