On September 3, the Miami Marlins held its annual Jewish Heritage Day. In co-operation with the Israeli consulate, the Marlins arranged a special day for all those who came to watch the game. It started with the distribution of shirts with a Magen David and the Miami Marlins symbol to all the fans. Then the Israeli national anthem, Hatikvah, was played in the presence of IDF flag bearers, who were on the field. The Israeli Consul General Lior Haiat threw out the first pitch of the game, played against the Philadelphia Phillies. Then pitcher for Team Israel WBC and the Senior National Team Shlomo Lipetz was invited to throw another "first" pitch, and Team Israel WBC bullpen catcher Tal Erel caught for him.
There were thousands of Jewish spectators in the stadium, and Jewish music was played throughout the game. Another "guest" was the Mensch on a Bench, the Team Israel WBC mascot at the World Baseball Classic earlier this year. Fans could have their pictures taken with him, as well as with Shlomo and Tal.
"It was such fun to see all the kids who came to see us and the Mensch," says Tal. "This kind of Jewish event outside Israel is so exciting and I hope that they will continue with these types of events."
- Shlomo Lipetz (right) with Tal Erel and the Mensch Shlomo Lipetz (right) with Tal Erel and the Mensch
- Tal Erel (left) with Israeli Consul General in Miami Lior Haiat Tal Erel (left) with Israeli Consul General in Miami Lior Haiat