Tuesday, May 29, 2012 |11:17 |Age: 2 yrs
President Peres and Ambassador Shapiro promoting Israeli BaseballBy: Peter Kurz (IBA)
President of Israel Shimon Peres met today with ex-professional Major League Baseball player Brad Ausmus.
Ausmus, who played in the past fir the Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Diego Padres volunteered to manage and play for the Israeli national Baseball team in preparation for the qualifying round of the World Baseball Classic and is currently in Israel to learn more about baseball in Israel. U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro, an avid baseball fan, also took part in the meeting.
Ausmus gave the president a baseball kit, including a practice jersey with the president' name, a bat and a ball for signing and said he left the "soft spot" of the ball -- usually reserved for the most senior player in the team - for the president to sign.
The president thanked the team manager for the kit and said the ball is "easy to sign, difficult to hit."
The president asked to hear about baseball in Israel and Ambassador Shapiro replied: "baseball is turning to be an increasingly popular in Israel, especially since the formation of the national team. We hope that Israelis will get more exposure to baseball -- a common sport that can contribute to the bond between the two peoples."
The president emphasized that "there is nothing that helps connect between nations more than sports. I wish the Israeli national baseball team great success."