Fans of the Israel Baseball League can now take their favorite players home with them. Forty-two top players from the nascent league have their images on baseball cards that kids (and adults) can collect, trade and “flip.” Each card contains a brief player bio printed on the back in both English and Hebrew.
The 18-card set, limited to 3,000 copies, features players grouped by team and also as “Top Draft Picks,” “First to Sign,” “Israeli Prospects,” “College Stars” and “International Stars.” There is a managers card, featuring ex-major leaguers Art Shamsky, Ken Holtzman and Steve Hertz, and a “League Leaders” card featuring the founders of the IBL and its (very) brief history.
The cards were developed by Martin Abramowitz and his not-for-profit sports history organization, Jewish Major Leaguers. In 2003, JML created cards honoring Jewish Major League Baseball players who played as long ago as the 1870s. The card sets were produced in collaboration with the American Jewish Historical Society.
Like collectibles from other inaugural seasons of professional sports leagues, the IBL cards could become highly valuable if the young league continues to blossom.