Saturday, December 20, 2008


The correct answer is a) Dave Schneck.

Schneck, a native of Allentown, Pa., was drafted by the Mets in the 38th Round of the 1967 Amateur Draft. He was a left-handed hitting outfielder who played for the Mets from 1972 to 1974. In 1974, he reached career highs in games (93), batting average (.205), home runs (5), RBI (25), stolen bases (4) and doubles (11). On December 3, 1974, he was traded, along with outfielder Don Hahn and closer Tug McGraw (country singer Tim's dad, for you young fans) to the Philadelphia Phillies for outfielder Del Unser, reliever Mac Scarce and catcher John Stearns. Schneck, though, didn't appear in any Major League games after 1974. And he's the player pictured yesterday who is NOT Jewish.

b) Elliott Maddox, who the Mets signed as a free agent before the 1978 season, later converted to Judaism. He played three seasons with the orange-and-blue, after playing with Detroit, the Washington Senators, Yankees and Orioles. His most notable achievement as a Met? Leading the National League in 1980 in getting hit by pitches (6).
c) Art Shamsky platooned in right field for the Mets and helped the team capture their first World Series championship in 1969. In that Miracle Year, he hit an even .300 with 14 bombs and 47 RBI.

d) Shawn Green, who played his last season-and-a-half as a Met, is the all-time Major League home runs leader among Jewish ballplayers, with 328. After being acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks in August of 2006, Green hit .257 as a Met, with 4 homers and 15 RBI. But he may best be remembered for his being centrally involved in two key moments in the 2006 National League Chamipnship Series.

*In Game 2, at Shea Stadium, with the Mets ahead 6-4, Green valiantly scaled the right field fence in an attempt to rob the Cardinals' Scott Spiezio of a go-ahead, three-run homer. Green nearly pulled off the feat, but instead the ball glanced off his glove, then off the wall and Spiezio tied the game with a two-run triple. The Mets would lose that game, 9-6.

*In Game 7, Green was subtly involved in two important sequences in the heartbreaking 3-1 elimination loss. In the first inning, with the Mets having taken a 1-0 lead and with another runner in scoring position, Green appeared to have driven home a second run with his line drive toward left field--only he was robbed by leaping Cardinals' third-baseman, Scott Rolen. That first run would be the only one the Mets would score and the Cardinals eventually won, 3-1.

Other Jewish Mets over the years include: Reliever Scott Schoeneweis, utilityman David Newhan and infielder Greg Goosen. More famous Jewish players in MLB history include legendary ones like pitcher Sandy Koufax and outfielder Hank Greenberg and former All-Stars like pitcher Steve Stone. And of course there are current All-Stars, such as the Brewers' outfielder Ryan Braun and Red Sox' infielder Kevin Youkilis. Also, there are Cubs' pitcher Jason Marquis and Astros' catcher, Brad Ausmus.
Happy Hanukkah!

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