The New York Boulders will play Team Israel tonight, Monday, July 12 before Team Israel leaves to play in the Tokyo Olympics. The game is set for 7 p.m. ET at Palisades Credit Union Park and will be followed by a fireworks extravaganza. The game will also be streamed for FREE on FrontierLeagueTV.com and in the Frontier League app.
The contest will feature a number of recognizable names, with both former MLB players and former Frontier League players expected to play. Team Israel’s roster is headlined by four-time MLB All-Star Ian Kinsler, as well as Danny Valencia, Ty Kelly and Ryan Lavarnway.
Team Israel players who spent time in the Frontier League include pitcher Jonathan de Marte (Normal CornBelters 2017-18, Québec 2019), pitcher Joey Wagman (Rockford Aviators 2014), infielder Zach Penprase (New York 2021), and outfielder Robb Paller (Lake Erie 2016-17, Sussex County 2016).
Kinsler, though, boasts the most impressive resume. Over a 14-year MLB career that spanned 2006 to 2019, including eight years with the Texas Rangers, four with the Detroit Tigers, one with the San Diego Padres and half a season split between the Los Angeles Angels and Boston Red Sox, Kinsler, an infielder, hit 257 home runs, knocked in 909 runs and hit .269.
Kinsler was selected to play in the 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 All-Star Games and was a member of the Boston Red Sox World Championship team in 2018.
Kinsler, 39, appeared in the post-season in three successive seasons – 2010 to 2012, with the Texas Rangers, reaching the World Series in 2010 and 2011. On both occasions, the Rangers lost – in 2010 to the San Francisco Giants and then to the St. Louis Cardinals the next fall.
He would return to the World Series with the Red Sox in 2018 and helped them post a five-game win over the Los Angeles Dodgers
Kinsler also appeared in the post-season in 2014 with the Rangers, where they lost in the American League Divisional Series to the Baltimore Orioles.
Valencia, also an infielder, logged nine seasons, 2010 to 2018, in the big leagues with seven organizations. His best season came in 2015 when he hit a combined 18 home runs while splitting the year between the Toronto Blue Jays and Oakland Athletics. The next year, he bashed 17 round-trippers for the Athletics.
Over his career, Valencia, 38, hit 96 home runs and finished with a .268 BA.
Meanwhile, Kelly, 32, an infielder, spent time with the New York Mets in 2016, 2017 and 2018; while Lavarnway, 33, a catcher, began his MLB career with the Boston Red Sox in 2011 and appeared in four games this season with the Cleveland Indians, hitting .273.
Team Israel won the round-robin tournament featuring the top five teams from the 2019 European Championship in Italy, Sept. 18-22, 2019. As the winner of that tournament, it qualified to be one of the six national teams that will compete in Tokyo.
Host Japan, Mexico, South Korea, the USA and the Dominican Republic round out the six-team field.
Japan, Mexico and the Dominican Republic will play in Group A in the Tokyo Games, while the USA joins Israel and South Korea in Group B.
The Games are scheduled for July 23 through Aug. 8.
Tickets for the exhibition game are on sale now. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Israel Baseball Association to help offset their expenses and help grow the sport of baseball in Israel.
To be eligible to represent a country at the Olympic Games, a person must hold citizenship in that land.
The Boulders are proud to participate in a special event prior to the exhibition game.
During the pre-game, the New York Boulders will acknowledge the role all Israeli Olympians have in honoring the memory of the cherished “Munich 11.” They are the 11 Israeli athletes, coaches and officials who were kidnapped and murdered during the 1972 Olympics in Munich.
The Boulders will present a plaque of friendship and solidarity in remembrance of the Munich 11. As part of the presentation to the Israeli team, a short clip of Boulders’ Director of Boulders Community Fund Joe Allen’s film, “There Was No Silence” will be shown. The documentary traces the role JCC Rockland had in working to have the International Olympic Committee remember the 11 with a minute of silence at the opening of the games. To date, the JCC, working closely with the families of the murdered Olympians, haven’t been successful in getting the International Olympic Committee to hold such a memorial at the opening of the games. However, they continue to press the issue, as do the families and hope these games are the ones in which the murdered Olympians are finally remembered.