Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Designated Hebrew

That's what Ron Blomberg calls himself, by the way:

In the summer of 2007, Blomberg was a team manager in the inaugural season of the Israel Baseball League, along with fellow old-timers Shamsky and Ken Holtzman. (The IBL was put on hold after its first season for reasons still being debated by its critics and supporters.)

Being in Israel, he said, “was the greatest thing — just one notch below playing for the Yankees.” He loved everything except the food. He hated the falafel and hummus. “Oh, the food, man — it almost killed us,” he said, to roars of laughter. “I was desperate for some steak and potatoes and black-eyed peas.”

In Israel, they were obliged to have at least two Jewish players on each team, and Blomberg had two Orthodox Israelis on his team, the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox.

When they asked for time out to say Minha, he was taken aback. Then he saw the crowd joining them to daven behind the food concession. “It was the greatest rush of
my life,” he said. “I was in the Holy Land, near King Solomon’s tomb. I knew I was protected."

But when the team still lost the game, he demanded: “You said your prayers — so what happened?”
According to the article, Blomberg fielded question after question from the audience. Given his claim to fame, I find that rather amusing.

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