Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pribble pens unique account of a season in Israel

The Israel Baseball League, whose managerial ranks included former big leaguers Ron Blomberg and Art Shamsky, lasted only one season, flaming out after financial woes plagued its 2007 campaign. Thanks to Aaron Pribble's diligent journal-keeping, the league will not be forgotten. The tall left-hander, who led the circuit in ERA, penned a memoir of the summer entitled Pitching in the Promised Land: A Story of the First and Only Season in the Israel Baseball League.

The son of a Jewish mother and a Christian father, Pribble had never fully embraced his Jewish heritage growing up. When the chance to play in Israel presented itself, he viewed it as an opportunity to both discover more about what being a Jew meant to him and resurrect his pitching career for a summer.

Pribble, who holds a master's degree in political science, took advantage of his unusual opportunity to study the culture, learning from both locals who attended his games as well as his teammates. He recounts sight-seeing trips to Jerusalem and Masada, but most riveting is his trek with a teammate into the Palestinian-controlled West Bank.

For my full review of Pitching in the Promised Land, visit BaseballAmerica.com.

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