Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
The Schmooze

Israel To Participate in 2013 World Baseball Classic

It might be high time for Major League all-stars like Ryan Braun and Kevin Youkilis to fully embrace their Jewish heritage — and they wouldn’t even have to leave the field to do so.

Yes, Shavuot begins Tuesday night. But perhaps a more compelling argument for solidarity among baseball’s top Jewish performers is that Israel will participate in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, Major League Baseball announced June 1.

The news is part of the World Baseball Classic’s expansion from 16 to 28 teams, including a 16-team qualifying round, which Israel will be a part of. And according to the Israel Association of Baseball, even non-Israeli citizens of Jewish heritage are eligible to join the team.

Braun and Youkilis probably wouldn’t ditch the United States team for which they played during the last WBC in 2009, but that doesn’t stop a Jew from dreaming. The ideal Israeli team (with help from baseball-almanac.com’s list of Jewish players) would be full of Major Leaguers: legitimate stars like Braun, Youkilis and Ian Kinsler; emerging young talent like Ike Davis, Danny Valencia and Sam Fuld; established pitchers such as Scott Feldman, Jason Marquis and Jon Grabow; and even veterans like Gabe Kapler, Brad Ausmus and Scott Schoeneweis.

While such a team may never come into fruition, the WBC bid is still a great step for baseball in Israel. The only attempt at a professional league in the Holy Land failed when the Israel Baseball League folded after one year in 2007, but over 2,000 youth and adults play the game in Israel today, according to the IAB. In addition, the Israel national team will participate in the 2012 European Championship qualifiers, which will be hosted by Israel this summer.

As for the Israel WBC team, it may resemble a talented major league roster (highly unlikely) or be a ragtag group of underdog amateurs (probably) — but either way, Jewish baseball fans will finally have a home team come 2013.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.