I once wrote an article counting down the top Jewish baseball athletes, which can be viewed here:
But, then I figured, with Jews' success in boxing, Olympics, and basketball, not to mention a few Jews in hockey and football, I figured why not count down the best in all sports.
And why the top 18 ever, not 20?
Because we Jews are superstitious and 18 is a lucky number.
So, I wish all Jewish players luck, even the Red Sox's Kevin Youkilis, and here are the best Jewish athletes ever:
Although his Jewishness is questionable, Rod Carew did have a Mikvah, making him Jewish.
Hall of Famer Carew retired with 3,053 hits, and a .328 batting average.
Savitt is a tennis player who won two gold medals in the 1961 Maccabiah Games.
He is in the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
As you will notice in this slide show, Jews were very good boxers, until African American segregation was ended in the sport and they took it over.
Goldstein was a great boxer, although he fought the fewest bouts of all the boxers on this list. His total record was 54 wins with 6 losses, no draws and 38 wins by KO.
A great boxer, he is in both the World Boxing Hall of Fame and the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
After Barney Ross's dad, a rabbi, died in his hands after being shot during a robbery, Ross turned to a successful life of brawls.
The young Rasofsky grew up on Chicago's mean streets, ultimately ignoring his father's dying advice that Jews do not fight back.
His record was 32–1–2, and he was never KO'd.
He is in both the World and International Boxing Hall of Fames.
Jenő Fuchs was a fencer. He is the only fencer on this list.
In his career, he won four Olympic gold medals: Two in London in 1908, and two in Stockholm in 1912, posting a career record of 22 wins, 2 losses, and 1 draw.
Yes, a boxer, Jackie Fields was around longer than Ruby and Barney, and posted a record of 74 wins, nine losses, no draws, and 31 wins by KO.
He was elected into both the World and International Boxing Hall of Fame.
The only girl on my list due to fear of cooties, Julie Heldman was a great tennis player. She won three gold medals at Israel's Maccabiah games in tennis. She is in the ITA Women's Hall of Fame, and in the USTA Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame.
Good stuff for a girl.
Mark Roth is the only bowler on this list.
Roth nearly went perfect once, shooting 299. His multiple accolades and awards put him on this list. Here are some:
Four-time PBA Player of the Year (1977, 1978, 1979 and 1984)
Six-time winner of the PBA High Average award
Still holds PBA record of 8 titles in a single season (1978)
Inducted into PBA Hall of Fame, 1987
Inducted into International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, 1992
Voted into USBC Hall of Fame in December, 2008 (will be officially inducted in May, 2009)
Ranked 5th on the PBA's 2008 list of "50 Greatest Players of the Last 50 Years"
Benny Leonard was an amazing boxer. He was named as number eight on Ring Magazine's list of the 80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years.
His career record was 183-19-11, with 70 KO wins.
A great Jew.
Sid Luckman was an NFL quarterback. He played on the Bears from 1939 to 1950. He is considered the inventor of the T-formation.
His career QB ranking was 75.0.
He had 125 wins, and 18 losses, with 25 draws. Not bad. He's also in both the World and International Boxing Hall of Fame.
As Adam Sandler once said in his song "Channukah:"
"Not too shabby!"
Burg is another boxer, originating from the streets of East London. He boxed in the 20s and 30s, a time when boxing was popular in England.
His record was 157-26-9, with 57 KO wins. He is in both the World and International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Ron Mix was an AFL left guard. He went to the AFL All-star game nine consecutive times, and was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Considered the first Jewish Baseball superstar, Greenberg made way for great Jews to come. He played rough, dirty, old fashioned baseball, and reminded America Jews can be tough and gritty.
Greenberg also served in World War II.
Lastly, he was inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame.
Albert Rosenfeld, not to be confused with Jewish baseball player Al Rosen, played Rugby for Australia. He played 5/8ths. He represented his country in four test matches.
After a successful career, he was elected into the British Rugby League Hall of Fame.
Maxie was a boxer with a record of 222-42-31, and is in both the World and International Boxing Hall of Fames.
He was also an important T.V. personality after his boxing career.
Sandy Koufax is a well-known baseball player.
Actually, this girl I know named her dog "Koufax."
He didn't play on Yom Kippur, he won three Cy Young awards, and he pitched a perfect game.
As Yogi Berra, a man of many words said about a season where he went 25-5: "I can see how he won 25 games. What I don't understand is how he lost five."
Anyone remember whose medal record Michael Phelps beat last year at Beijing? Mark Spitz. He had seven gold medals in the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Spitz is considered one of the best swimmers ever. He is in the swimming Hall of Fame, and the prestigious Olympic Hall of Fame.
All in all, this guy makes a pretty good Jew.
So, here we are. With this list done, you see few modern names. Could Kevin Youkilis and Ryan Braun be the next Hank Greenbergs? We'll have to wait and see, but that's all for now!