Global Baseball

One man\’s year-long journey through the world of baseball

Israeli Professional League Info

4/3/2007

I’ve recently gotten some information on the workings of the Israel Baseball League, set to kick off this June. The league will feature 6 teams, with a set salary cap of $40,000 for each team. Investors are buying in with the intent of making the league profitable. Other attempts to run independently financed, non-MLB affiliated professional leagues in non-traditional baseball countries have failed miserably (e.g. the short-lived Australian Professional League). Hopefully, the league will turn a profit, that paltry salary cap will increase, and there will be another viable professional baseball league that can help spread the game around the world.

The league’s 6 teams have signed a total of 120 players, about 100 of whom are imports. Most of the players are from the United States and the Dominican Republic, where the league held tryouts last month.

As the IBL’s press release about the league’s Dominican tryouts notes, the link between Israeli and the Dominican Republic goes back a long way. Dominican dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo is remembered both as an effective leader responsible for building up the country’s infrastructure and middle class, and as a fascist bastard who ran 1-party elections for 31 years, killed dissenters (most notably the Mirabal Sisters), and ordered the massacre of 50,000 Haitian sugar cane workers in 1937. Trujillo was also one of the only world leaders in the Western Hemisphere to offer asylum to Jews fleeing Europe during World War 2. Accordingly, there is a relatively large Jewish community in the Dominican Republic, centered both in Santo Domingo and Sosua, a town founded by Jewish refugees on the northern coast. There’s also a kickass falafel and shawarma restaurant called El Rey de Falafel on Calle Padre Billini in Santo Domingo run by Israelis. Seriously. That place is awesome.

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April 3, 2007 - Posted by | Israeli Baseball

3 Comments »

  1. Jon – The Australian Baseball League hung in there in tough financial conditions for 10 years, hardly short lived !!

    Look forward to seeing more about South Africa.

    Dave

    Comment by Dave Cairns | April 16, 2007

  2. Dave,

    You’re totally right. I should’ve chosen my words more carefully (kicking out a post quickly will do that). The APL might have hung on for awhile, but they never turned a single profit. I was thinking ‘defunct, bankrupt league’ and in my quick typing came up with ‘short-lived.’ My bad.

    Comment by jhelfgott | April 17, 2007

  3. Difference between Israel and other places like Australia in terms of potential of league.. is that there are so many Americans who visit there each summer, so many former Americans live there. An existing Little League Program too. Not a lot of competing happy entertainment either.
    I think it will be fascinating to see baseball with a backdrop of the Holy Land. What could really be more magical.

    Comment by Glenn | June 13, 2007


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