Play ball!’ in Israel


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.

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