The Israel Baseball League’s web site boasts a full slate of games, fun tidbits about players, and even a tongue-in-cheek take on “Baseball in the Time of Our Forefathers.” And “as one would expect, the majority of this season’s players will be of Jewish extraction,” the site trumpets.
The Texas Rangers’ Jewish general manager, Jon Daniels, idolized the Mets while growing up in Queens, but he always assumed his future wouldn’t include being a star ballplayer for the team. It became that much more apparent when he tried out for the freshman baseball team at Hunter College High School in Manhattan. As he said in an interview with Fast Company magazine, “I could throw, and I wasn’t afraid to take a beating, but I couldn’t hit for shit.”
This will show you never to eat stadium food.
It’s not quite 40 years in the desert, but after a three decade hiatus boxing will return to Yankee Stadium this June. Brooklyn-based Israeli boxer Yuri Foreman, the reigning super welterweight champion, will take on three-time champion Miguel Cotto in what’s being billed as “Stadium Slugfest.” The fighters will weigh in tomorrow morning at Yankee Stadium.
Billy Crystal — yes, that Billy Crystal — has signed a one-day minor-league contract with the Yankees and will be playing in an exhibition spring-training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday. Crystal could be seen Wednesday taking batting practice and warming up with Derek Jeter in the Yankees’ Tampa facilities. The signing was a gift from the franchise to the famed comedian for his 60th birthday, thanking the life-long Yankees fan for his support of the team over the years.
The Yankees organization picked up Jason Rees, an outfielder with the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox who hit .362 and led the league in home runs and runs batted in, and Eladio Rodriguez, starting catcher for the Modi’in Miracle who was the co-winner of the Hank Greenberg Most Valuable Player Award. Neither player is Jewish.