Israel's national baseball team will continue its pre-Olympic tour of the Northeastern United States when it plays the Cal Ripken League All-Stars in an exhibition game at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Maryland, on Monday, July 19. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium is the home of the Aberdeen IronBirds, the High-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.
Tickets for the game will be $18 and will be available for purchase at https://www.milb.com/aberdeen.
The game will be Teal Israel’s second against a selection of Ripken League All-Stars during its training camp games. The first will be in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on Friday, July 16. Those games are among nine that Team Israel will play in the United States before traveling to Japan for the Olympics. Games against the New York Boulders in Pomona, New York, on Monday, July 12; against the Bristol Blues and Ocean State Waves in Hartford, Connecticut, on Wednesday-Thursday, July 14-15; and the Susquehanna Valley Stars in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, July 17, have already been announced. More games will be revealed in the coming days.
“We are very appreciative of the opportunity to bring Team Israel to Aberdeen, Maryland, and provide an opportunity for fans from Baltimore to Delaware to see us play before heading to Japan," said Adam Gladstone, Team Israel's Assistant GM and Director of Baseball Operations. “For those of us from this region, it’s a homecoming, and to partner with the Ironbirds and the Ripken Family will make this event even more special.”
Now in its 16th season, the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League is an amateur summer wooden bat baseball league in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Region. The Cal Ripken League All-Stars team that will face Israel's best will be a selection of the top performers from the six teams in the league.
“The entire staff of the Aberdeen IronBirds could not be more excited to host such a storied and prestigious event,” said Tyler Weigandt, the IronBirds’ Senior Manager of community and media relations. “We are honored to have Team Israel utilize our facility as a part of their preparation for the Olympics as they tour the Northeastern United States this summer. We have worked exceptionally hard during this very long offseason to ensure a fun and safe environment for all of our guests. July 19th is fast approaching and we cannot wait to have Team Israel and the Cal Ripken League All-Stars experience all that the newly renovated Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium has to offer.”
Team Israel will have as many as 28 players in total plus some of the top local talents of the next generation to expose them to a training camp atmosphere. The roster is ripe with players known to baseball fans in the United States; there are seven players with previous Major League Baseball experience plus several current minor league players. Some players who should be well known to fans of the area include Danny Valencia, who spent two seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, and Ryan Lavarnway, who also played for the Orioles in 2015.
Team Israel will compete in baseball at the Olympic Games for the first time. It is the first team to represent Israel at the Olympic Games since 1976 when Israel's national soccer team played in Montreal. The six-team Olympic Baseball Tournament will run from July 28 through August 7.
You can help Team Israel on its journey by supporting the 25th Player campaign. Go to IsraelBaseball.com for more information. Official Team Israel baseball apparel can be purchased at teamisraelbaseball.com.