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Hope springs eternal, especially for baseball fans hungry for Jewish heroes.

In the 1970s, for example, many fans thought batting king Rod Carew was Jewish. Rumor had it his wife was a member of the tribe, his children were being raised Jewish, and Carew himself had converted. Adam Sandler’s “Chanukah Song” rejuvenated the myth in the 1990s. Alas, while the first two claims were true, Carew never converted. And after divorcing, his ties to Judaism largely faded away.

Thus, Jewish Baseball News concludes that Rod Carew is Not a Jew.

Below is a list of players often rumored to be Jewish who, in fact, are not, or at least not exclusively so. Many thanks to Jewish Sports Review for its ongoing help curating the list.

Players with Jewish ancestry who don’t consider themselves exclusively Jewish

  • Dylan Axelrod (2011-15)***
  • Harrison Bader (2017- )
  • Bo Belinsky (1962-70)*
  • Danny Burawa (2015- )***
  • Lou Boudreau (1938-52)
  • Greg Goossen (1965-1970)
  • Paul Goldschmidt (2011- ); see article
  • Jake Kalish (minors)***
  • Ty Kelly (2016- )***
  • Jason Kipnis (2011- )
  • Mike Koplove (2001-07)
  • Scott Radinsky (1990-2001)
  • Larry Rothschild (1981-82)
  • Dante Rosenberg (minors)
  • Roger Samuels (1988-89)

Players with “Jewish-sounding” names who aren’t

  • Mark Appel (minors)
  • Lance Berkman (1999-2013)
  • Madison Bumgarner (2009- )
  • Geoff Blum (1999-2012)
  • Jacob Brumfield (1992-99)
  • David Eckstein (2001-10)
  • Gabe Gross (2004-10)
  • Robbie Grossman (2013- )
  • Mike Jacobs (2005-12)
  • Phil Klein (2014- )
  • Jon Lieber (1994-2008)
  • Kyle Lobstein (2014- )
  • John Lowenstein (1970-85)
  • Steven Matz (2015- )
  • Kevin Mench (2002-10)
  • J.J. Putz (2003- )
  • Josh Ravin (2015- )
  • B.J. Rosenberg (2012- )
  • Trevor Rosenthal (2012- )
  • Michael Roth (2013- )
  • Jordan Schafer (2009- )
  • Max Scherzer (2008- )
  • Stephen Strasburg (2011- )
  • Steve Susdorf (2013- )
  • Jordan Zimmermann (2009- )
  • Ryan Zimmerman (2005- )
  • Walt Weiss (1987-2000)

Players rumored to be Jewish who aren’t

  • Jose Bautista (2004- )**
  • Moe Drabowsky (1956-72)
  • Wade Boggs (1982-99)
  • Sid Bream (1983-94)
  • Rod Carew (1967-85)
  • Ron Cey (1971-87)
  • Clayton Kershaw (2008- )
  • Johnny Kling (1900-13)
  • Jake Livingstone (1901)
  • Buddy Myer (1925-41)
  • Jim Palmer (1965-84)
  • Ed Reulbach (1905-17)

Belinsky’s mother was born Jewish but converted before he was born.

** However, Jose J. Bautista (1988-97) is Jewish.

*** Has played for Team Israel in the World Baseball Championship.


For our all-time list of players who are Jewish, click here.



Leave a comment
  • Written by Matt on March 19, 2014.

    Scott Diamond is not Jewish, despite having attended SUNY Binghamton, where 30% of the student body IS Jewish. Regarding the list of players “rumored” to be Jewish, who ever posited that Sid Bream, Clayton Kershaw, and Jim Palmer are Jewish. I can understand the mix-up with Jose J. Bautista and Jose A. Bautista, the stories about Wade Boggs drawing ‘Chai’ in the batter’s box, Rod Carew married a Jewish woman and raised Jewish children as did Ron Cey whose Jewish son Danny played in the minors, and Ed Reulbach I’ve heard people say yes and no about him being Jewish. Also, if we have Michael Roth of the Angels on the Not Jewish list, how can it be that Michael Kohn is also not on the list! If anything, Kohn is more “Jewish-sounding” than Roth.

    Jose Bautista* (2004- )
    Wade Boggs (1982-99)
    Sid Bream (1983-94)
    Rod Carew (1967-85)
    Ron Cey (1971-87)
    Clayton Kershaw (2008- )
    Jim Palmer (1965-84)
    Ed Reulbach (1905-17)

  • Written by Peter Tatiner on October 13, 2013.

    I don’t care what you or other such sites say but with that punim Max Scherzer is, or his family at one point was, Jewish. Absolutely no doubt.

  • Written by Daniel on October 12, 2013.

    What about Dbacks setup man Brad Ziegler?

  • Written by rich on October 11, 2013.

    update your material or watch an indians game jason kipnis wears a huge cross outside his uniform pretty sure hes not jewish

  • Written by Evan on September 2, 2013.

    What about A.J. Pollock

  • Written by Matt on August 18, 2013.

    Michael Roth is listed in the 1st column, but what about his Angels teammate Michael Kohn too? 2 guys on the same team with the same first and middle names (Michael Thomas) and both with 4-letter last names that can certainly belong to Jewish families. Not to mention, they’re both from South Carolina. There’s gotta be some Jewish ancestry up the three in one of those guys.

  • Written by Joey Cooperman on August 10, 2013.

    “Drabowsky was Jewish. He was born in Ozanna, a village in southern Poland.[3] He came to the U.S. with his mother in 1938 where his father joined them a year later.”

    What about Steve Yeager? He converted after he retired, so that doesn’t count? “After his playing career, Yeager converted to Judaism”
    Thank you

  • Written by Joey Cooperman on August 10, 2013.

    I read on multiple websites that Moe Drabowski WAS Jewish (he has since passed away).

  • Written by Leon Fonfa on July 5, 2013.

    Are Scott Diamond and Mike Jacaobs Jewish?

  • Written by Ron on June 26, 2013.

    You can almost see this as proof that Jews have finally been “accepted” into American society. Just about 100 years ago,it was anathema for intermarriage;now it’s commonplace with the consequence that kid are often not brought up with religion.

    It’s impossible to judge by names anymore (Youkilis, Valencia) but others with “Jewish-sounding” names include Hall of Famer Chuck Klein, Lance Berkman and any number of “Gold”s , or derivations thereof.

  • Written by Ryan Wagman on June 25, 2013.

    Josh Lindblom also fits that first cateiry

  • Written by Feivel Charanovitch on June 19, 2013.

    How about Mordechai (3 finger) Brown?

  • Written by David on June 13, 2012.

    Brian Schneider might fit in the first category as well.

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