Over the holidays this year we were discussing what we felt most thankful for. We were discussing the past year and what was very apparent was that the summer was far more joyful than any other one in memory. No war. No intifada. Baseball.Today, Tiger's site-- and a linked, day-old blogsite called Tigerviews, has run a more pointed story:
We cannot wait til next season but in the meantime, thank you Israel Baseball League management, founders, players and all who made it a summer to pleasantly remember!
Israel Needs The Israel Baseball League.
The Israel Baseball League Needs Larry Baras.
I am disturbed to read of the public lynching which has gone on relative to IBL founder Larry Baras. Lynching may be too kind a word. I am thinking bone scavenging. We ought to ask ourselves WHY? There almost seems like there is money and power behind a campaign to discredit this man. Every single person who supports and benefits from professional baseball in Israel should be just as distressed. Any fair person ought to question how can something like this can rightly happen. This make us think of the old phrase, "Say it Ain't so, Joe!"
I know Larry as a person who ran to replace a popsicle for a child near me at a game when it dropped. I know Larry as the person who had perspiration marks up and down, beside and in front of his polo shirt making it all happen on opening day, stress and sweat oozing out of his pores-- and I even witnessed someone taking his seat leaving him without one at the same opening game. ( there was that overflowing crowd of thousands) I even saw him picking up left behind trash towards the end of the game... as we all left the Yarkon with happy hearts and the nicest evening memory in years. I mentioned to my friend-- gee-- I wonder what time he started his day.
My wife knows of his family - a wife and great kids who are solid. That is who Larry is. Without question, the IBL could have never gotten off the ground without his herculean efforts. Players would not have known the joy of signing autographs, Israeli children would not have had the summertime of baseball. Adults would not have had the joy of watching a good game after work. Players and coaches would have not lived moments of feeling like superstars. While detractors point to unpaid obligations that is unfortunate but not necessarily permanent as anyone in a new business knows. If one were to ask anyone who has put together a new business, particularly one thousands of miles away, it is not unexpected. Those who stick by Larry and support this league and what is right are correct and you are heroes.
I myself am rededicating myself to doing more. I am writing to the IBL offering to put together a baseball event for my company during the upcoming season. The reality is that Israel, a land which is known for dissention, war, disagreement, rudeness ---had the beauty of baseball, courteous lines at the snack stand and in the parking lots. The world saw a happy story on the news. Fans were truly created. The world was able to see an Israel which can exist, which ought to exist.
I suggest we all consider the fact that Larry Baras has done the most work in making this happen at all and he is publically being blamed and demonized for what could be shortcomings attributable to any new business particularly one which is undercapitalized despite hard work and dedication, along with the huge market potential which exists.
This is not a post for discussion. It is a post to hopefully make people think.
What do you think?