3/01/2007

Go Miracle!

Modiin just got its first professional sports team. They will be the home of the Modiin Miracle, a semipro baseball team in a new Israeli league. Should be fun. I hope they maul the hated Blue Sox of Beit Shemesh (just trying to get a bit of a rivalry going).

I also like the team name. It’s rooted in Modiin’s ancient history. We also could have been the Oilers or Maccabees (though there are enough Maccabi teams around). The Petah Tikva Pioneers are a good team name as well. The rest pretty much stink, but only for lack of imagination. I mean, Samson lived in or near Beit Shemesh. He was a pretty good athlete. What’s wrong with the Beit Shemesh Jawbones? David killed Goliath a few minutes drive from Beit Shemesh, in Emek Ha-Ela. Why not the Fighting Davids of Beit Shemesh? Doesn’t every underdog always look to David for inspiration? Or how about the Suns? It works for Phoenix, and it’s still better than Blue Sox.

The other three host cities – Ra’anana, Netanya, and Tel Aviv – will have a harder time, since they are newer cities. Typical names (Express, Tigers, and Lightning, respectively) are to be expected, but not necessarily welcome. Some imagination can be used – maybe the Tel of Tel Aviv representing a pitcher’s mound or something?

The teams from Modiin and Beit Shemesh will share a home field in Gimzo. That invites the question, in what sense are the teams from Modiin and Beit Shemesh? Maybe we should be the Gimzo Gizmos (and the team motto should be ‘It’s All Good’).

As it turns out, I even know one of the players. It was this guy’s counselor at a sports camp in Baltimore 11 and 12 years ago. I actually even remember that he once made a diving catch of my line-drive in short right-center to rob me of at least a double.

In other local sports news, it seems that Tamir Goodman is averaging almost 20ppg for the nearby Maccabi Shoham (link). Maybe I’ll get to catch a game at some point. Remember, I made Aliyah from Baltimore, where he was a local legend before becoming nationally known (and before almost completely disappearing from the radar - link). As far as I’m concerned, the novelty of a pro basketball player wearing a yarmulke and tzitzit has not worn off. He’s still the only Shomer Shabbat in the Israeli league.

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