Joey Wagman

Team: Free agent, previously of the Stockton Ports, Oakland Athletics organization

Position: Right-handed pitcher

6' 0" (1.83m) 185 (84kg)

Age: 27

Born: July 25, 1991, Danville, CA

Home town: Oakland, CA

Draft: Round 17 (2013, Chicago White Sox)

School: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Played for Team Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Classic tournament

Interesting facts about Joey: At Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, he was twice voted to the NCAA Big West Conference All-Conference Team, and was named a Louisville Slugger All American. He established the school record for victories in a season with 13.

 

JOey SM

Corey Baker

Team: Video replay coordinator for the Minnesota Twins. He is a former professional baseball pitcher in the St. Louis Cardinals organization, most recently played for the Springfield Cardinals Double-A, Texas League

Position: Right-handed pitcher

6' 1" (1.85m) 170lb (77kg)

Age: 29

Born: November 23, 1989 in New York, NY

Home town: Chicago, IL

Draft: Round 49 (2011, St Louis)

School: Pittsburgh

Played for Team Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Classic tournament

Interesting facts about Corey: He visited Israel on a Birthright trip in 2015.
To prove that he was Jewish and eligible to play for Team Israel in the WBC qualifiers in 2016, his family sent the team a bar mitzvah photo of Corey wearing a yarmulke and dark suit, and holding a Torah.

 

Corey SM

Blake Gailen

Team: Lancaster Barnstormers, Atlantic League of Professional Baseball

Position: Outfielder

5' 9" (1.75m) 180 (80kg)

Age: 33

Born: March 27, 1985, Verdugo Hills, CA

Home town: Los Angeles, CA

Draft: Round 17 (2013, Chicago White Sox)

School: University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Played for Team Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Classic tournament

Interesting facts about Blake: He and major league infielder Josh Satin, a member of Team Israel in the WBC qualifiers in 2016, have been friends since they were children, and Blake attended Satin's bar mitzvah. Blake is also an accomplished karaoke singer.

Blake SM

Gabe Cramer

Team: Wilmington Blue Rocks, Kansas City Royals organization (A+ level)

Position: Right-handed pitcher

6’ 2” (1.88m) 205lb (92kg)

Age: 23

Born: November 1, 1994, Santa Rosa, CA

Home town: California

Draft: 2015, Kansas City Royals

School: Stanford

Played for Team Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Classic tournament

Interesting facts about Gabe: He was a nationally competitive youth tennis player before focusing on baseball.

Gabe SM

Alex Katz

Team: Frederick Keys, Baltimore Orioles organization (A+ level)

Position: Left-handed pitcher

5’ 11” (1.8m) 195lb (88kg)

Age: 24

Born: October 12, 1994, Manhasset, NY

Home town: Long Island, NY

Draft: Round 27 (2015, Chicago White Sox)

School: St. John's, NY

Played for Team Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Classic tournament

Interesting facts about Alex: He is a co-founder of the cleat customization company KD Custom Kicks, which creates customized artistically designed cleats, worn by some of the biggest stars of the MLB, including Aaron Judge, Yoenis Céspedes, David Wright and many more.

Alex SM

Jon Moscot

Team: Free agent, formerly of the Cincinnati Reds

Position: Right-handed Pitcher

6' 4" (1.93m) 210lb (95kg)

Age: 27

Born: August 15, 1991 in Santa Monica, CA

Home town: Santa Monica, CA

Draft: 2012, Cincinnati Reds, 4th rd. (142nd overall). He was promoted to the Cincinnati Reds in the major leagues on June 5, 2015

School: Pepperdine

Jon was recovering from Tommy John surgery prior to the 2017 WBC tournament, so could not play, but is committed to Team Israel for the run up to the Olympic Games in 2020, and to the 2021 WBC tournament.

Interesting facts about Jon: His father was born into an extremely Orthodox Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York, and Jon was raised Orthodox Jewish.
His uncle and cousins live in Israel.
At age 13, he had a small part in the 2006 sports comedy film “The Benchwarmers”.

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Jeremy Wolf

Team: Retired, formerly of the Brooklyn Cyclones, New York Mets organization

Position: Left field

6’ 1” (1.85m) 213lb (96kg)

Age: 24

Born: November 2, 1993,Scottsdale, AZ

Home town: San Antonio, TX

Draft: Round 31 (2016, New York Mets)

School: Trinity University, San Antonio, TX

Interesting facts about Jeremy: In his first season with the New York Mets, he was named one of the New York Mets’ Minor League Rookies of the Year.

Jeremy Wolf

Jonathan DeMarte

Team: York Revolution, Atlantic League

Position: Right-Handed Pitcher

6’ 1” (1.85m) 205lb 205lb (92kg)

Age: 25

Born: 4/29/93

Home town: Yorktown Heights, NY

School: University of Richmond

Interesting facts about Jonathan: Has a black belt in Taekwondo

Jonathan DeMarte

Eric Brodkowitz

Team: Yale Bulldogs

Position: Right-Handed Pitcher

6’ 2” (1.88m) 205lb 220lb (100kg)

Age: 22

Born: 14.5.96

Home town: Potomac, MD

School: Yale

Interesting facts about Eric: He works at Goldman Sachs

Eric Brodkowitz

 

Zack Weiss

Team: Cincinnati Reds (free agent)

Position: Right-Handed Pitcher

6’ 3” (190cm) 210lb (95kg)

Age: 26

Born: June 16, 1992, Irvine, CA

Home town: Los Angeles, California

Draft: Round 6 (2013, Cincinnati Reds)

School: UCLA

Interesting facts about Zack: He pitched in the 2013 College World Series for the Bruins. He was originally selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 10th round of the 2010 Draft but didn’t sign so he could attend UCLA.

 

Zack Weiss

Ten Jewish American players are arriving in Israel in mid-October to make Aliyah. The players, some of whom played for Team Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, and others who are rising stars in professional baseball in the US, are committed to play for Team Israel in its run up to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Team Israel will begin its bid to reach the Olympics by playing in the European Championships in 2019. A win for Team Israel in the B Pool of the tournament will send them to the A Pool tournament, where the top five teams will play in the European qualifier for the Olympics. Six teams will compete in Tokyo.

The ten players include former major leaguers Jon Moscot and Zack Weiss, who have both played for the Cincinnati Reds; and Joey Wagman, Blake Gailen, Gabe Cramer, Corey Baker and Alex Katz, who all played on Team Israel WBC. The other players are Jonathan DeMarte, Eric Brodkowitz and Jeremy Wolf. While the players are still in the midst of their professional careers, they are looking to move to Israel on a permanent basis and work on developing baseball in Israel.

“These players have all expressed great enthusiasm for working with Israel baseball to get to the Olympics in particular, and developing the game in Israel in general,” says Peter Kurz, President of the IAB. “The players who played in the WBC, where exposed to what Israel is, what the people are like, and how they can to help Israel become an international baseball force to be reckoned with. They want to make sure the two new fields to be developed this year are 100% utilized and that the professional level continues to grow,” adds Kurz.

"I am very excited about coming to Israel and making Aliyah,” says player Jon Moscot. “Having my family here, it’s always been a dream of mine. And potentially representing Israel Baseball in the Olympics, would be one of the most proud and exciting moments of my life.”

While they are in Israel, the players will be running a clinic on Thursday, October 18 for registered members of the IAB in the Juveniles, Cadets and Juniors, playing in an Israel Baseball Premier League game later that evening, as well as coaching national teams and the Israel Baseball Academy. 

All around the country in the coming week, hundreds of players and their coaches will take to the fields. Returning and new players will learn from the best, improve their skills, compete in five leagues and have lots of fun. Registered players will also be able to take part in our Enrichment Program, starting in October, as well as other events throughout the year. 

The first game of the Premier League will take place on October 7 at 19:15 at the Baptist Village, and games will take place every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Please see our website for the full schedule. All are welcome to come and support the teams. Juniors and Cadets games will also begin in October. Juveniles and minors will begin their game season in February 2019. Details on our website. 

If you are age 5 and up, with or without experience, you can come and play baseball. Please send us an email to info@baseball.org.il for details.

Our returning players are excited to start the season. See what they have to say about baseball. 

The Israel Association of Baseball has finalized and signed a contract with the city of Ra'anana to build a new baseball field in Park Ra'anana. The field will be named after Ezra Schwartz, z"l, who was killed in a terror attack in 2015 while in Israel from the US on a yeshiva program. 

The plan was approved by the Ra'anana city council on July 24.

"This will allow us to have our own full sized field, to host international and European tournaments, to have a field for the National Teams to practice on and to have a field where we could hold Premier League games at night," explains Peter Kurz, IAB President. "This also gives us the opportunity to expand our program in Ra'anana and in the surrounding Sharon region, where we have been quite limited over the last two years after our field was appropriated by the Israel lands authority." 

There will be a big push next year to expand the program in the Sharon area, with outreach to schools, community centers (matnassim) and other after-school programs. 

The location in the western part of the city is excellent for a sports facility, There is good transportation to Park Ra'anana and a train station will soon be built there. In the new facility, to be built as a multi-purpose facility for soccer and baseball, the plan is to have clubhouse facilities and rest rooms, batting cages and bull pens. Under consideration are also a players lounge, clubhouse, and work-out facility for players. The field should be available for use in the fall of 2019.

"The Ra'anana field, along with the field to be built in Bet Shemesh, will provide the IAB with three full-sized, adult facilities with lights, and the possibility of expanding and developing our Premier league to a new professional league," notes Kurz. "In this way, we hope to reach our dual goals of providing a much higher level of baseball in Israel, and also growing to at least 2,500 players playing in the Israeli leagues. Baseball will then become the third largest team sport in Israel."

To show our appreciation for the hard work our coaches put in throughout the year, the IAB held a Coach Appreciation Day on Friday, June 29 at the Baptist Village. Over 25 coaches from around the country participated. "Our coaches are the heart and soul of our organization and work so hard every week of the year to get the players ready for game season, and support their teams throughout the year," says Director of Baseball Operations Justin Peedin. "This was a very small gesture of thank you to them for everything they do." 

The event started with the coaches being divided into two teams representing the Sharon and the rest of Israel. They took to the field for a very friendly game of softball for baseball coaches. Home runs were abundant, with our Director of Baseball Operations crushing one over the fence. Coaches Yonatan Schechter from Ra'anana and Ori Wachspress from Modiin also added to the balls sent out of the park.

Our coaches tried their best to pitch underarm, and threw some strikes as well. Knee braces, ice packs and a lot of puffing and panting were the order of the day. Both teams scored "a lot of runs" and the final score remained a mystery. The coaches all had a great time taking the field for a change instead of calling plays from the side lines.

The very friendly game was followed by a high quality barbecue, expertly prepared and grilled by Sharon Regional Director Mel Levi and sous Chef Justin. The day was a great success and registration for the 2019 even is already open!

For more pictures from the event, click here.

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