JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — A profile of Milwaukee Brewers LF Ryan Braun in Monday’s (5/24/2010) edition of USA Today details the 26-year-old’s growing baseball and entrepreneurial success.

Among the article’s dominant themes is the Braun’s considerable self-confidence:

“He got definite swag,” Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, 25, says. “I love watching him play.”

“I’m kind of known for my confidence,” Braun says matter-of-factly. “If you don’t believe in yourself, I don’t see any reason that anyone else would believe in you. If not for confidence, I wouldn’t be here today.”

“He’s cooler than cool,” teammate LaTroy Hawkins, 37, says. So cool that Braun, 26, epitomizes a new breed of young players: brash, full of confidence and unafraid to celebrate conquests. The aim for Braun, an All-Star in each of his first two full seasons: Tear up the league with his bat, and conquer the business world with his brains.

“I didn’t really get to know Braun until this spring,” second-year manager Ken Macha says. “I sat down with all of the veterans to get to know everyone’s personalities. With most, it took about 15 minutes. With Ryan, it lasted an hour, 15 minutes. “I’m not sure I’ve ever been around a player with that kind of talent. And, except for Dave Parker, I’m not sure I’ve ever been around anyone who has more confidence, either.”

In a sidebar to the article, Braun, who is 26 and single, says he is proudly Jewish even though you won’t find him in a synagogue:

Milwaukee Brewers All-Star left fielder Ryan Braun, has never attended temple. Never had a bar mitzvah. But if the Jewish community wants to adapt him as one of their own, calling him “The Hebrew Hammer,” he’s all for it.

“I am Jewish,” says Braun, whose mother is Catholic and dad Jewish…”It’s something I’m really proud of. But I don’t want to make it into something more than what it is. I didn’t have a Bar Mitzvah. I don’t want to pretend that I did. I didn’t celebrate the holidays.”

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