Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Blogger reviews Holy Land Hardball

Blogger Jay Roberts, a longtime Giants fan who started up the Giants Journal in 1999, offers the latest review of Holy Land Hardball, the independent documentary on the Israel Baseball League.

From Jaybird's Jottings:

Holy Land Hardball

Imagine, if you will, what it would be like to start up a professional baseball league from scratch. Now, throw in the difficult task of doing so in a country eight time zones away, a place that has never had such a league and whose people know very little about the game.

That's the enormous challenge Larry Baras presented to himself two years ago. The Boston entrepreneur, reflecting on his faith, wanted to do something special for Israel. A lover of baseball, he was inspired to put together the Israel Baseball League, which made its debut season last summer.

The story of this unlikely new chapter in baseball history is told in Holy Land Hardball, a documentary by Brett Rapkin and Erik Kesten. We saw its second showing on Sunday at the AFI Theater in Silver Spring. The film, one of 45 chosen out of 2,000 submissions, is being shown as part of the annual SilverDocs Film Festival.

After the film was over, Kesten, Rapkin and a half dozen players answered questions. The filmmaking pair said they were thankful to have complete access to the players and Baras and his team of executives that included Dan Duquette, former GM of the Red Sox.

The film produced moments of laughter from the audience of about 75, as well as some tears as the league finally came together on Opening Day. Obstacles were many and, especially in the beginning, supporters few.

Giants fans will be interested to know that at the beginning of the film, when Baras was at his home, he talked about his father Hyman who was a Giants fan. Baras pulled out a well-worn Giants SF hat out of a drawer, worn by his Dad and a momento of the times they shared.

The New York Giants always wanted a Jewish star player, or even a pretty good Izzy Goldstein. If the Heavenly League would send such a player to Baras, he would be most grateful.

The timing would be good too. The Israel Baseball League starts its second season in a couple of weeks.

Just as interesting as his Holyland Hardball review is Jay Roberts' biography, which begins with:

Jay Roberts has been cutting his teeth on the Giants since the mid-60s. He first started writing about the orange and black in February 1999 at his website The Giants Journal.

Jay is a member of The Society for American Baseball Research. SABR (sabr.org) published his article, “Juan Marichal: An Opening Day Dandy,” in their annual Baseball Research Journal (Volume 30/01).

Jay and his wife Roberta live in Alexandria, Virginia. He is retired from the Air Force but is very active in the pet care industry.

Email is jaybird926@aol.com

...and continues here.


Anonymous said...

Amazing film. I laughed, I cried. I hope they get it sold so that it can reach a wider audience.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Larry

Anonymous said...

How much does Larry owe you? You certainly must be out of work and need the money because you have the same comments for EVERY IBL post on this blog. Get a job you loser and a life.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for monitoring my posts. you are either Larry or Martin and you guys seem to post more than anybody else.

You guys are the losers.

No baseball in 08.
Can't come back to Israel.

Have fun in hiding.

Anonymous said...

If this Solomon guy was real he would have paid off the debts

Larry MothaFuckin Baras! said...

I'm larry, and i'll post on here all I want! I run the league, and I'll play ball wherever I want! I'm building a field in your back yard, mf'ers!
So suck a chlemfah!
I'll leave Israel with millions of unpaid bills! And steal candy from babies on the way to the airport! where I illegally parallel parked my private jet!


Then I'm going to get plastic surgery like in Face/Off and pretend to be someone else, like Tom Cruise or someone well liked! and you'll never hear from Larry again, because I'll be supporting the league as a famous person after my hollywood-style reemergence!

And you'll love it!

So now back to my plan to con every individual in Israel...I shall not fail!

Anonymous said...

Finally Larry has come out of hiding!

Anonymous said...

are any old bills paid as of yet?