A slew of Jewish former Major League baseball players — including one-time All-Star Jason Marquis and ex-Met Ike Davis — will be suiting up for Israel next month at the Brooklyn qualifier tournament for the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
By: The Algemeiner
Israel’s bid to make the fourth-ever Classic will begin with a September 22 game against Great Britain at MCU Park, home of the Class A Brooklyn Cyclones. Brazil and Pakistan will also be competing in the modified double-elimination Brooklyn tournament.
World Baseball Classic rules allow players to compete for any countries in which they qualify for citizenship. This enables Israel to draw on the talent of non-native Jewish athletes who are eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return. Israel’s roster includes former big leaguers Marquis, Davis, Josh Satin and Craig Breslow. Also wearing the blue and white will be 20 current Minor League players.
Israel will be coached by 72-year-old Jerry Weinstein, the manager of the Wareham Gatemen of the Cape Cod League.
The winner of the Brooklyn tournament will be the 16th and final team to join the World Baseball Classic field. The teams who have already qualified are: Australia, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mexico, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela.
Israel narrowly missed out on making the 2013 World Baseball Classic when it fell 9-7 to Spain in a winner-takes-all final game at a qualifier tournament in Jupiter, Florida in September 2012. Israel did not seek to qualify for the 2006 or 2009 World Baseball Classic events.
The 2017 World Baseball Classic will take place in March at venues in Japan, South Korea, Mexico and the US. The championship will be played at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
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