The United States, Japan and the Latin American countries will receive the most attention in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, but some of the better stories will come from the lesser-known teams — as exemplified by Shlomo Lipetz.
Lipetz is a legend in Israeli baseball circles, a 33-year-old member of the Israeli National Baseball team and a player in the first pro league in the country. Truth is, being a legend in Israeli baseball circles doesn’t mean a lot — there are only a thousand or so players in a country of 8 million — and Lipetz spends his days in the United States, working for New York’s City Winery. Though his better baseball days are behind him, he’s still a competitive player, throwing a shutout in the recent European Cup competition and a strong contender to play on the Israeli squad in the World Baseball Classic play-ins this September. There will be plenty of Americans competing for Israel in the WBC — coach Brad Ausmus is also American as well — but here’s hoping Lipetz makes the squad and gets to see some action in tourney games at Roger Dean Stadium.
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