• Art S.

Birthday of Ken Holtzman, 1945

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On This Day in Jewish History: November 3, 1945

https://www.instagram.com/p/CHJEXyOLrBG/

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#onthisday, 1945, Ken Holtzman is born in St. Louis, Missouri. In the pantheon of great Jewish ballplayers Sandy Koufax and Hank Greenberg stand above all others, but Ken Holtzman has his own place of honor.

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The Jewish lefty who threw two no-hitters and helped turn the Chicago Cubs into winners was also a key asset of the the dynasty that turned the Oakland A’s of the early 70s into champions.

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Holtzman broke into the majors in 1965 during a decade dominated by great pitching. Koufax, Bob Gibson, Ferguson Jenkins and Juan Marichal were the headliners of the National League.

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He showed signs of the star-to-be in 1966 when he outdueled Koufax in late 1966 and then, during the 1967 season when he spent most of his time serving in the National Guard, he went a remarkable 9-0.

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But it was the 1969 season when Holtzman emerged as a star, winning 17 games for a Cubs staff that featured 20 game winners Jenkins and Bill Hands.

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Three years later he was traded to the Oakland A’s where he helped anchor the rotation for the dynasty that won the World Series three years in a row.

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From 1972 to 1975 he won a startling 72 games throwing over 250 innings in each season.

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Holtzman grew up in the Jewish neighborhood of University City in St. Louis and entered the big leagues after graduating from the University of Illinois.

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He returned to St. Louis and worked for a time at the JCC as well as coach the St. Louis team in the Maccabi Games.

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He also had a short stint as manager of the Petach Tikva Pioneers of the Israel Baseball League (of particular significance today as per our next post 🤫🤔).

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Among Jewish ballplayers, only Sandy Koufax won more World Series rings.

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#judaism#jewish#history#jewishhistory#onthisday#kenholtzman#baseball#legend#jewishsstar#nohitters#cubs#athletics#yankees

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Text Source:

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/kenneth-holtzman

Image Source:

https://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/2019/8/19/18192069/today-1969-cubs-history-ken-holtzman-no-hitter http://jewishbaseballmuseum.com/player/ken-holtzman/

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