(Image Credit: Israel Baseball League)
After nearly 4,000 years of waiting, it looks as if the spiritual capital of Israel will finally have its own Baseball team. The Petach Tikva Pioneers have recently decided to migrate to Jerusalem, and will be renamed the Jerusalem Lions.
But the question remains, can they defeat the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox?
(Israel Baseball League) This is about to change for the 2008 season, as the IBL announced that it is moving the Petach Tikva franchise to Jerusalem for the coming year. The team, to be known as the Jerusalem Lions, will play its maiden season in Gezer Field, about a 25 minute drive from the center of Jerusalem. By the 2010 season, the league expects the team to have a home field in Jerusalem itself. [...]
"Our problem was finding a site in Jerusalem that could accommodate pro baseball requirements," said Ami Baran, the IBL's Director of Israeli Operations. "However, we have been working under the leadership of the Jerusalem Foundation in getting a particular parcel designated as a baseball field and it is clear that enough progress has been made on that score for us to start planning for baseball in Jerusalem," Baran continued.
The move towards Jerusalem should help improve the teams fan base, as well as raise the status of the league overall internationally.
The Israel Baseball League has recently released a schedule for 2008, which includes 40 games to be played throughout the season, giving each team plenty of time to spar against each other in the hot summer.
Note: With Jerusalem now formally having a team, I wonder whether or not the Haredi (or Orthodox Jews) will consider joining the fun? (especially if it means beating the Tel Aviv Lightening)
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