Shortly before my ninth birthday, my Grandpa Abe from Winthrop took me to Fenway Park. It was exactly 60 years ago this week, when Pumpsie Green, Boston’s first African-American player, had his first at bat at Fenway Park against the Kansas City Athletics. I watched him hit a triple off the Green Monster.

I distinctly remembered the crowd going wild with a standing ovation, and watched as Pumpsie tipped his hat in appreciation of the applause – something that the iconic Ted Williams declined to do.

I asked my grandpa to take me behind the dugout for an autograph from Pumpsie after the game, but a politician blocked the way with his entourage. That was Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy. Since I was from Philadelphia, I didn’t know who Kennedy was.

Anyway, I was a Phillies fan.

But during my summers in Winthrop I was a Red Sox fan, and I never forgot how proud Red Sox fans were of Pumpsie Green, and how radio announcer Curt Gowdy would always point out the ovations that Pumpsie Green would receive every time he stepped up to the plate at Fenway.

And this was before the glitter of the civil rights movement.

As a nine-year-old who played Little League ball three times a week, Pumpsie Green became a hero for life. I put his baseball card under my pillow.

Pumpsie died last week at age 85. Maybe he now tips his cap from above?

SOURCEJewish Journal


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David Bedein
David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.