Jis 0416 10 ways jews in sports esxuqr

1. Walter Schoenfeld
2. Herman Sarkowsky
3. Anne Levinson
4. Samuel “Porky” Levine
5. A Longacres winning horse

  • Seattle native Walter Schoenfeld, jeweler Stanley Golub, and Hollywood icon Danny Kaye represented half of the original owner group that brought Major League Baseball back to Seattle in 1976 with the Mariners. Sixteen years later, Seahawks owner Herman Sarkowsky was recruited to save the team from moving to Florida. Former catcher Bob Melvin had the unfortunate luck of replacing Lou Piniella as manager.
  • After a successful run as owner of the Portland Trail Blazers, Sarkowsky fulfilled his dream of bringing a National Football League franchise to his hometown when the Seahawks played their first game at the Kingdome in 1976. On the field, Jewish wide receiver Sam McCullum caught the first touchdown pass in team history.
  • Speaking of the monstrosity that housed the Seahawks, Mariners, home shows, and tractor pulls, the Kingdome was the brainchild of Seattle Times sportswriter Hy Zimmerman. The Yiddish-speaking journalist was also credited with rebranding the Seattle Totems of the Central Hockey League in 1958.
  • Before the Totems, there was the Seattle Eskimos and Samuel “Porky” Levine, who served as goalkeeper for the 1929 team in the Pacific Coast Hockey League. He earned his nickname when he declined an invitation from teammates for a dinner of roast pork, and it stuck with him throughout his 20-year career.
  • There are almost enough former owners and executives of the Seattle SuperSonics to make a minyan. Walter Schoenfeld brought the first of four professional teams to the city when he joined Sam Schulman and Dick Vertlieb to secure an NBA franchise for Seattle for the 1967–68 season. Sonics management hired Hollywood agent Zollie Volcheck as general manager in 1977 to fill seats at the Seattle Center Coliseum, and media executive Barry Ackerley purchased the team in 1983. He sold the Sonics to Starbucks founder Howard Schultz in 2001, who scalded his reputation when he sold the team to Clay Bennet’s Oklahoma investment group. 
  • The sale of the Sonics by Schultz to Bennett included ownership of the WNBA’s Seattle Storm. Bennett eventually sold the Storm to a group of four women, headed by former deputy mayor Anne Levinson.
  • Sarkowsky was also part of the team that won a Major Soccer League franchise in Seattle in 2007: Sounders FC. This time, Mercer Island native and soccer fanatic Adrian Hanauer joined him. The team has won two US Open Cup titles with Hanauer as managing partner.
  • Joseph Gottstein had state law changed in 1933 to legalize betting on thoroughbred horse racing, then capitalized on the opportunity by hiring an army of workers who built Longacres in just 33 days. Gottstein eventually turned the track over to his son-in-law, Morrie Alhadeff, who handed it off his sons, Michael and Ken. Horse racing continues today on the site, now known as Emerald Downs.

Walking Points

Schwabacher's Hardware Store

Next time you’re crossing First and Yesler, stop into the Rocky Mountain Candy Company. Treat yourself: this is the site of the original Schwabacher’s Hardware Store — and the first brick building in Seattle, constructed in 1869.

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