Brad Ausmus was named the Detroit Tigers manager this week, making him the sixth Jew to lead a Major League club.
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As a player, he was an All-Star catcher for the Tigers, a three time Gold Glove winner playing for the Astros and possessor of the third-best lifetime fielding average of any catcher in major league history with a minimum of 1,000 games played.
The handsome and well-spoken Dartmouth grad’s conditioning and durability enabled him to catch over 100 games for 11 seasons in a row — even though his name flew under the radar of many fans fixated on the big hit.
Baseball insiders have long known Ausmus as a thinking man’s player as well as a catcher’s catcher. He spoke to Larry Ruttman about anti-Semitism in the big leagues, the Jewish baseball heroes, and how his accomplished Jewish mother is his biggest role model.