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David Brown

Vintage box score: The Ku Klux Klan tops the Hebrew All-Stars

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Because baseball alone does not make the man, I frequent other kinds of Web sites. Before you are overtaken by nasty thoughts, I'm referring in this case to TheAtlantic.com, which has some of the smartest political and social commentary on the Interweb tubes.

They also have baseball, because one of the bloggers recently posted about the most bizarre baseball preview, recap and box score of all time.

It seems the Washington Post, on Sept. 1, 1926, ran an account of a sandlot game (probably played in Arlington, Va.) on Labor Day between a team called the Hebrew All-Stars and the Ku Klux Klan.

Yes, the KKK.

The Aryans reigned supreme, if you will, by a 4-0 score in a six-inning, rain-shortened affair. The Knights put all of their runs on the board in the first inning against the Stars' Sam Simon, before Ikey Dreyfus held them scoreless the rest of the way. The information seems to be authentic, as it would be an odd thing to make up (though we shouldn't put it past the Onion).

A Hebrew team, I can see. The House of David was a renowned ballclub of barnstorming Jewish guys back in the day — sort of baseball's Hasidic answer to the Harlem Globetrotters. And the majors have a rich history of Jewish players; Hank Greenberg, Sandy Koufax, Ryan Braun, Kevin Youkilis(notes), Ian Kinsler(notes), and a whole bunch more.

But the Klan had a team? Officially? Didn't they tend to gather in discretion, not to mention disguise? Did the center fielder always "get on his horse" to chase down fly balls? Was Cap Anson the general manager? At least, we know that home whites were a given as the uniform, even on the road.

It's disturbing, if not surprising, that WaPo in the 1920s would treat a baseball team representing a domestic terror organization like it was the local VFW. But maybe this speaks to the uniting power of baseball, even in your great-grampa's racist America.

But still, the KKK had a baseball team? Really?

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