Elie Kligman and Jacob Steinmetz should stand proud atop the pitcher’s mound and the history books (“Two Orthodox Jewish pitching prospects juggle baseball, religion,”Web, July 19). As their stories underscore, commitment to personal faith and professional pursuits ought never be considered mutually exclusive propositions. What’s more, Steinmetz’s father traces the discipline responsible for his son’s success on the baseball diamond to the young man’s relationship with religion. Kligman’s versatility as a pitcher-catcher, meanwhile, is rooted in his observance of Shabbat “as catchers are generally given a day off due to the demands of the position.”
Such fidelity to faith has therefore been a springboard rather than a roadblock to Kligman and Steinmetz’s rightful place in the big leagues; a driver of achievement rather than any detriment to it. Kudos also go to both baseball clubs for the eagerness with which these pitchers’ principles have been embraced.
I suspect the Arizona Diamondbacks and Washington Nationals will soon be welcoming scores of new fans to cheer on these historic draft picks at Chase Field and Nationals Park, respectively. But Elie Kligman and Jacob Steinmetz deserve their greatest rounds of applause for the estimable recognition that their most meaningful highlights take place when the cameras aren’t rolling.