Take Me Out to the Ballgame
By Henry Levy
The fourth annual Jewish Heritage Night at Shea Stadium was held on Sunday, August 26, with the Mets hosting the San Francisco Giants. Among the touches of Jewish culture for this evening's game was a pre-game concert by Ira Heller (who also sang the American and Israeli national anthems), the Parparim Israeli Dance Troupe (who were joined briefly by Mr. Met), videos of Sandy Koufax, the Jewish Hall of Fame in Commack, the Holocaust Museum in NY and a "Welcome to Israel" presentation.
Alon Pinkas, Israel's Consul General, threw out the first pitch. The catering staff was preparing special food stands with Mexican food until they were advised that it was Jewish night and the Kosher hot dog stands were open.
Edgardo Alfonzo got the Mets fans on their feet when he took a 2-2 pitch and hit the fair pole with a 365 foot, 3 run homer. But the Mets needed to be revived during the 7th inning stretch. As the melodious voice of Mandy Patinkin sang Take Me Out to The Ballgame in Yiddish, it seemed to energize not only the crowd but the multi-lingual Met players as well.
In the bottom of the seventh, Matt Lawton drilled a double into right to score the tie-breaking run. Alfonzo scored a back-up run with a ground out to second. Then after an intentional walk to Mike Piazza (which the crowd promptly booed), Robin Ventura scored a run with a sacrifice fly to left. See what a little Yiddish rally song can do. It was a great night as the Mets won 6-5. The evening was sponsored by the Queens Jewish Community Council and the Jewish Community Relations Council.
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