Former All-Star Shawn Green leads Israel in WBC

Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

View results

Major League Baseball allows anyone with a Jewish grandparent to play for Israel. Similar rules apply for every other country, which explains why Spain’s roster is full of players born in Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and the United State.

South Africa manager Rick Magnante doesn’t feel there is a “level playing field” and offers a suggestion.

“Suppose everyone of African-American descent could apply for citizenship for South Africa,” he said.

That’s not the reality, however, and Israel is pleased with the early result and the prospect of growing the game back home.

Among the more intriguing players on the roster is Adam Greenberg. In his first major league at-bat, for the Chicago Cubs in 2005, he was hit in the head by a pitch from Valerio De Los Santos of the Marlins.

Greenberg never got back to the majors. At 31, he’s a year past his last pro swing, for the independent Bridgeport Bluefish.

Greenberg scored in the opening WBC win. He’s hoping to send Israel into the main part of the tournament, where All-Stars from all over take part.

“There probably is a stereotype out there about Jewish people not being great athletes,” Greenberg said. “When a great Jewish athlete comes along, it takes some people by surprise.”

“But the bigger picture is getting kids in Israel excited about baseball and showing them people that they can relate to playing the sport at a high level,” he said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player