Inducted into Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, 1987

Goldberg was a star pitcher at Hartford Public High School and played for one year on the football team, graduating in 1912. After he ran the length of the field for a touchdown, his ankle was broken when he was tackled, ending his football career. His father did not support his son’s athletic pursuits, seeing baseball as a waste of time. Goldberg recalled years later that he was “one of the few if not the only Jewish boy in the state playing baseball on a high school team and that fact brought many thrills and also many heartaches. Today the parents of Jewish boys take keen pride in the accomplishments of their sons on the athletic fields, but it was a different story in my day.”

In one memorable Saturday game against New Britain, Lippy had snuck out of synagogue, picked up his uniform from its hiding spot under the synagogue steps, and run from the North End to Trinity College just in time to join the game. He remembered, “I was breezing along in fine style but when I took the mound in the 4th inning, my gaze rested on my father dashing through the gate and full speed.” Goldberg hopped over the outfield fence and hid until his father left, having been calmed down by some friends of the family. Lippy returned to the game and went on to strike out 22 in an 8-1 victory.

Goldberg received a baseball scholarship and played for the University of Vermont for two years. In 1916 he played professional ball for the Hartford Chiefs but ultimately returned to the family business. He played for some of the best semi-pro teams in the area, at a time when big-league players joined local teams under assumed names. In one game he struck out a player on the Collinsville team four times, who turned out to be “Jumping Joe” Dugan who would play for many years with the Philadelphia Athletics and then the New York Yankees. Goldberg reportedly was offered a $5,000 contract and bonus to sign with the Boston Red Sox but turned it down at his father’s insistence. Instead, he worked for the family business, Capitol Tobacco Company.

A few weeks before he died, the local World Series Club held a tribute to Goldberg at which the president of the National Baseball League, Ford Frick, was the speaker.

Photo courtesy Hartford Public High School (1913 Yearbook)