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October 13, 2015 3:02 pm

Professor Says Dodgers Power-Hitter Could Break Stereotype of Jews in Sports

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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 Joc Pederson could destroy the stereotype that Jewish athletes are all brains and no brawn. Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers.

Joc Pederson could destroy the stereotype of Jewish athletes being all brains and no brawn. Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers.

Rookie player for the Dodgers Joc Pederson may boost the image of Jewish athletes if he can prove he has both brains and brawn, according to a professor writing for the Daily Beast on Sunday.

David Fontana, Associate Professor of Law at George Washington University School of Law, pointed out the longstanding stereotype of Jews as more brainy than brawny, and asserted that Pederson could break the stereotype.

Indeed, the 23-year-old’s “power-hitting” performance thus far is rare among Jewish athletes.

“If Pederson sustains his performance for any length of time, he could be the first respected, mainstream Jewish athlete in some time to be publicly recognized for his powerful athletic performance,” the Daily Beast said. “This could change the image of Jews in sports, and perhaps even more broadly…he could change how Jews are viewed on and off the field for some time to come.”

The Jewish centerfielder was selected to play in the MLB All-Star game over the summer and hit some of the longest home runs of the early season, according to the Daily Beast. In June, he even hit more home runs of at least 450 feet than any other team in all of major league baseball. His fly balls are also some of the longest in the history of the sport.

Only a few Jewish baseball players in the past have been able to prove they have both smarts and strength, including Detroit Tigers hitter Hank Greenberg in the ’30s and ’40s, and Dodgers legend Sandy Koufax in the ’50s and ’60s.

The Daily Beast noted that since then, “Other Jewish athletes have come somewhat close to doing what Pederson could do, but never quite broke through as Pederson might.”

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  • Mike

    The perception of one law professor at George Washington University has no validity. Who cares? This isn’t newsworthy, it’s ridiculous.

  • Joshua Pines

    This is a hideous hypothesis. There have been successful Jewish athletes in the modern era across all the major American team sports.

  • yussi

    Ever hear of hank Greenberg al Rosen ànd a pretty good pitcher named Koufax to name a few

  • John Q, Jew

    What a fascinating hypothesis this professor makes. The fate of one aspect of Jewish stereotyping is in the hands of 1 professional baseball player. If not for this one person, this stereotype about Jews would presumably continue ad infinitum? This is analogous to saying that a Jewish person was spotted tipping a waiter 25% after receiving excellent service, and therefore Jews might not be cheap after all.

  • Is this genuine? Sounds like satire.

  • Max M

    What about Shawn Green late of the Blue Jays and LA Dodgers ?

    • orange

      Wasn’t Shawn green on the Yankees for a year as well?

  • Ray havelock

    What about Blue Jays spectacular centre fielder Kevin Pillar? See him in his Jewish Superman t shirt after the second win in Texas. Now watch Jays vs Royals and see a. gold Glover. Watch highlights of rookie Pillar making unbelievable catches!

  • JordanG

    The article fails to mention Kevin Pillar of the Toronto Blue Jays, also having one Jewish parent, and having a tremendous season helping the Blue Jays reach the American League Championship Series. His defensive play in centre field has earned him the nickname “superman” as he is able to launch himself airborn to track down fly balls in the outfield.