“And it’s a long, chai ball…”

This summer, you most likely didn’t expect to be wearing a Bet Shemesh Blue Sox hat while you bought tickets for a game between the Tel Aviv Lightning and Netanya Tigers. You most likely weren’t expecting to see a backdrop of Jerusalem as you saw a double play (turned by Japanese, Americans, and Ukrainians who dropped out of their semi-pro leagues). Yeah, Haifa doesn’t seem like a baseball town. But, though peace is elusive, baseball is not.

Just think of the future! Instead of the Green Monster looming over a Fenway Park, we could have the Wailing Wall as the landmark of Ben Gurion field in Jerusalem. Sure, maybe we only have 6 teams to start with, but just think about all the great rivalries a Middle-Eastern baseball league could provide us with. Forget the Yankees and Red Sox.

Arguably, this league is the work of a few homesick Americans, but with only 7 innings (Israelis are not patient) and no extra innings, only a home-run derby to decide a winner (Israelis are not patient), it definitely has an Israeli twist. And baseball is not just American, according to the site, but has a long-standing biblical history (See the hilarious biblical section: Behold, Rebecca came forth with her pitcher…Genesis 24:45). Hank Greenburg would be proud (though Sandy Koufax politely declined an offer to throw out the innagural pitch–Sandy, always the quiet one).

Of course, the IBL could be facing some problems in its future? Do you think there’d be some arguments over where the walls should go? Could both Israelis and Palestinians be racing home at the same time? Will the UN umpire?

Who knows? Just throw the ball, eh?

Shachak Bol!

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