Israel Baseball League Launched By Former Major Leaguers

BASEBALL THAT’S BOUND TO OFFEND SOMEONE: Former major leaguers Ken Holtzman, Ron Blomberg and Art Shamsky have been hired as managers for the first season of what’ll be called the Israel Baseball League.

Meaning, there’ll be a place for Scott Schoeneweis, Mike Lieberthal, David Eckstein and Shawn Green to play someday.

Six teams — the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox, Modi’in Miracle, Netanya Tigers, Petach Tikva, Pioneers Ra’anana Express and Tel Aviv Lighting — will play in the league, which opens June 24. Cities will be announced soon. Each club will play 45 games over eight weeks. The caviat: No games Friday nights or Saturday afternoons because of the Sabbath.

Former Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette is the league’s director of baseball operations. Daniel Kurtzer, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, is its commissioner.

If only Babe Ruth were around as the ambassador of the league:

Despite urban legend, Ruth never played for the House of David Jewish barnstorming team back in the day. But it didn’t prevent him for posing as one.

And that Eckstein reference? Just a joke. The St. Louis Cardinals World Series MVP, and a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, was somehow selected to the Jewish All-American team while playing at the University of Florida. Surely, the Tikva could use him as a batboy.