JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Names of Jewish players selected in last month’s MLB draft continue to trickle in, and the latest is a University of Pittsburgh hurler named Corey Baker.

The St. Louis Cardinals selected Baker in the 49th round of the amateur draft, or 1,490th overall. A 21-year-old native of New City, N.Y., he recently graduated from Pitts and is the Panther’s all-time career wins leader with 24. Baker is the ninth 2011 draftee identified so far by Jewish Baseball News — the eight others are described here and here — and came our way courtesy of a tip from columnist Jonathan Mayo.

Mayo recently profiled Baker for the Jewish Chronicle. In it, the right-hander touched on his Bar Mitzvah at a Reform synagogue, his participation years ago in the Maccabi games, and the relative scarcity of Jews playing at the highest levels of sport.

“It’s something I’m proud of, my background, my heritage,” Baker told Mayo. “In sports, it’s different than being, say, African-American, because being on the field, people can’t really tell. It’s not something completely obvious, it’s not written across my chest. It doesn’t make me any different than any ballplayer, but I know there’s such a small amount of (Jewish) athletes in this country, it’s something I’m proud of. Hopefully, I go on to play pro baseball, become part of an even smaller percentage.”

Baker was drafted in spite of an unspectacular senior season in which he went 5-4 with a 5.04 ERA and an opposing-team batting average of .305. His finest season came junior year, when he went 11-3 with a 5.37 ERA and struck out 73 batters while walking just 32.

According to his team bio, Baker attended Clarkson South High School, where he was a member of the Foreign Language National Honors Society and received Outstanding Achievement Awards in history and English. He is the son of Mark and Leah Baker.

# # #

Planning to make a purchase at Support Jewish Baseball News by using our link, below. It costs you nothing, and the few nickles we receive will help us keep the lights on.