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World Series: Breslow, Beards, and Nuremberg

The series is tied at 2-2, but so much more is going on

Adam Chandler
October 28, 2013

The World Series is in full swing with the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals tied at two games a piece and more and more people tuning in. Most notably, the games have featured some unbelievable finishes, the third ended on a rare obstruction call, the fourth ended with a Boston pitcher picking off a St. Louis batter at first base.

Meanwhile, James Taylor might have gaffed the national anthem and Boston’s elder(ly) statesman David Ortiz has been hitting .727 and will probably never be pitched to again in the series. Unfortunately, Tablet’s brainy hero and warrior-thrower, Boston relief pitcher Craig Breslow, is having a terrible series thus far. With a very Jewish and astronomical earned-run average of 54.00 along with some terrible fielding decisions, we might not see him on the mound again until next season. (Not that we wouldn’t love a redemption tale.)

There’s been some good content about the series as well. If you didn’t catch this over the weekend, Dan Barry wrote a fascinating (and somewhat polarizing) piece about two members of the clergy, who placed a bet on the 1946 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals under some historically fraught circumstances. Here’s a piece of it:

These men of the cloth had earned this minor vice.

For the last 11 months, they had served as the chaplains at Nuremberg prison in Germany, offering spiritual counsel to the first Nazis to be tried for war crimes in the rubbed-raw wake of World War II. Among their flock were architects of genocide, responsible for the murder of many millions, most of them Jews.

Now it was mid-October, and this initial phase of postwar judgment was nearing its climactic end in a courts-and-prison complex called the Palace of Justice. The pastoral work of the Lutheran, the Rev. Henry Gerecke, and the Franciscan, the Rev. Sixtus O’Connor, was almost done.

For something entirely different, there is the matter of the Boston Red Sox player beards, some of which have been growing since before September and give off the illusion that baseball is a sport played by Depression-era coalminers. In this short film, director Joshua Seftel interviews his 76-year-old mother and gets her analysis of Boston’s beard collection. Check it out here:

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.