Thursday, July 26, 2007

Israel Day 9

Above is a video that I took at yesterday's baseball game in Tel Aviv.

Israel Day 9

Today was by far the busiest of our trip so far. One of my good friends plays in the Israeli Baseball League and we really wanted to come show him support and watch some good baseball, so the trip was originally cenetered around that. Being as the game we were to see was in Tel Aviv, we planned on doing a couple other things that we wanted to do in the area anyway.

We took a Sheirut to Tel Aviv in the morning, and since the game didn't start until 5pm, we had some time to kill in the morning/early afternoon. What better way to spend the time then going to the beach? Aside from the annoying Israeli teengaers, the beach was pretty nice and the water was warm. We thought we were going to last hours at the beach, but being 95 with not a cloud in the sky, we wilted a lot quicker than we expected. We walked around a little before heading over to the game, and we saw one of those games that you see in the arcade where you need to position the little claw in order to get a prize. Now, in most arcades the prize is usually some sort of stuffed animals - leave it to Israel to have packs of cigarettes in there with the toys (see picture)!

We made it to the field at Park haYarkon (Sportek; click here to see all of the pictures I took at the games) well before the 5pm first pitch was called for. It just so happened that they were playing a double header that day and we were able to catch the last couple innings of that game, with Netanya winning 7-3 and my friend getting intentionally walked. It was definitely an interesting atmosphere there; hearing Hebrew-speaking children running around; seeing the heart of downtown Tel Aviv in the surrounding area...all while watching the American pastime: baseball. Overall, the talent was very good: the defense was stellar, the hitting average, and the pitching very competitive. This was by far the highlight of the trip so far for me; watching the game that I grew up loving and continue to do so in the land that I have come to love over the years.

The second game was close most of the way, with the Tigers unable to capitalize on many scoring opportunities. However, Tel Aviv took advantage of some suspect defense, wild pitching, and a few big swings to bust the game open in the 6th to go on to win 12-1. I was able to see my friend play in both games, and he made a great catch in the 2nd game that the umpire called a non-catch (BOO!) and almost made an amazing diving grab in the 6th inning diving into the outfield fence. The ball was in his glove but the impact with the fence jarred it loose. To add injury to insult (pun intended), he had a gash on his cheek and required a few stitches on his lip due to the force of the impact. But, I spoke to him tonight and he's all taken care of and in good spirits. I was looking forward to him eating dinner with us at some friends of ours in Givat Shmuel, but being he had to go to the hospital, he was unable to join us.

Our friend met us at the game and drove us back to his place, which took forever due to crazy amounts of traffic which were exacerbated by the current strike going on in Israel. We finally arrived at their place and sat down to an amazing MEAT dinner, the first non-Shabbos meat meal since the start of the 9 days. It was great to see them and spend time with them and it seems like only yesterday that we spent Shabbos with them, even though it was a full year ago. After schmoozing for a while, it was time to wind this day down with a bus-ride back to Yerushalayim.

We finally got on a bus after waiting for about 30 minutes and PegLaz took a seat while I paid the driver. Of course, in the meantime, all of the seats filled up so I spent the bus ride sitting on the floor (see picture for my view of the bus). That wouldn't have been SO bad had it not been for the many-mile backup approaching Yerushalayim due to some construction work....Tel Aviv to Yerushalayim in about 90 minutes...yikes. After taking a cab home and settling in, we both realized that we were zonked and that we both got some serious sun burn. Tomorrow will be a much lighter day with some laundry and other errands to take care of...what a day.


Blogger Ezzie said...

Man. Can't they paint the line straight!?

1:20 PM, July 26, 2007


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