Team Israel’s improbable run to the Tokyo Olympic Games is spurring hope that it will provide the overlooked sport of baseball in Israel its long-awaited boost.
Baseball is returning to the Olympics after being dropped for 2012 and 2016.
Israel is one of six teams vying for the three medals. Israel has zero tradition of the American pastime, which is largely derided by locals as an arcane and boring sport.
But thanks to a creative outreach campaign to Jewish-American pros who have become new citizens, Israel’s national team has surged to unthinkable heights.
It will be the first time since 1976 that Israel has fielded a team sport at the Olympics.