The greatest Ukrainian baseball player ever... How did we fall down this rabbit hole? Well, we did, so let's get to it!
Believe it or not, there have been three Ukrainians to play Major League Baseball, and they all share a common trait. We start with Billy Crystal... wait, that's can't be right. That's Bill Cristall, 73 years Billy's senior, who played six games for the Cleveland... Blues(!) in 1901. (Yes, they were the Blues before they became the Bronchos, and then the Naps, and then, for over a century, you know.) We're willing to bet that Bill Cristall was not his real name, because he was an Odessa-born Jew. Moving on.
Next we have Reuben Ewing, who played a whole three games for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1921. In those three games, he took one at bat and struck out. Truly a career for the ages. Ewing's real name was Cohen, as he changed it to avoid antisemitism. Like Cristall, Ewing was an Odessa-born Jew. Moving on.
So here is our winner by almost default, Isidore (Izzy) Goldstein. (No name change here, that's for sure!) The Bronx-raised pitcher appeared in 16 games for the 1932 Detroit Tigers, with a 3-2 record to his name. He even batted .294, but somehow couldn't parlay that into a second season in the majors. (Antisemitism!?) And just like Cristal and Ewing, Goldstein was... an Odessa-born Jew.
No, we can't explain it.