Wow. The past week and a half have been a total whirlwind of events, but I am happy to say I'm here in the holy land and ready finally to play in the first ever professional baseball game in Israel. That sentence has a pretty cool sound to it, don't you think? Here is a another one I never thought I would say: I got on the airplane, and asked for one of the hebrew newspapers to see if there were any write-ups on us that day.
I checked a sports section about myself. wow.
I landed this past Thursday, and we hit the ground running, literally getting my uniform as I walked to the campus where we are all staying. We had a quick photo-session (which you cant blame me for how silly I look; I just got off a day of flying and not sleeping) and got to hang out as a team. Friday morning we hit the field, and let me tell you, our boys at PT can really play. Getting back on the field and hitting some balls felt really good, and now its just catching up on sleep and getting the body ready for opening night. We are in the middle of a heat wave, and the temphit around 105 today, so drinking constantly is a must! I had the real pleasure of staying by my psuedo family this past shabbat, the Solomonts, in a small town outside of Modi'in. The entire community welcomed me with open arms. It was amazing to go to synagogue and have people pointing and whispering at me the entire time. And after about five checks, I was sure my zipper was up, and that it must be about baseball. One of the interactions went like this. (I am walking by a little kid on the swingset outside the synagogue. The kidwhispers to his friend) "Hey, you are the baseball player!... what team do you play for?"
"I play for Petach Tikvah."
"You are gonna lose to Modiin!"
I guess its the price you pay for going to enemy territory for the weekend. Another person in the synagogue is coming to the game on Sunday night, and is a diehard yankee fan, as well as living in the Modi'in area; you can imagine how the conversation ended up going. (Me asserting that PT is going to win, and that the Sox are 10.5 games up).The even had a kiddush celebration/reception after services partially in my honor, and hearing how excited the community was for some baseball was an absolute thrill. One friend who moved here said he has been waiting years for this.
So for all of you in Israel, come down, tune in, and enjoy the first ever professional game! and for those back in the US, check out your local PBS listings for July 1 to see the game broadcast nationally!