Tuesday, May 1, 2007
With the Israel Baseball League just a month away from its inaugural season, I felt I should interview the first members of the league. Pitcher Ari Alexenberg was kind of enough to answer my questions through email after I contacted him through his blog site: Ari Alexenberg. He has been pitching since his early twenties and was just drafted this week into the IBL. I would like to thank him again for donating his time to answering some of my questions.
ELI: Has it been a dream of yours to play in
ARI: It is a dream come true in the sense that it is a thrill for me to have the opportunity to play the sport I love in a country that I love. But I never really dreamt of the possibility before the IBL. Since there was no pro ball in
ELI: How long have you played baseball ?
ARI: Growing up as an observant Jew in the 1970's there was no opportunity to play organized baseball. I played a lot of stickball and thought about playing organized ball someday. At the age of 23 I finally got my chance and have been playing ever since.
ELI: Is there fear, or are you worried, that a stadium might be a target of an attack?
ARI: The threat of an attack is an old problem that Israeli's learn to deal with by having strong security in place. The same security measures
ELI: I'm embarrassed to say I couldn't find what team you are on, do you have an idea where you are going?
ARI: The team rosters were announced today. I will be pitching for the Petah Tikva Pioneers.
ELI: Who was your hero growing up? Who do you thank for your success in baseball?
ARI: Growing up I was a Met fan and my baseball heroes were Rusty Staub and Tom Seaver. Being that I did not have any coaching growing up I had to teach myself everything I know about baseball. So there is really no person for me to thank for my baseball success. Though my wife encouraged me to tryout for the IBL, otherwise I would not have done it.
ELI: What number do you plan to wear this season?
ARI: If I have a choice, I will pick either 13 or 18.
ELI: This is a great idea, do you expect it to be widely popular?
ARI: I believe it will require years of continued effort for the game to be widely popular in
ELI: After hearing about the league, It became an immediate goal of mine to potentially spend a summer or two playing baseball in Israel, what advice would you give to me, and other kids that aspire to do the same?
ARI: Work hard and smart to become the best player your abilities will allow. Get as much game experience as you can and when you feel you are ready simply attend a tryout.
ELI: I can tell you are a Red Sox fan, do you still follow them?
ELI: Do you hope to face Sandy Koufax if you play the Miracle?
ARI: I would love too!!! Though I don’t like facing lefties.