davidfriedman2Name: David Friedman‎

Profession: Retired college dean and lecturer/instructor in History. I currently ‎work with two Israeli-Arab reconciliation initiatives, and am a part-time Cincinnati ‎Reds scout.

Team you coach: Modi’in Miracles Premier Leagueout.‎

Years as a coach: 22 - 15 in the IAB; 1 in the NCAA; 5 in American high school ‎baseball

Your first baseball experience: In 1959, watching the Duluth Dukes play as a ‎‎6-year old (the then AA minor league team of the Detroit Tigers).‎

You’re a fan of: The Northwestern College Eagles, where I coached.‎

The player you most admire and why: (a tie) - Wilmer Mizell (Cards and ‎Pirates pitcher, 1950s); Kirby Puckett (Twins OFer). Both of them gave their all to ‎be the best that they could, both in baseball, and as human beings. They were ‎amazing role models for young men. Their charitable actions towards less ‎fortunate persons could fill a book.‎

Your most memorable baseball moment as a coach: Coaching against ‎Kenny Phelps (former Seattle Mariners’ slugger) in high school in our league ‎title game (Phoenix, Arizona, 1999) and we lost in the 9th inning. Also, being ‎honored by the high school I coached at, at the same ceremony where my son ‎was named Junior Athlete of the Year in 1999.‎

If you weren’t coaching baseball, you’d be… Spending more time following ‎and bemoaning the fate of my favorite American football team, the Minnesota ‎Vikings.‎

Your top coaching tip: #1 was given to me by an 8-year old player many years ‎ago: “Coach, if I can’t do it with the bat tonight, I can do it with the glove”. #2: ‎Hitters, learn to think along with pitchers, and you will improve greatly. ‎

Your coaching mantra: Play with great fundamentals, and have some fun ‎while you’re at it!‎

Premier League Spring Training for 2014 began this Sunday, March 2 at the Baptist ‎Village. During the training period, players will have an opportunity to throw bullpens, ‎work ‎on defense by position, hit, get into condition, and prepare for the games. ‎

PL‎“We are looking forward to a very exciting season this year,” says Nate Fish, National ‎Director of the IAB. “We are welcoming back our veteran players, and we will also be ‎bringing in new players who are joining the league. Many of the senior players are ‎gearing up for the European Championships in Slovenia in July, and will be in action, ‎showing why they’ve been chosen to represent Israel this summer.” ‎

For the first time, the Premier League season will take place in parallel to the MLB ‎season, with games starting in April, and running through till October.‎
Spring Training takes place every Sunday and Thursday in March, ‎‎19:00-21:00, at ‎Baptist Village. The season begins the first week of April, so come out and get ready for ‎the upcoming 2014 Premier League Season! ‎

If you’re interested in ‎competing in the Premier League, please contact Dan Rothem for ‎more information - .

oren ben-amiName: Oren Ben-Ami (Top left)
Profession: Product Manager, Fiverr
Team you coach: Modi’in Miracles Minors
Years as a coach: 3‎
Your first baseball experience: I first played baseball in Little League in Madison, ‎Wisconsin (3rd grade)‎
You’re a fan of: Milwaukee Brewers‎
The player you most admire and why: Paul Molitor because I grew up watching him. ‎Even though I was sad that he left Milwaukee, I was happy because he finally got a ‎World Series ring with Toronto. ‎
Your most memorable baseball moment as a coach: My son’s first year playing, when he ‎was only in first grade. It was our first playoff game and he was playing second base. He ‎caught his first fly ball of the season. When I saw the look on his face, especially when ‎the other kids congratulated him for the out, it was priceless. We ended up losing the ‎game, but that catch still sticks with me.‎
If you weren’t coaching baseball, you’d be…: Coaching basketball. I love sports.‎
Your top coaching tip: Play to the best of your ability and don’t worry about winning the ‎game. If my players have given their best effort, then that’s what makes me proud. ‎Winning or losing will take care of itself.‎
Your coaching mantra: It’s not about being the best; it’s about being the best you can be.‎

rishoncourseOn Wednesday and Thursday the 22nd and 23rd of January, Ra’ananim school in Rishon Lezion hosted Nate Fish, National Director of the Israel Association of Baseball, Sam Friedman, IAB staffer, and Ilan Klein, a member of the Israel national team. About 400 children were introduced to the game and had the opportunity to experience first-hand, what it’s like to play baseball. Every class at the school spent time with the coaches to learn skills such as running the bases, fielding and throwing baseballs, and learning how to hit. Ilan spoke to the students about what it’s like to travel the world representing Israel as well as his impending draft into the IDF as a "sporta'i". Each student received a baseball card at the conclusion of the class.

The baseball clinic is part of an IAB outreach program to teach school around Israel children about the sport. Currently, players from Rishon Letzion play a short 15-minutes away on the Rehovot team, which is now in its 16th season.

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leoName: Leo Honor Robbins (on the right in the picture with Howie Osterer)

Profession: Clerical Engineer

Teams you coached: Jerusalem teams of all ages

Years as a coach: 1993 - 2009‎

Your first baseball experience: Free tickets to a Phillies game as an all A student

You’re a fan of: Philadelphia Phillies

The player you most admire and why: All the players I ever coached for their dedication ‎and hard work.‎

Your most memorable baseball moment as a coach: My 8 year old son the catcher, ‎going to the backstop at Gezer, running back to the plate and tagging out the tying run in ‎the first ever Minor league All Star game, where the underdogs Jerusalem beat the ‎favored Tel Aviv team (who were positive they were going to win).‎

If you weren’t coaching baseball, you’d be…: Enjoying the free time and umping [Ed's note: Leo is a ‎senior IAB umpire].‎

Your top coaching tip: Always go back to fundamentals and don't have batting practice ‎and fielding practice on the same day (i.e., one or the other – alternate practices).‎

Your coaching mantra: We play to win but we don't play to win.‎

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