Although, the Modi’in out hit Beit Shemesh, it was the Blue Sox who manufactured their runs throughout the night. Beit Shemesh jumped out on top in the bottom of the first inning on a sacrifice fly by OF
Jason Rees, scoring OF Sean Slaughter from third base. The Blue Sox scored their second run in the bottom of the fourth inning, on a sacrifice fly by 1B Ben Pincus. The Blue Sox added their third run of the night in the bottom of the fifth inning, when SS Gregg Raymundo (2-for-3) singled driving in Sean Slaughter from second base.
Blue Sox following win (Photo: Yechiel Jonathan Stein)
Modi’in threatened in the top of the top of the sixth inning with runners on first and third base and two outs. However, Bergstrom struck out Adalberto Paulino (2-for-4) to end the inning.
Ron Blomberg’s Blue Sox truly personified a championship team. Beit Shemesh never fell below first place throughout the entire season.
Following the game, Commissioner Dan Kurtzer presented the championship trophy to the entire Beit Shemesh team. Manager Ron Blomberg spoke during the trophy ceremony saying, “I’ve been in two World Series with the New York Yankees, and this championship lives up to both.” The commissioner also presented the individual season achievement awards to the IBL’s top players.
Award winners for first season:
The Hank Greenberg Award for Most Valuable Player: will be shared by Eladio Rodriguez of Modi’in and Gregg Raymundo of Beit Shemesh. (Greenberg, a Hall of Fame player in the Major Leagues, is considered the greatest Jewish hitter of all time).
The Commissioner’s Award for Sportsmanship and Character goes to Aaron Pribble (Tel Aviv) and Brendan Rubenstein (Ra’anana).
The Commissioner’s Award for Distinguished Service goes to Eric Holtz of Beit Shemesh, a player/coach with the team who also filled in as a player/manager during the course of the season.
The award for Best Pitcher goes to Juan Feliciano of Beit Shemesh.
Blue Sox players with trophy (Photo: Yechiel Jonathan Stein)
The award for Most Valuable Israeli Player goes to Dan Rothem of Tel Aviv.
(Both his hometown and his team).
Nokona, a league sponsor presents three defensive awards:
Best outfielder: a tie between Josh Doane (Netanya) and Jason Rees (Beit Shemesh)
Best infielder: a tie between Nate Fish (Tel Aviv) and Hector De Los Santos (Netanya)
Best catcher: Eladio Rodriguez (Modi’in).
The league’s batting champion in its first year was Eladio Rodriguez, who hit .461 in the regular season. The home run champion was Jason Rees with 17. Aaron Pribble won the league’s ERA title, 1.94.
The IBL announced that the first game of the 2008 season will be played on Sunday, June 23,
at 6:00 p.m. at the Yarkon Sports Complex in the Baptist Village in Petach Tikva.
Full season statistics are available at www.israelbaseballleague.com