This article was sent as a newsletter. Sign up for our weekly Jewish sports newsletter here.
Good afternoon, Jewish sports fans!
Few families had as exciting a week as the Gelofs did. On Sunday, Jake Gelof, a power-hitting third baseman from the University of Virginia, was drafted 60th overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the MLB Draft. (More on him and the other Jewish draftees below).
Then on Wednesday, older brother Zack Gelof, another UVA alum who was drafted (also 60th overall!) by the Oakland Athletics in 2021, received the news every young ballplayer dreams of: he’s being promoted to the big league club.
Zack, who played for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic earlier this year, will become the 18th Jewish player to appear in the MLB this year — a likely record.
What a way to start the second half of the season! Mazel tov to the Gelof fam.
Meet Daniel Edelman, rising MLS superstar
New York Red Bulls midfielder Daniel Edelman is only 20 years old, but his star has already risen considerably in the past year.
Edelman won the Red Bulls’ Newcomer of the Year award last season. Then, as captain of the under-20 U.S. Men’s National Team, he led the team to the quarterfinals at the under-20 World Cup in Argentina in May. He was also selected as one of the New York Jewish Week’s “36 to Watch” for 2023.
This past weekend, Edelman received an honor befit for a hero: the team held a Marvel Night at Red Bull Arena and gave away an Edelman bobblehead inspired by a “Guardians of the Galaxy” character.
“It’s really exciting,” Edelman told my colleague Lisa Keys. “It’s my second season with the team, and to have a bobblehead made of me is pretty cool. This is a team I grew up looking up to, admiring all the players.”
SOLOMON’S NEW KINGDOM. Israeli soccer phenom Manor Solomon has signed a five-year contract with Premier League powerhouse Tottenham, a club with a rich (and at times controversial) Jewish history. The team’s fanbase, which has historically included many Jews, has called itself the “Yid army.”
ROAD TEAM. A team of 14 baseball players from the North Israel Little League are traveling to Kutno, Poland, today to represent Israel in the Little League World Series qualifiers. This is Israel’s first appearance in the tournament. “When I look at this team, I see what Israel should be,” team manager David Weiss said in a press release.
UNBOXING. The Los Angeles Times announced this week that it would stop posting box scores in its sports section — a change that upset many Jewish fans who rely on the paper for sports news on Shabbat. The Forward has the story. (Plus, The New York Times announced it would shutter its sports section and instead focus on its coverage in The Athletic.)
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE. In the pantheon of sports executives, Adam Neuman is a rising star. After a stint as chief of staff for strategy and operations at the Big Ten Conference, Neuman is returning to his hometown to serve in a similar role with the Baltimore Ravens.
FULL COURT PRESS. New Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia, who purchased the team late last year, has already had an impact in the organization. According to ESPN, Ishbia “has let it be known how he is going to run the Suns: aggressively and from the front.”
Meet the 2023 Jewish MLB Draft class
Over 600 baseball players were drafted across 20 rounds of the MLB Draft this week — and five of them are Jewish.
There’s the aforementioned Jake Gelof, who just set the all-time home run record at UVA.
Then there’s outfielder Zach Levenson (158th), who was ranked 204th in MLB’s prospect rankings, plus RJ Schreck (277th), Ben Simon (396th) and Will King (609th).
Jews in sports to watch this weekend
⚾️ IN BASEBALL…
Dean Kremer takes the mound for the Baltimore Orioles against the Miami Marlins tonight at 7:05 p.m. ET. Jake Bird and the Colorado Rockies face Harrison Bader and the New York Yankees tonight at 8:40 p.m. ET. Zack Gelof is likely to make his major league debut as his Oakland A’s host the Minnesota Twins tonight at 9:40 p.m. ET.
⚽️ IN SOCCER…
Daniel Edelman and the NY Red Bulls host Real Salt Lake tomorrow at 9:30 p.m. ET. Manor Solomon and his new club Tottenham begin their preseason friendly matches Tuesday at 6 a.m. ET against West Ham.
⛳️ IN GOLF…
Max Homa is across the pond this weekend for the Scottish Open, while Ben Silverman is competing at The Ascendant tournament in Colorado.
Highlights from the JCC Maccabi Games
The JCC Maccabi Games wrapped up this week, where 74 delegations of more than 1,000 Jewish teens from 10 countries competed for four days in Israel.
A mixed team of athletes from Morocco, Ukraine, Israel, Washington and Indiana won a gold medal in under-17 boys soccer — despite speaking four different languages. In swimming, a pair of Ukrainian teens won gold. And now that the competition is over, teens will spend time touring Israel on an educational program.
Congrats to all the medal winners!