Jewish MLB players head to Israel

Monday, February 26, 2007 |  by Staff Writer  

Ron Blomberg, former major league baseball player is coming to Israel to help launch the first Jewish league in the country.

His first trip to Israel, Blomberg said is excited about meeting fellow Jews.

“I'm a proud Jew and a proud American,” a Ynet News website reported him as saying. “I think it’s wonderful that I have been chosen in my later years to go there and bring the game of baseball to the Israeli people.”

Blomberg is confident that baseball could succeed in Israel, though it would take time to develop.

“I think its going to be extremely successful in a couple of years,” he said. “Once it catches on, people will get together with baseball bats, throw a ball, run around bases, and I think they will get excited about it. Will they understand it in its first year? No.”

The former Yankee player will head to Beit Shemesh to manage the local Blue Sox team.

“My goal is for the kids to come out and watch the Americans play the game of baseball,” he said. “If we can put it all together, it will be fun for the kid.”

The Israeli baseball league is to be formally launched in New York on Monday evening. Other Jewish pro-baseball players heading to Israel to manage teams include Ken Holtzman and Art Shamsky. League play is to begin in June.

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