Picturing America’s Pastime
Uncle Miltie Meets Samson

Uncle Miltie Meets Samson

Showbiz great Milton Berle claimed to have coined the one-liner “Sandy Koufax is the greatest Jewish athlete since Samson.” Berle (well-known for using other comedians’ material) repackaged the joke that was originally penned by Georgie Jessel. As Jack Benny once said, “When you take a joke away from Milton Berle, it’s not stealing, it’s repossessing.”

While Berle enjoyed a good joke, no matter where it originated, he also enjoyed a well-pitched ballgame. Uncle Miltie hit the jackpot on Sept. 9, 1965, when he joined a crowd of 29,139 at Dodger Stadium to watch Sandy Koufax go for his 22nd victory of the season. Facing the Cubs, Koufax acted every bit the role of Samson, setting down all 27 batters he faced for a fourth career no-hitter: A perfect game.

What did this modern-day Samson do the day after his amazing feat? He got a haircut.

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