Israel national baseball team
|Confederation||Confederation of European Baseball|
|World Baseball Classic|
The Israel national baseball team is the national baseball team of Israel. The team represents Israel in international competitions. They are currently the 19th-ranked baseball team in the world and 5th in Europe .
Israel has baseball teams in all ages from 10 to 30. Their current manager is former major league All Star catcher Brad Ausmus.
World Baseball Classic
The team competed in the September 2012 qualifier for the 2013 World Baseball Classic – Qualifier 1, the preliminary round of the tournament in Jupiter, Florida against Spain, France, and South Africa.
Under WBC rules, any player eligible for citizenship of a country, even though they do not have it, may play for that team. Therefore this entitled Israel to have non-Israeli citizens of Jewish heritage play for the team. The players who qualified to play on the Israeli team included major leaguers catcher Ryan Lavarnway, first baseman Ike Davis, second basemen Ian Kinsler and Josh Satin, third basemen Kevin Youkilis and Danny Valencia, outfielders Ryan Braun (whose father is Israeli), Sam Fuld, Ryan Kalish, and Gabe Kapler, and pitchers Jason Marquis, Scott Feldman, Craig Breslow, and John Grabow, as well as what were then recent major leaguers catcher Brad Ausmus and pitcher Scott Schoeneweis. Kinsler said:
"Wow, I would be happy to play for Team Israel.... The truth is that if a proposal comes from Team USA to play for them, I will have a very difficult decision to make. Yuk [Kevin Youkilis], Braun [Ryan Braun], and I could make a fantastic team. I am sure that I'll talk it over with Yuk – we always laugh about things like this."
Outfielder Shawn Green, who retired in 2007, was also eligible inasmuch as he is Jewish, and said in early June 2011 that assuming it works out, it "would be an honor" and he "would love to" play for Israel in the Classic.
The qualifying round was held in September, while the Major League Baseball season still in progress, therefore during Qualifiers 1 and 2 it could not feature major league players such as the above ones who qualified to play for Team Israel. Kevin Youkilis announced that he would play for the team if they made it past the qualifying round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
The highest-level players involved in Qualifiers 1 and 2 were minor-league prospects. Team Israel included minor league pitchers Eric Berger (1–0) and Brett Lorin, first baseman Nate Freiman (.417; 4 HR in 12 AB), second baseman Josh Satin (.273), shortstops Jake Lemmerman and Ben Orloff, and outfielders Adam Greenberg, Ben Guez, Joc Pederson (.308), and Robbie Widlansky. Also, retired former major league All Star Shawn Green played for Israel (.333).
In Qualifier 1, Israel and Spain both won easily in the first round. Israel then beat Spain in the winner's bracket. Spain then eliminated South Africa to earn a rematch with Israel. Spain won the winner-take-all final game, 9–7 in 10 innings, to advance to the main tournament.
International tournament results
World Baseball Classic
|World Baseball Classic record||Qualification record|
|2006||Did not enter||No qualifiers held|
|2009||Did not enter||No qualifiers held|
|2013||Did not qualify||United States||2||1||18||14|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Israel national baseball team.|
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