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October 16, 1987 - Image 66

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-10-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Baseball

Continued from preceding page

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66

FRIDAY, OCT. 16, 1987

Memorabilia surrounds Irwin Cohen in his Tiger Stadium office.

him." Doyle invited Cohen to
the program to • introduce
Evers on the air from a fan's
standpoint. "So I wrote down
an introduction, read it on
radio, met Hoot Evers, and
that was the first time I ever
wrote anything."
Although he describes
himself as shy, Cohen ag-
gressively pursued media op-
portunities after discovering
that he enjoyed writing. He
telephoned Joe Falls, then a
sports columnist for the Free
Press, and asked for more
baseball trivia in the
newspaper. "He probably
gave the stock answer," says
Cohen, "what he told
everybody else — 'Well, write
it down and send it to me' —
just to get rid of people. So I
wrote it down, but instead of
signing my name, I signed
`Mr. Baseball.' I figure if he
sees 'Mr. Baseball,' he would
pay attention to that. So then
I started sending more stuff
under 'Mr. Baseball; and he
put it in his column: 'Mr.
Baseball says . . ! "
Eventually, Falls allowed
Cohen to write full columns,
putting Cohen's picture by
the headline. This led Cohen
to another opportunity,
writing columns for a short-
lived, weekly TV guide which
was published locally by ex-
Tiger Denny McLain. He
wrote at night, working for
Wayne County during the
day. In 1973, he and some
friends started the Baseball
Bulletin, a monthly tabloid-
style paper which published
60 consecutive issues from
1973 to 1979, when Cohen
tired of the work load and sold
the paper. Cohen was editor,
chief writer, photographer
and basically put the paper
together in his spare time.
While he did not end up
making money on the paper,
"For five years in a row, I got
to go to the World Series, the

winter meetings, five all-star
games. I got to know commis-
sioners, players, everybody.
And that's how I made my
mark. Because you just can't
walk into the Tigers and say,
`Here I am, take me.' So I got
to know them, and the people
in the office here, Jim Camp-
bell (Tiger president),
whatever, from 1973 on."
Cohen still writes, penning
articles for one weekly paper
(Sports Collector's Digest) and
two monthlies (Sports Fans
Journal and Baseball Cards
magazine).
The Tigers' job is like a
dream come true for this long-
time baseball fan. "A lot of
times, everybody here takes
what they do for granted. But
I'm sure there's people out
there who'd love to be doing
what we do."
Through his media work,
Cohen can meet most of any
baseball player he wants. His
position with the Tigers also
involves working with the
players, so he gets to know
many of them..
"I shmooze in the dugout
with a lot of 'em. I was closest
with Lance Parrish (who now
plays for Philadelphia). But
right now I'd say Matt Nokes,
"Darrell Evans. Nokes is very
interested in religion, he's a
very religious fellow himself.
A lot of the Tigers are —
(Frank) Tanana, Nokes."
None of the current Tigers
are Jewish.
"Nokes would ask me a lot
of questions about Judaism.
He told me his mother had
cancer and she couldn't
manuever around too well. So
she went to Israel and never
felt as good in her life, and
walked all around and then
she came back. She died
within two weeks. He's very
pro-Israel.
"He feels he can ask me
things and I'll ask him, just

Continued on Page 82

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