Aug 29, 2007 — When the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox won the Israel Baseball League this summer, Yeshiva College pre-med student Aryeh Rosenbaum was part of the winning team. The left-handed pitcher, who was drafted this spring for the league’s inaugural season, said the level of play this season was “even better than expected, and extremely exciting.”
“It was very special playing in Israel,” said Rosenbaum, noting that one of his favorite experiences was listening to his teammates from all over the world learn Hatikvah, Israel’s national anthem. “Every day they picked up a few more words,” the Teaneck resident said. “By the championship game, many knew the whole song.”
While the Tel Aviv Lightning presented the stiffest competition, the Bet Shemesh players did not have to face them in the championship because they had been knocked out of the finals by Modi’in Miracle.
A member of the YU baseball team this past year, Rosenbaum had to wait until the college baseball season was over before he accepted the invitation to join the IBL.
“If I had joined the league, it would have made me ineligible to play on YU’s team, because the NCAA doesn’t allow professional athletes to compete in the college division,” he said.
Dovid Green, a YC alumnus and graduate student in psychology at Columbia University, was also drafted into the league—he played infield for the Petach Tikvah Pioneers.
Green, who hails from Newton, MA, helped form the YU baseball team in his junior year.
Both Rosenbaum and Green dreamed of playing professional baseball as children. “Since I was a little kid, but I couldn’t figure out how I could both play for the Boston Red Sox and remain an observant Jew,” Green said.
So when the opportunity came along “to play professional ball and be the same person I am, I realized I could fulfill my dream,” Green added, dubbing the 42-game, three-month IBL season “the best summer job I ever had.”