Jewish Sports Nerds and Their Path to the Promised Land
Ep 4: How ‘Moneyball’ changed the game and opened the door to new careers in sports
While many Jewish kids dream of growing up to become iconic Jewish athletes like Dolph Schayes or Sandy Koufax, the numbers aren’t exactly on our side. This episode is about all the ways Jews have found careers in the game without playing the game—how they professionalized their passion and forged their own path to the Promised Land, in large part by embracing the mathematical and statistical revolution of the early 2000s. The so-called Moneyball generation created models for how brainy Jewish kids could be brainy Jewish adults in sports.
Episode 4 features interviews with New York Mets Assistant General Manager Ben Zauzmer; Wharton statistics and data science professor Adi Wyner; and Adam Neuman, chief of staff for the Big 10 Conference. This episode also celebrates others paths into the sports industry, with Cespedes Family BBQ Twitter phenom Jake Mintz, baseball romance author KD Casey, and father-daughter sports journalism duo Dave Kaplan and Emily Kaplan.
Over the course of this series, host Meredith Shiner will be exploring how Jewish culture, American culture, and sports culture intersect. She’ll talk to journalists, athletes, amateur and professional sports nerds, and fans who have spent as much time obsessing over these topics as she has.
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