Shalom Life | July 26, 2015

Israeli Selected in MLB Draft for First Time in History

19-year-old Dean Kremer selected by San Diego Padres

By: Daniel Koren

Published: July 22nd, 2015 in Sports » Israel

Photo: Dean Kremer

Credit: AP


For the first time in MLB history, an Israeli baseball player has been selected in the draft.

What's even more incredulous is the fact that the young athlete, 19-year-old Dean Kremer, chose to attend university and play college ball instead.

As a pitcher, Kremer throws fastballs at some 90 miles per hour, and, according to the Associated Press, is known as the "golden boy" of Israeli baseball. While the sport has been recently making waves throughout the country, Kremer is the first dual American/Israeli citizen to be selected by the major league draft.

Though born in California, Kremer was born to Israeli parents, and identifies strongly with the State of Israel. He's fluent in Hebrew, spends his summers in the Holy Land, and has played for Israel's national baseball team.

The San Diego Padres, seeing great potential, officially selected him in the 38th round back in June. Kremer, however, decided that he would play college ball, while attending the University of Nevada.

"(I'm) definitely honored. I like to represent my country in any way possible," Kremer said to the AP from central Israel. "I'd love to be the person to get Israel baseball on the map."

There are currently fifteen Jewish players in Major League Baseball, including Kevin Pillar, Ryan Braun, Ian Kinsler and several others. If Kremer were to ever join the roster, he'd be the first Israeli to do so.

"Half my family, I can tell you that they still don't know what baseball is. They don't understand the game," Kremer said. "Israeli guys like upbeat tempo things where they can't get bored ... People are aggressive here."

Israel has also been shining in sports like hockey and basketball as well, with David Blatt - after winning a EuroLeague championship with Maccabi Tel Aviv - joining the Cavs as head coach, and 15-year-old Tel Aviv native David Levin, who was picked first overall by the Sudbury Wolves in the OHL Draft.

Guess we can play more than just maktot after all.

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