JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Sunday’s (5/9/2010) perfect game by Oakland A’s pitcher Dallas Braden naturally made me think about Jews and their historical involvement in one of baseball’s most unusual spectacles.

It’s no secret to Jewish baseball fans that Los Angeles Dodger Sandy Koufax tossed one of the 19 perfect games in major-league history, a late-season 1965 gem over the lowly Chicago Cubs that put the Dodgers a mere half-game out of first place en route to an eventual National League pennant and World Series championship. Koufax finished the season 26-and-8 with a 2.04 ERA.

Less well-known — and less celebrated, for good reason — is the role of another Jew, California Angels pitcher Andrew Lorraine, in another perfect game 29 years later. Lorraine was the losing pitcher when Texas Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers tossed a no-baserunner beauty against the Angels in 1994.

The Rangers ultimately didn’t fare quite as well as Koufax’s Dodgers did years earlier. In that thoroughly strange 1994 season, the Rangers finished 1st in the AL West despite an anemic 52-and-62 record. The playoffs and World Series were canceled due to a players’ strike that continued into 1995.

— Scott Barancik