Team Israel is heading to the A Pool of the European Championships in Bonn, Germany in early September, on the road to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Tokyo. Finishing in the top 5 in the tournament will take Team Israel straight through to the Olympics qualifiers in Italy.

Let's hear from team member Joey Wagman, who played for Team Israel in the WBC tournament in 2017.

Bio

  • Age: 28
  • Height:6’/1.83m
  • Weight: 185lb/83kg
  • Position: RHP
  • Current Team: Milwaukee Milkmen

A brief history

All American at Cal Poly Slo. 2013 draft pick of Chicago White Sox. Four years with Oakland Athletics. 7 total pro years. Member of the 2017 WBC Team Israel and 2019 Team Israel Senior National Team. 

Your standout moment as a player for Team Israel

Getting the first win against Lithuania and striking out 10 at the B Pool of the European Championships this year in July. 

Your baseball mantra

Enjoy playing a kids game as if you were still a kid.

What you are most looking forward to in Germany

Looking forward to playing high level international competition and qualifying for the Olympics!

You’re a fan of…

The beaches in Tel Aviv.

 

 

 

Team Israel is heading to the A Pool of the European Championships in Bonn, Germany in early September, on the road to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Tokyo. Finishing in the top 5 in the tournament will take Team Israel straight through to the Olympics qualifiers in Italy.

Let's hear from team member Blake Gailen, who played for Team Israel in the WBC qualifiers and tournament in 2016 and 2017, and was MVP of the B Pool when Israel won in July this year.

Bio

  • Age: 34
  • Height:5’8”/1.76m
  • Weight: 175lb/79kg
  • Position: OF
  • Throws/bats: L/L
  • Current Team: OKC Dodgers

A brief history

Just finished 13th year professionally (2007-2019).
Have been in independent ball as well as MLB organizations (Angels, Rockies, Blue Jays, Dodgers).

Your standout moment as a player for Team Israel

Playing the WBC in Japan against Japan in 2017 was the best moment as a player in my career. I’d never seen a better atmosphere.

Your baseball mantra

Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do something. You only can’t if you don’t try.

What you are most looking forward to in Germany

Looking most forward to the playoff atmosphere that these tournaments bring.

You’re a fan of…

All LA teams (Dodgers, Lakers, Kings). I love the NFL but don’t have a team.

Superstitions

There is a very fine line between superstition and committing to a routine. My entire career walks the line of that border.

 

 

 

Team Israel is heading to the A Pool of the European Championships in Bonn, Germany in early September, on the road to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Tokyo. Finishing in the top 5 in the tournament will take Team Israel straight through to the Olympics qualifiers in Italy.

Let's hear from team member Shlomo Lipetz, who is a true veteran of Israel Baseball.

Bio
Age: 40
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 201lb
Position: RHP
Current Team: NY Cubs (Zorilla League)/ The Twins (Metro League)

A brief history
Shlomo Lipetz, VP of Programming at City Winery in New York, lives a double life as a baseball pitcher. Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel, Shlomo is one of Israeli baseball first byproducts and first generation players to come out of Israel. Immediately after his military service he moved the US. After pitching for San Diego Mesa College and US San Diego as their closer, he returned to Israel to pitch for the Netanya Tigers in Israel's first and only professional league (IBL) season in 2007. He led the league with a 0.98 ERA and walked only three. This year will mark Shlomo's 30th year playing for Israel National teams. In 2008 and 2011, he pitched for Team Israel in the European Championship Qualifiers, and in the World Baseball Classic in 2013 and 2017.

Your standout moment as a player for Team Israel
During the 2012 European Baseball Championship qualifiers in 2011, I pitched in 3 of the 5 games. We beat Georgia in the opener, and I pitched 7 innings and striking out 9. During the first game of the home/away finals against Great Britain, I pitched a complete game shutout, giving up 6 hits and 3 walks while striking out five. Later that same day, I started again, pitching an additional 4.1 innings, giving up one earned run on 6 hits, while recording 4 strikeouts. I threw a total of 214 pitches in the doubleheader.

Your baseball mantra
Life always offers you a second chance. It's called tomorrow.

What you are most looking forward to in Germany
Looking forward to seeing just how far we can get with this team

You’re a fan of…
Ice cream...any flavor, but ideally chocolate

Superstitions
Always even…never odd...and if possible, some tie-in to the number 12

Team Israel is heading to the A Pool of the European Championships in Bonn, Germany in early September, on the road to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Tokyo. Finishing in the top 5 in the tournament will take Team Israel straight through to the Olympics qualifiers in Italy.

Let's hear from team member Alon Leichman, a product of Israel Baseball and currently a pitching coach for the Seattle Mariners organization.

Bio

  • Age: 30
  • Height:1.74cm
  • Weight: 86kg
  • RHP
  • Current Team: Team Israel

A brief history

I grew up playing at Kibbutz Gezer under Lee Siegel. My first Israel national team was at age 10. I played for the Israel Baseball League (now definct) in 2007, with the champions Bet Shemesh. MLB academy in 2008 in Italy, Prague Eagles in 2009-2010. Studied at Cypress college in California in from 2012, then transferred to UC San Diego, graduating in 2016. Played in a Mexican league the fall after college as well as in the Israel Association of Baseball for the Tel Aviv Comrades Premier League team.

Your standout moment as a player for Team Israel

When we played in Israel in the European Championships B Pool in 2011 in front of 3,000 fans. Then watching Shlomo (Lipetz) go14 innings against England on 2 days rest.

Your baseball mantra

Try to take every day on the field as a learning experience.

What you are most looking forward to in Germany

Getting on a bus to Italy.

You’re a fan of…

Traveling and good food

 

 

 

In a magnificent sweep of the B Pool of the European Championships, Team Israel has moved into the A Pool for the first time in Israel Baseball history. 

Team Israel was looking improve on its second place finish in the B Pool two years ago. The team was bolstered this year by professional American baseball players, who made Aliyah to play on the team towards the bid for the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. Six of them played for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic, where Israel finished in sixth place.

After dominating the first round of the B Pool in Bulgaria in early July with a sweep of six games, Team Israel faced Lithuania in the playoff for a place in the A Pool. Israel continued to dominate, with an opening 12-2 victory in Utena, Lithuania. Standing out for Team Israel was WBC alumnus Joey Wagman, who pitched 6 innings of 1 earned run with 10 strike outs; Eric Brodkowitz, who didn't allow a hit over the last 3 innings; and Rob Paller who went 3 for 5 with 4 RBIs and 2 home runs. Additng to Paller's home runs, Israel hit 6 home runs were Mitch Glasser, Blake Gaillen, Simon Rosenbaum and Jeremy Wolf with one each. 

In Game 2 the following day, Gabe Cramer shut the Lithuanians down, allowing only one hit to give Israel a 15-0 victory after five innings. Israel had 11 hits for 15 runs, and three home runs from Rosenbaum, Wolf and Jake Rosenberg. Israel shut down Lithuania over two games, allowing only 1 earned run in 14 innings of play, while pushing 27 runs across.  Simon Rosenbaum led all hitters with a .571 average and 2 home runs. Wolf and Paller also slugged 2 home runs each and hit .500 over the two games. Dominant pitching by the trio of Cramer, Brodkowitz and Wagman led Israel to their two wins in the playoffs.

Team Israel will now play in the A Pool tournament of the European Championships on September 7-15 in Bonn, Germany, facing teams from Czech Republic, Belgium, Austria, Great Britain and Netherlands in their group. The top five teams out of the total of 12 teams in the tournament will move on to the Olympic Games qualifiers for Europe and Africa to take place in Parma Italy on September 18-22.

“The A Pool is not our goal,” said Peter Kurz, President of the IAB and GM of Team Israel. “Our goal is to reach the Olympic Qualifiers after the A Pool. With our pitching, in a short A Pool series, anything can happen.” Kurz believes that goal is attainable: “Our team represents the best of Israel Baseball, with players who have vast experience both on the professional stage as well as in colleges. Their motivation is at an all-time high to represent Israel on this international stage and to go all the way to Tokyo in 2020.”

Team Israel now faces the task of raising the funds to pay for their September competitions and is actively fundraising for this cause. Please make all donations to the Team Israel Olympic Games crowd sourcing site:  https://www.jewcer.org/project/israelbaseballolympics/ 

 

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://www.baseball.org.il/en/news-blogs/news#sigProIdc9c6c1da28

Don't have an account yet? Register Now!

Sign in to your account