In yet another example of America’s heady cultural imperialism, Boston-based entrepreneur Larry Baras is bringing our national pastime to the Holy Land; June 24 will mark the opening day of the Israeli Baseball League (IBL). Will sabras embrace the sport with the same enthusiasm they have Mickey D’s fries and Dunkin’ Donuts’ Munchkins?
The answer may not really matter. The country already has a built-in audience of more than 120,000 U.S.-born Israelis, as well as hoards of American tourists and students on study programs, all ready to cheer on the teams of majority Jewish American expats. The IBL has corporate sponsorships in place so the risk of financial failure is low.
So like it or not, this summer, Israelis are getting the slow-paced game. Hopefully, lip cancer and steroid abuse won’t make the cross-Atlantic voyage, as well.