One of the aspects of sports that I love is once a team walks between the lines of the field all players are equal. It matters not whether the person is rich or poor, black or white, Christian or Jew. They become one unit with a common cause, they work together to achieve the same goal. As a coach or player, I don’t know anything about the socio economic background of my players or teammates, it is irrelevant. Ties to the world all melt away on the ball field. During games the only world that exists is the world contained by the chalk lines and the nine innings (or seven in the case of the IBL). The world beyond the game is temporarily suspended.
Today I learned who my Pioneer teammates are. They hail from the Dominican Republic, Australia, Israel, Canada and the USA. That’s five of the nine countries from which the IBL signed players. The Pioneers include African American, Spanish and Caucasian players. They include Christians and Jews. They include the two oldest players in the league who will be pitching to their teenage catcher.
They were gathered from around the world for two months to share a home in Israel and a field in Petah Tikva. They were gathered to introduce the grand sport of baseball to the uninitiated and entertain the initiated.
…and I get to be one of the players. I must be one of the luckiest guys on earth.
Lets Play Ball!
To the right are the flags of the nine nations that the IBL players come from. They are in the order shown, Australia, Israel, Belgium, Canada, Dominican Republic, Ukraine, USA, Venzuela and Japan.