Israel national baseball team
|Confederation||Confederation of European Baseball|
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.
Team Israel, under the Classic's rules, was entitled 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.
Because they were held in September, however, with the Major League Baseball season still in progress, Qualifiers 1 and 2 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||2||1||18||14|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Israel national baseball team.|
- "World Baseball Classic: Team – Israel". worldbaseballclassic.com. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
- "World Baseball Classic: Israel, managed by Bra". Sporting News. May 21, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
- Belson, Ken (June 1, 2011). "Israel to Participate in 2013 World Baseball Classic". The New York Times. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
- "Israel invited to qualify for World Baseball Classic". JTA. June 2, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
- Jeremy Fine. "The Great Rabbino". Retrieved July 16, 2011.
- Aaron Yellin (June 7, 2011). "Israel to Participate in 2013 World Baseball Classic". The Forward. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
- Ben, Daniel (May 1, 2010). "Baseball / Jewish MLB stars could play for Israel". Haaretz. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
- Leichenger, Alex (June 21, 2011). "Jewish baseball player supports Little League efforts". Jewish Journal. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
- Belson, Ken (June 8, 2011). "Shawn Green Says He'd Play for Israel in World Baseball Classic". The New York Times. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
- Neistat, Aimee (August 24, 2012). "Baseball / World Classic / Youkilis says he will play for Israel, if it qualifies for tournament". Haaretz. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
- "World Baseball Classic: Israel squad could be dangerous with stars Ryan Braun, Ian Kinsler available". Sporting News. May 21, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
- Neistat, Aimee (August 24, 2012). "Baseball / World Classic / Youkilis says he will play for Israel, if it qualifies for tournament". Haaretz. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
- "World Baseball Classic: There are plenty of prospects to watch in this month's World Baseball Classic qualifiers". worldbaseballclassic.com. September 21, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
- "World Baseball Classic: Stats". worldbaseballclassic.com. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
- ".". Washington Post. Retrieved March 12, 2013.[dead link]