Led by Game On 13's Eric Holtz, Israel Baseball Team Headed to 2020 Olympics
For the first time ever, the Israel baseball team has qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. Of the six-qualifying countries, Israel has never played baseball at the Olympics and, many Israelis didn’t realize they had a national baseball team until they started making headlines in late September.
It all started with the tournament in the B pool, based on the team’s past performance, and had to win that pool to move on to the A pool. From there, the team had to place in the top five to move on to the Europe/Africa Olympic qualifiers. Then it had to play everyone in a round-robin tournament, with the team with the best record making the Olympics.
Israel went on to win its first three games against Spain, the Netherlands, and Italy, then lost the fourth game to the Czech Republic.
After the Czech Republic, it all came down to the game against South Africa. Israel wound up winning 11-1, securing the Jewish state’s Olympic spot.
Baseball isn’t a mainstay at the Olympics. It has come and gone over the years and hasn’t been played at the Olympics since Beijing in 2008. With the games taking place next summer in Japan, where baseball is popular, the sport has made a comeback. The other four countries that will play will be decided in future qualifying events.
On behalf of Game On 13, we’d like to congratulate the Olympic-bound Israel baseball team and wish them nothing but the best on their journey to Tokyo 2020!