This piece was first published as “Jewish day school grad says ‘no thanks’ to the major leagues” in The Times of Israel.
Sandy Koufax, knew when the time was not right to play Major League Baseball, and so did Max Ungar. While Koufax decided back in 1965 not to pitch Game 1 of the World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur, Ungar has just decided to decline a contract offered him by the Washington Nationals, and to go to college instead.
Being picked in the draft by a Major League team might make a 17-year-old player’s head swell, but Ungar “has a good head on his shoulders,” according to his mother, Rachel Goldsmith. The catcher, and recent graduate of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, Maryland, has opted to play college ball at Denison University in Ohio.
“He’s had a clear vision for some time now that he’s wanted to be a college player,” Goldmsith said. “He knows the value of education and has a pretty good sense of how life works.”
Her son agrees. “Getting a college education is more important than pursuing a professional career at this stage in my life,” Ungar told The Times of Israel. “It never crossed my mind to sign the contract.”
Click here to read more.
© 2012 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.