Sunday, July 20, 2008

There is Israel Baseball this summer! In Pittsburgh.

Our Man Elli in Israel alerts us that there is baseball in Israel this summer, after all!

Only it’s in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Valley News Dispatch
Sunday, July 20, 2008

Israel teams join Freeport Tournament

By Paul Kogut

Haim Katz, president of the Israel Association of Baseball, arrived last week in Pittsburgh to visit family members and prepare for the 14th annual Freeport International Baseball Invitational.

About 20 players and three coaches are expected to join Katz this morning, as Israel gets ready to participate in the weeklong event for the first time.

The Invitational, which goes by the motto "For the love of the game," offers a laid-back atmosphere.

There are about 100 games, but no playoffs or champions. Technically, results don't matter.

The main goals are having fun and exchanging cultures.
Katz said this is the first time an Israeli baseball team will play in the United States in about four years.

"The players are very excited," Katz said. "We usually go to European tournaments and play four or five games. They're kind of high-powered games. Some players will play more, some less. If we come away and lose a lot of games, there can be a lot of tension."

That shouldn't be a problem this week.
Israel, which will field two teams, will be in high demand this week.

Foreign teams are always at the top of local teams' request lists.

"Everyone is excited to see them play," Invitational president Chuck Sarver said.

Last year, Australia made its debut at the Invitational and was in the spotlight. Australia has returned, along with Japan and four teams from Canada...

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