(JTA) – Former Major Leaguer Art Shamsky will serve as Israel’s ambassador to the World Baseball Classic Qualifier in Jupiter, Fla.
The Israel Association of Baseball appointed Shamsky to encourage support for baseball in Israel. Team Israel will play its first game in the WBC Qualifier in Jupiter, Fla., on Sept. 19.
“Art Shamsky has been a terrific advocate for the growth of baseball in Israel and a wonderful friend to us all,” Haim Katz, president of the Israel Association of Baseball, said in a statement. “His presence is a reminder of the Jewish impact on baseball in America, and the role the U.S. can play in helping us grow the sport here.”
Brad Ausmus, also a former Major League player, will manage the Israeli team, which is composed largely of American minor leaguers and independent league players. It also will feature ex-Major Leaguers Shawn Green and Gabe Kapler, who also will serve as coaches, and members of the Israel National Team.
Shamsky played for “the Miracle Mets,” as the New York club was dubbed in winning the 1969 World Series. As a manager, he guided the Modi’in Miracle to the 2007 Israel Baseball League championship.