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Orthodox Jewish ace from Long Island expected to be picked in MLB draft

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At 6-foot-6, 224 pounds and armed with a 97 mph fastball, Jacob Steinmetz has rare gifts for a 17-year-old. Those gifts have landed him a scholarship to Fordham University and could make him a lot of money in this week’s MLB draft.

But the lightning in his right arm is just part of what makes Steinmetz so unique. In the next few days he may become a trailblazer — the first known practicing Orthodox Jewish baseball player to get drafted.

“There’s a difference between being committed, doing all this hard work and having this extra layer,” his summer coach, Daniel Corona, said. “I don’t know if there’s ever going to be another Jacob, as far as this whole process goes. He set an example that anything is possible as far as being committed to multiple things at once and still believing in yourself, your dreams, to make them happen.”

The Woodmere, L.I., native, projected to be picked in rounds 3-7, is an impressive pitching prospect who took part in last week’s draft combine and had recent workouts for the Dodgers and Angels. Baseball America ranks him No. 181 in this draft class, while MLB.com has him 121 and Perfect Game lists him 102.

Steinmetz keeps the Sabbath and eats only Kosher food. From sundown Friday until sunset on Saturday, he cannot ride in a car, bus, train or plane. He can only walk. For baseball tournaments, he will travel ahead of time and arrange hotels within walking distance of the fields. Sometimes, that can mean five-mile hikes the day he pitches. He will play during the Sabbath and on Jewish holidays.

Jacob Steinmetz, right, has a 97 mph fastball.
Jacob Steinmetz, right, not only has a 97 mph fastball, but a 3.80 GPA as well.
Photo courtesy the Steinmetz family

“It’s never been frustrating to me,” Steinmetz said. “It’s just something I’ve always done. It makes me who I am.

“It’s definitely made [my life] different, but in a good way.”

His father, Elliot, said they have never discussed cutting corners. Fordham has said it will work with Steinmetz to make sure eating Kosher or keeping the Sabbath aren’t impacted. Professional teams the family has spoken with have expressed a similar sentiment. According to MLB Network draft guru Jim Callis, teams that interviewed Steinmetz at the combine came away impressed by how well he articulated his plan to balance baseball and his faith, and why it is so important to him. Steinmetz declined to say if he would be willing to make concessions if there were no other option at the professional level.

“It seems to be something he has in his heart and something he enjoys is a part of him,” said Elliot, a real estate attorney who is also the men’s basketball coach at Division III Yeshiva University. “It’s part of the discipline and the commitment he has to baseball. A lot of that I think comes from his relationship with religion. The fact he’s able to interview the way he [does] or have poise the way he does or figure out things the way he does, a lot of it is because of his religious background.”

Steinmetz’s rise has come as somewhat of a surprise. Steinmetz admitted when he committed to Fordham in the fall of his junior year, he never anticipated becoming an MLB prospect. It wasn’t until last spring, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, that his life began to really change. Without anything else to occupy his time, he began lifting weights in his basement and adding significant muscle to his lanky frame. He joined Tread Athletics, an online pitching development company, and put on 25 pounds in the span of one year.

In first bullpen session after quarantine last summer, he was hitting 91 mph. By January, he was consistently in the low 90s without maximum exertion. The ball was coming out effortlessly.

“He’s already got good stuff and you feel he can get better,” Callis said. “He’s not done maturing physically.”

Jacob Steinmetz
Jacob Steinmetz
Adam Mazza

He played for his high school team, The Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway, as an underclassman, but this past season, Steinmetz wanted to showcase himself against top competition, and traveled to Delray Beach, Fla,. to play for Elev8 Baseball Academy. He found himself in front of 20-30 pro scouts per game. His velocity kept on going up, all the way into the mid-to-upper 90s.

SEC schools approached his coach, but Steinmetz wasn’t interested. He had made a commitment to Fordham. If he was going to college, it would be in The Bronx.

While living on his own in Florida, Steinmetz was still able to juggle his responsibilities without his parents’ help. He would go shopping for Kosher food once a week, pray daily and keep the Sabbath by staying close enough to the team’s field to walk there. He remained enrolled at his high school over Zoom and graduated with a 3.80 GPA.

It wasn’t always easy to balance the two. When Steinmetz first began taking baseball seriously at the age of 11, traveling for the first time, he was unsure how it would work. There have been plenty of long walks to games. He will leave a few extra hours early so it doesn’t affect him on the mound. Most hotels don’t have Kosher food, so he has to pack extra in a cooler bag.

He has spoken to other Orthodox Jewish athletes about the challenges he faces and the hurdles that remain. One of them is Tamir Goodman, who was known as the “Jewish Jordan” years ago. Goodman, considered one of the best high school basketball prospects in the country in 2000, was set to attend Maryland. But there was friction with the coaching staff over his refusal to play on the Sabbath.

He ended up enrolling at Towson, started most of his freshman year and, after alleging the new coach, Michael Hunt, assaulted him in December of his sophomore year, went professional in Israel.

Steinmetz’s road has been clear in comparison. He hasn’t faced any opposition.

“When I look back at it and hear stories about what Jacob’s doing, it just makes me so happy because it makes me feel that these ups and downs I went through [happened] so the next generation — Jacob’s generation — could be a little smoother for them. Maybe he doesn’t need to explain as much, or God forgive he doesn’t have to go through some of the things I went through,” Goodman said, adding, “It’s very exciting for the Jewish community.”

Jacob Steinmetz, left, is ranked by MLB.com as the No. 121 prospect in this draft class.
Jacob Steinmetz, left, is ranked by MLB.com as the No. 121 prospect in this draft class.
Photo courtesy the Steinmetz family

Corona recalled one game several years ago, when Steinmetz pitched his team to a quarterfinal victory. Steinmetz and his father were walking back to the hotel three miles away in the oppressive Florida heat when the team bus approached them. It stopped and his teammates ran out.

“I have video of the team, 11- and 12-year-olds just jumping off the bus and walking three miles with him to the hotel, just making him feel welcome,” Corona said. “Like, ‘Dude, you just pitched a helluva game, we understand what you’re going through. We want to be a part of it.’ ”

In Woodmere, Steinmetz is a role model for younger Orthodox Jewish kids. He will get approached frequently, asked for photos, autographs and advice. Steinmetz doesn’t seek out attention, he doesn’t broadcast his faith. But he may not have a choice. He is fast becoming an Orthodox Jewish icon, an example that anything is possible. Soon, he could make history.

“It’s a great opportunity for him to continue to evolve as a leader and continue to show people you can break down certain walls, do certain things and not have to necessarily sacrifice your background for it,” Elliot said. “I think he’s the right kid for it, just because he has a good head on his shoulders and he’s mentally tough. Hopefully, he’s able to be a light for everybody else.”

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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