Press release from Israel Association of Baseball.
LOS ANGELES AND TEL AVIV —There are precisely zero professional baseball stadiums in Israel, no professional league to speak of, and maybe a handful of fans who could tell Babe Ruth apart from a bat boy. And yet, earlier this year, Team Israel shocked the world when it bested a slew of more experienced squads and secured its berth among the top six nations fortunate enough to compete in the Tokyo Olympics. Sounding like a modern-day podcast version of “Cool Runnings”, “Designated Hitters”, a new limited release show from SoulShop and the Israel Association of Baseball, follows these underdogs as they batted, fielded, and prayed their way to glory.
With unprecedented access to players, coaches, and managers, the show combines the drama of competing in the world’s most demanding athletic event with the unbelievable stories of the athletes themselves, from the former Big Leaguer who found new life playing with amateurs thousand of miles away from the nearest ballpark to the amateur hopeful who traded his dream of the Majors for a desk job at a large investment bank only to take one more shot at greatness.
“’Designated Hitters’ has everything that makes sports so essential,” said Chana Weinberg, the show’s host. “It’s about second chances and never giving up, about a ragtag group of players coming together as a team and finally winning. If you liked “Field of Dreams”, “A League of Their Own”, or any of the great baseball movies that make us love the sport even more, this one’s for you.”
As it follows the team from its first and comical match-up against the pros to its dramatic brush-up with the winner’s podium, the show also raises bigger questions about faith and belonging, about believing in yourself and in higher powers, and about the way sports can transcend boundaries of religion and nationality and unite us all, if only for a brief moment.