Ryan Lavarnway may not be a common name for most baseball fans in the United States. The 33-year-old catcher has played in eight teams in a 10-year major league baseball career, most recently in the Cleveland Indians and its triple A minor league team, Columbus Clippers.
On July 21, Career Journeyman will travel to Tokyo with the Israeli baseball team for the 2020 Olympics. Japan and the Dominican Republic will play their first Olympic baseball game since July 27, 2008, and two days later Israel’s first game will face South Korea.
Due to his age and the fact that baseball will not be played at the 2024 Olympics in Paris, Lavarnway told Columbus Jewish News on July 9 that he would cherish this opportunity as much as possible.
“This will be the only opportunity for me to play baseball at the Olympic level,” said Lavarnway, whose mother is Jewish. “And that’s an opportunity I didn’t expect to have, and I never dreamed of. But I’m looking forward to becoming an Olympic athlete.”
Lavarnway is eligible for the first Olympics as he is part of a minor league of 40 rosters and is an Israeli citizen as of November 2019. Prior to this year, he competed in Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Classic qualifiers in New York and in the main tournament at the 2017 WBC in South Korea and Japan.
Israel ranked 41st in the world at the WBC in 2017 and finished the tournament in 6th place. In pool play, Lavarnway was 5-9, home runs, 3 RBIs and 4 walks. In this performance he was named Pool A MVP and Israel played 3-0 against the Netherlands, South Korea and Chinese Taipei in that pool.
Lavarnway said teammate Cody Decker called the 2017 team a “group of non-conforming toys.”
“Many people felt we were overlooked or weren’t given the opportunity to think they could be with different organizations,” said Lavarnway, who added the 2017 tournament. Many of them were new. I was playing with a fellow Jewish player. “And many who had a roller coaster career probably had lower prices than higher prices.”
He honors Peter Kurtz, chairman of the Israeli Baseball Association and general manager of Team Israel, for forming the team. Kurz was the main driving force for recruiting players and getting teams into such tournaments.
This is the first time Israel has participated in the Olympic Games since baseball was fully recognized as an Olympic sport in 1992. Lavarnway said it would be difficult to hire Israeli talent early for several reasons, including the lack of Jewish players and the lack of Jewish players. Qualifiers may not be able to participate in these tournaments at the Major League level.
After the story of Cinderella in 2017, Israel opened the eyes of many and turned to the fact that there are Jewish players who can play. This is useful for recruitment.
“When trying to get more players, no one wants to sign up to get your ass kicked,” Lavarnway said. “But if you have a chance to win, it will help, and with Ian Kinsler, Danny Valencia, and some of these other people who have a very talented monster career. With this Olympic team, I like our chance. “
Israel will play in Group B, playing one match each against South Korea and the United States. They then play against a Group A team that ends in the same place as Israel. The Dominican Republic, Mexico and Japan are in Group A.
When it comes to assessing the success of the Olympics, Lavarnway said participation in the tournament should only be considered a success.
“It’s just a baseball tournament, it’s just entertainment, it’s just a sport,” he said. “But the fact that we are playing international tournaments, especially the Olympics, is to set aside our differences and represent the best human beings who can compete equally on the stadium. , I think it’s the fact that we can hang Jewish stars, the Israeli flag, and say we exist, we belong here, we deserve to be here, the world Competing in equal competition with other countries, I think it’s a victory in itself. “
The Clippers’ Lavarnway wants to win the gold medal for Team Israel and the Olympics.Olympic
Source link The Clippers’ Lavarnway wants to win the gold medal for Team Israel and the Olympics.Olympic