The Modi’in Miracle clobbered the Petach Tikva Pioneers, 9-1, in the opening game of Israel’s first professional baseball season.
Along with the Petach Tikva and Modi’in teams, the six-team Israel Baseball League includes the Tel Aviv Lightning, the Ra’anana Express, the Netanya Tigers and the Beit Shemesh Blue Sox. Many of the players are recruits from such baseball strongholds as the Dominican Republic, Canada and the United States, but some are native Israelis.
The season that started Sunday will run through Aug. 17, with the championship game scheduled for Aug. 19.
Israel’s cable sports channel carried the first game live. As commentators attempted to explain the rules of the game and the meaning of breaking balls, double plays and lefty-on-lefty matchups, it was clear that the full Hebrew lexicon for baseball has yet to be developed.