Tuesday, October 3rd | 18 Tishri 5784

August 30, 2023 11:15 am

Jewish Player Lifts Baseball Team to Victory in New York’s Frontier League

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avatar by Alan Zeitlin


Jewish player David Vinsky. Photo: provided.

Sunday’s baseball game at Clover Stadium in Pomona, New York, between the New York Boulders and the Tri-City Valleycats in the Frontier League, was one for the record books.

Trailing 1-0 in the seventh inning, Jewish left fielder David Vinsky crushed a 2-0 pitch more than 420 feet into the left field bleachers, giving the Boulders a 2-1 lead that would stand.

Vinsky, who wears a Jewish star necklace, told me he is proud to be Jewish in a previous interview when I covered Jewish Heritage Day at the stadium, which offers kosher food from a company owned by a Hasidic man.

Other than Vinsky’s home run, the actual game was fairly boring. But the first inning was not. An argument saw Boulders infielder Tucker Nathans and first base umpire Warren Nicholson jaw at each other. Both were wrong to get so heated, but after Nicholson pushed or bumped Nathans, there was an hour-delay in the game. In what seemed like a scene from “The Naked Gun,” another umpire ejected Nicholson. A new third umpire eventually arrived.

What was the cause of the argument?

Former Texas Ranger player Pete Incaviglia alleged the Boulders were cheating in some fashion, either through television cameras or dugout iPads. After play resumed, the game was stopped for a second time. Incaviglia came out of the dugout again and complained, and pointed in the Boulders dugout. A Boulders player holding an iPad was asked to leave with it, and did.

After the game ended, the announcer loudly said that children should line up to run the bases after the game, but some Valleycats decided it was a good idea to charge the Boulders and attempt to start a brawl.

I’m aware that players make very little money. Passions erupt. But trying to start a brawl is simply unacceptable.

All games have a number of Orthodox Jewish fans that attend, as many live in the area in Rockland County or come from New Jersey. It’s a great day or night out. Tickets are cheap, one can sit close to the action, and the $38 million dollar stadium is impressive.

I e-mailed the Frontier League office to ask why a player was told to leave the dugout with an iPad, and who made the decision to eject the umpire.

Deputy commissioner Steve Tahsler responded on Monday with this:

The Frontier League is embarrassed and upset about the delay in last night’s game at Clover Stadium.  We apologize to the fans who had to observe these actions.  Unfortunately, our league staff was at other games last night.  We have had multiple conversations with all parties involved. An internal investigation is underway.

In the end, Jewish outfielder David Vinsky smacked a dramatic two-run homer to give the New York Boulders the lead, and the win. The team is only one game out of the playoffs, as the season comes down to the wire this week.

The author is a writer based in New York.

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