Shawn Green: Baseball's Rising Jewish Superstar
by Brian Berk
Shawn Green is not currently a household name, but he soon will be. The six foot four, one hundred ninety five pound native of Des Plaines, IL is considered one of the best Jewish baseball players to come along since the days of Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax. The Toronto Blue Jays were so impressed by the right fielder's ability as an amateur that they selected Shawn sixteenth overall in the 1991 free-agent draft. Since then, Shawn has amassed an impressive career, highlighted by his 1998 campaign.
In 1998, Green became the first player in Blue Jay history to hit thirty home runs and steal thirty bases in the same season. In addition, Shawn compiled a .278 batting average, scored 106 runs, and drove in 100 runs. Green is also an underrated defender. Shawn is considered a consistent fielder with an excellent throwing arm. 1999 should prove to be an even better season for the budding star north of the border.
Howard Starkman, Vice President of the Toronto Blue Jays' Media Relations Department, placed Shawn in proper perspective. "Shawn came along very nicely last season for us. He is a key member of our team. Not only did he become the first Blue Jay in history to steal thirty bases and hit thirty home runs in a season, but he hit thirty-five home runs and stole thirty-five bases last year. As far as Jewish heritage goes, Shawn does not see himself as a role model. He never turns down an interview request, however."
Considering Shawn Green's tremendous efforts on and off the baseball field, Green does not need to be modest. Shawn is a great role model for Jewish and non-Jewish persons alike.
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