BATTER UP AND PLAAAAAY BALL! THIRTEEN/WNET NEW YORK TAKES PART IN HISTORY WHEN IT AIRS THE INAUGURAL GAME OF THE ISRAEL BASEBALL LEAGUE, SUNDAY JULY 1
This summer, America's national pastime arrives in Israel - and Thirteen/WNET takes you out to the ballgame. Opening day of the Israel Baseball League (IBL) - the country's first ever pro baseball circuit - pits the Modi'in Miracle against the Petach Tikva Pioneers at Baptist Village Field, Israel's premier baseball park. Viewers can tune in to Thirteen for the telecast of this historic event on Sunday, July 1 at 11 a.m. with an encore presentation at 4:30 p.m., and to WLIW21 on Sunday, July 1 at 10 p.m.
In addition to the Miracle and the Pioneers, the four other squads rounding out IBL's inaugural season are the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox, Tel Aviv Lightning, Ra'anana Express, and Netanya Tigers. Their rosters will feature players and managers from all over the world with varying degrees of professional experience, competing in an eight-week, 45-game season culminating in a championship series.
At the helm of the Modi'in Miracle is a veteran of another miracle team - former major leaguer Art Shamsky, who played outfield and first base for the 1969 world-champion "Miracle Mets." Two other confirmed IBL managers familiar to baseball fans are Ken Holtzman (the Express), the winningest Jewish pitcher in major league history who hurled two no-hitters with the Chicago Cubs; and Ron Blomberg (the Blue Sox), a number-one draft pick who spent eight big-league seasons with the Yankees and Chicago White Sox.
The IBL is the dream of Boston businessman Larry Baras, a baseball fan who frequently traveled to Israel and conceived the idea of bringing the joys of America's national pastime to the people of Israel. The Commissioner is the former U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Daniel C. Kurtzer. One-time Boston Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette heads baseball operations and ran the five tryout camps that helped stock the teams. The league will play seven-inning games, and ties will be broken by a home run hitting contest.
The inaugural game of the Israel Baseball League is made possible by support from the New York Mets. The broadcast is a presentation of Thirteen/WNET New York. In addition to its tri-state area broadcast on Thirteen and WLIW21, the game will be shown on public television stations in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and West Palm Beach.