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Jan '17 19

Israel announces first players for 2017 World Baseball Classic

2017 World Baseball Classic, Other European Countries Comments Off on Israel announces first players for 2017 World Baseball Classic

Press Release Israel Association of Baseball

TEL AVIV, Israel— Team Israel has announced that it is finalizing its roster for the upcoming World Baseball Classic in March in South Korea. Israel will play against the host country, the Netherlands and Chinese Taipei.

The players who have confirmed their participation are:

• Ty Kelly, IF, New York Mets
• Sam Fuld, OF, Oakland Athletics – free agent
• Jason Marquis, P, formerly of the Cincinnati Reds – free agent
• Ike Davis, 1B, formerly of the NY Mets and Yankees – free agent
• Ryan Lavarnway, C, Oakland Athletics
• Cody Decker, IF, Milwaukee Brewers
• Josh Zeid, P, formerly of the Houston Astros – free agent
• Nate Freiman, 1B, Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox) – free agent
• Tyler Krieger, IF, Lynchberg Hillcats (Cleveland Indians)
• Nick Rickles, C, Harrisburg Senators (Milwaukee Brewers)
• Dean Kramer, P, Great Lakes Loons (LA Dodgers)
• Corey Baker, P, Springfield Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals)
• Jeremy Bleich, P, Reading Fightin Phils (Philadelphia Phillies)
• Jake Kalish, P, Wilmington Blue Rocks (Kansas City Royals)
• Alex Katz, P, Winston-Salem Dash (Chicago White Sox)

“We’re rounding out the roster with additional major league who weren’t available to play on Team Israel in the qualifiers and upcoming talented players,” says Team Israel General Manager Peter Kurz. “They will join a core group that performed decisively in the qualifiers against Brazil and Great Britain in Brooklyn in September last year, to secure our place in the tournament.”

For some of these players – Zeid, Freiman, Rickles, Davis and Decker – this will be their third appearance with Team Israel. They were all part of the team that narrowly missed qualifying for the 2013 WBC, and all played in the qualifiers in September.

WBC rules state that players eligible for citizenship of a country may play on that country’s team. This will be the first time that American Jewish baseball players will represent Israel in a world championship.

This month, eight members of the team visited Israel for a week to learn about Israel and meet Israeli fans who will be supporting them at the WBC. They toured Tel Aviv, Jerusalem’s holy sites, the Dead Sea, more and met local Israeli baseball players, and broke ground on a baseball facility.

Founded in 1986 by a group of expatriate baseball enthusiasts living in Israel, the IAB’s goal is to promote and teach the game of baseball in Israel About 1,000 players are part of the IAB’s leagues, ranging from Little League to adult. The IAB brings together Israelis of various ethnicities who play on teams within the country and represent Israel in national teams abroad.

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