1999-2010

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Blomberg sees dim hope for 2008 Israel baseball

“Blomberg said the IBL
is going through some
financial problems
currently and
may not be able
to play its season
this summer,
but he thinks it will
eventually get back
up and running
in the not-so-distant
future…”


From an article in this morning’s Wellsville, NY, Daily Reporter:

Blomberg, Shamsky helping to bring baseball to Israel

By Paul Jannace

Daily Reporter

HORNELL - Ron Blomberg says he ruined baseball forever in 1973, but he also helped bring baseball to Israel last summer.


Blomberg, one of the guest speakers at the 35th annual Sports Night, became Major League Baseball’s first designated hitter for the New York Yankees on April 6, 1973, and drew a bases loaded walk in the first inning against Boston’s Luis Tiant.


“It screwed up the game of baseball,” Blomberg said in between signing autographs. “And I’m proud of it.”


...Currently working as a scout for the New York Yankees, as well as doing some work for FOX and ESPN, Blomberg will be featured on ESPN April 16 in a piece celebrating the 35th anniversary of the designated hitter.
 Blomberg spent seven of his eight Major League seasons with the New York Yankees, winning a World Series in 1977 and 1978.


While Blomberg may or may not have ruined baseball, he recently was part of the inaugural season of the Israel Baseball League along with fellow Sports Night attendee Art Shamsky (left, tall), who played 13 seasons, including being part of the 1969 World Champion New York Mets.


Blomberg’s Bet Shemesh Blue Sox, sporting the New York Yankees’ colors, defeated Shamsky’s Modi’in Miracle, who wore the colors of the New York Mets, to win the first ever Israel Baseball League championship.

“It was one of the most gratifying things I’ve ever done in my life,” Blomberg said. “If you’re Jewish or Catholic, it’s a wonderful thing.”


While most of the players and coaches in the league are Jewish, it is not a prerequisite, as there are players from all over the world and eight of them who played last summer have signed deals with Major League clubs.


“The quality of baseball is good,” Blomberg said. “For the first year, I would say it’s A-ball.”


Shamsky joked that his only regret to being in the IBL is that he lost to Blomberg in the championship game.
“He out-managed me that day,” Shamsky quipped.


Ken Holtzman, who pitched 15 season in Major League Baseball with the Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics and Baltimore Orioles, also managed during the IBL’s first season. Dan Duquette, a former general manager of the Boston Red Sox, is the league’s director of baseball operations and is helping to develop a baseball academy in Israel.


“The fact that we started up something and to be a part of that initial experience was great,” Shamsky said. “The fact you were playing baseball in this holiest of places was very, very special.”


Blomberg said the IBL is going through some financial problems currently and may not be able to play its season this summer, but he thinks it will eventually get back up and running in the not-so-distant future.


“Baseball would do extremely well over there,” Blomberg said…

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did Blomberg also mention the huge room service bill he managed in Israel?

Anonymous said...

yeah , and all the players' beer bills and clubbing bills. we had a great time!!!!!

Anonymous said...

well that is one big reason I could not pay all the bills you jackass

Anonymous said...

when's blomberg writing his tell all about his nights out in taking in the, um, tel aviv nite life...