Launched in August 2021, "A Life Lived Backwards: One Man's Life" is a new podcast from Larry Ruttman and Jordan Rich. Larry Ruttman makes the case that old age can be the best time of life. You'll hear stories of friendship, mentors, romance, the love of learning, Larry's dedication to his faith, his passion for music, history, the law, and, of course, baseball. Tales told by a master storyteller with a razor-sharp memory and a wit to match! Subscribe and enjoy "A Life Lived Backwards: One Man's Life," available on all major podcast platforms.
Go to the Podcast page to listen to the current podcast episode and any and all previous ones listed there as you may choose, or subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.
Praise for Larry Ruttman’s
American Jews and America’s Game
“Informative, inspiring, historically significant and a pleasure to read, this is a book that anybody who cares about America’s game or America’s Jews will cherish.”
—Jonathan D. Sarna, author of American Judaism: A History
and chief historian of the National Museum of American Jewish History
“The Boys of Summer was really something else: genuine players in their next life. But American Jews and America’s Game is as much cultural history as it is baseball, and there is nothing quite comparable.”
—Sol Gittleman, Alice and Nathan Gantcher University Professor of Judaic Studies, Tufts University
Famed Kirkus Reviews caught the book’s spirit, substance, and its author’s persona, accurately in its timely first review, among many others:
“An idiosyncratic collection of interviews with American Jews on, off and some barely near the field of baseball.
“By interviewing the descendants of Hank Greenberg, baseball’s first Jewish superstar, and contemporaries of the famously reclusive Sandy Koufax, Ruttman (Voices of Brookline, 2005) checks off the two most important names on anyone’s list of Jews who have made a mark in the national pastime. Of course, there’s room for plenty more: MVP Al Rosen; Ken Holtzman, the Jewish pitcher with the most career wins; Ron Blomberg, the game’s first designated hitter; today’s stars like Kevin Youkilis and Ian Kinsler. Surely there’s a place among these pages for baseball executives like Commissioner Bud Selig (who provides the foreword), owner Jerry Reinsdorf, longtime front-office man Randy Levine, and the youngest GM ever, Theo Epstein. It’s also easy to make a case for many of the talented Jewish writers who’ve memorably covered the game, among them Ira Berkow, Roger Kahn and Murray Chass. More than a few of Ruttman’s choices are eccentric, but prove worthy inclusions: for example, two women from the defunct All-American Girls Professional Baseball League or the man who came up with the idea of Jewish baseball cards. However, by the time the author gets around to Jeffrey Maier, who as a 12-year-old authored a tiny footnote by interfering with a ball in play during the 1996 ALCS, and certainly to the likes of merely well-known fans Barney Frank and Alan Dershowitz, Ruttman stretches the notion of Jewish “voices” in baseball about as far as it can go. Nevertheless, this longtime attorney remains a gentle, always enthusiastic questioner, interested in his subjects’ love for the game, their experiences with anti-Semitism and their connection to their faith. Other subjects include Marvin Miller, Marty Appel, Donald Fehr and Gabe Kapler.
“Almost always charming, occasionally enlightening and sometimes just plain odd.”
—Kirkus Reviews, highly respected reviewer of published books since 1933
American Jews and
Compiled from nearly fifty in-depth interviews with players and labor leaders, owners and officials, sportswriters and fans, and even a baseball commissioner, American Jews and America's Game celebrates the relationship between Jews and American baseball. This oral and cultural history explores issues such as growing up Jewish and dealing with Jewish identity, assimilation, intermarriage, future viability, religious observance, anti-Semitism, and Israel.