Game Change Nation

Shawn Green on Representing his Jewish People

Shawn Green had a great major league career. In his 14 years, playing for the Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, and New York Mets, he had over 2,000 hits, over 300 home runs, and over 1,000 RBIs, he represented both the American League and the National League in an all-star game, and he won a gold glove. He also had what was arguably the greatest single game in the history of Major League Baseball when he hit four home runs, a single, and a double while playing for the Dodgers in a game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Green positively contributed to every club he played for, but in his opinion, when Green put on his uniform, he wasn’t just representing the Blue Jays, Dodgers, or Mets. Green was also playing on behalf of the millions of Americans who shared his Jewish faith and heritage. In the GameChange podcast, Thru the Tunnel, Green explains, “There’s not a lot of Jewish athletes, Jewish baseball players. And when I was playing, I became sort of the one that the Jewish fans look to as a Jewish athlete, a leader, and all that. And I embraced it because I was proud to be Jewish.”

Green’s desire to be a positive representative of the Jewish American community tapped him into a powerful force that is much greater than when one simply plays for their own personal glory. When our purpose for undertaking an endeavor is centered on family, community, nation, or just the pure enjoyment of performing a skill we were gifted with, then we are operating from a source of true power.

In the book Power vs. Force, author David Hawkins explains that true power arises from meaning. It has to do with motive and principle. Power appeals to what uplifts. It dignifies and makes us feel positive about ourselves because of the greater good that it is serving. Our greatest power comes from within when we do what we love, what we are good at, and when we use our gifts for a greater purpose.

Green’s desire to play on behalf of his Jewish people even extended to him representing Israel as a player/coach on their national team. He states, “I was proud. To be able to play for Team Israel and have all these Jewish players, it meant a lot to everyone to be amongst their teammates who were experiencing the same things and were looked to in their communities and around the country as Jewish leaders.”

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