Team Israel Sweeps Pool A in the World Baseball Classic to advance to the next round! – This is not a Purim joke!
Whether you are baseball fan or not, it is hard not to get caught up in the fever sweeping the Jewish world as Israel’s national baseball team makes its way through the World Baseball Classic. Modeled after football’s (soccer’s) World Cup competition, the World Baseball Classic allows countries from all over the world to field a national baseball team. Players do not have to live in the country they play for, but have to have some connection. 95% of the players on Team Israel fall under rule number seven under player eligibility which states: “The player presents documentary evidence satisfactory to WBCI that he would be granted citizenship or a passport in due course under the laws of the Federation Team's country or territory (excluding any requirement of the Federation Team's country that the player would need to renounce his current citizenship), if he were to apply for such citizenship or passport.”
Most of the players on Team Israel are American Jews. We even had one of the players from the previous round of play come and speak to the congregation recently. Before the competition many of these guys had very little connection to their Judaism, but playing for Team Israel has sparked some Jewish connection in them.
The list of Jewish baseball players in the major leagues is pretty small. Even if we add in the minor leagues, fielding a team of Jewish ball players could not have been easy. But they did it, and most never expected Team Israel to make it to the finals, let alone sweep the entire round of play this week by beating Korea, Chinese Taipei and The Netherlands, but they did!
Let’s cheer them on in the next round – Go Team Israel!
Here is an article about the team:
Here are two videos: