8 Nights of Jewish Tigers– Nights 4 and 5

OK, yeah, sorry, Night 4 got kind of wiped out by the Alamo Bowl, as that rather effectively kept me away from any kind of holiday mood. This is Night 5, but his history involves a couple of other Jewish baseball players (not Tigers), so we’ll let him make up for last night’s incompetent-referee-assisted lack of update. And I was out all night Friday and suffered greatly at the hands of the Boston road system, so night 6 will get posted sometime this afternoon and, um, yeah, they’ll all be up eventually.

Larry Sherry

Terrible photo on that card, isn’t it? You’d think they would use better shots for baseball cards, but sometimes even the ones they come out with today are pretty bloody goofy.

Sherry, a right-handed relief pitcher, played in Detroit for four seasons. The first three were pretty good years, and he hit his career high of saves (20) in 1966, but the 4th year saw his ERA ballooning upwards. The Tigers used him sparingly, and he ended up in Houston the next season. He pitched out that year and a subsequent year on the yet-to-be-so-designated Rally Monkey Angels, but his ERA never recovered, and he retired to go into coaching.

Sherry was born with two clubfeet and had surgery to correct them, much like Jim Mecir. Unlike Mecir, however, who pushes off the rubber funny and throws a screwball because of this, Sherry’s bread and butter pitch was a sort of variable-speed slider.

He did have some memorable (or unfortunate) times in Detroit. In August of 1964 Sherry had his foot broken for him when a comeback linedrive bounced off of it, shutting him down for the rest of the year. In September of 1965 Pedro Gonzalez tried to whale on him with a bat during a game.

His best days, were definitely with the Dodgers. The most memorable Larry Sherry moments took place in the postseason with the Dodgers, before his tenure in Detroit. With LA he was murderously good in relief during the 1959 World Series, picking up 2 saves and 2 wins. Also with that Dodger squad (and here are your bonus Jews) was Larry’s brother Norm, a reserve catcher, and, of course, Sandy Koufax. The three were pretty good friends, going out to eat around the ballpark and such.

Larry pitched to Norm during several games, making them the first ever Jewish brother battery in baseball.


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