Pitching in the Promised Land


Pitching in the Promised Land

A Story of the First and Only Season in the Israel Baseball League

Aaron Pribble

280 pages
29 photographs


September 2012


$18.95 Add to Cart

April 2011


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eBook (EPUB)

April 2011


$18.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

April 2011


$18.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

It was the first (and last) season of professional baseball in Israel. Aaron Pribble, twenty-seven, had been out of Minor League Baseball for three years while he pursued a career in education when, at his coach’s suggestion, he tried out for the newly formed Israel Baseball League (IBL). Of Jewish descent (not a requirement, but definitely a plus) and former pro, Pribble was the ideal candidate for the upstart league. In many ways the league resembled the ultimate baseball fantasy camp with its unforgettable cast of characters: the DJ/street artist third baseman from the Bronx, the wildman catcher from Australia, the journeymen Dominicans who were much older than they claimed to be, and, of course, seventy-one-year-old Sandy Koufax, drafted in a symbolic gesture as the last player.
After falling in love with a beautiful Yemenite Jew, enduring an alleged terrorist attack on opening day, witnessing a career-ending brain injury caused by improper field equipment, participating in a strike, and venturing into the West Bank despite being strongly advised against it, Pribble must decide whether to forgo a teaching career in order to become the first player from the IBL to sign a pro contract in the United States. His is a story of coming of age spiritually and athletically in one short season in the throes of romance, Middle Eastern politics, and the dreams of America’s pastime far, far afield from home.

Learn about Holy Land Hardball, a documentary on the Israel Baseball League.

Author Bio

Aaron Pribble played collegiate baseball at the University of Hawaii, then professionally in the Western and Central Baseball Leagues, in France, and in the Israel Baseball League. He holds a master’s degree in political science and teaches at Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, California. Pribble lives in San Francisco.

Table of Contents

First Half
1. Five
2. Kfar Hayarok
3. Tel Aviv Lightning
4. Opening Day
5. Safety First
6. Call from the Pen
7. Al Quds
8. Nokona Wreckin Crew
9. Arm Trouble
10. Fun and Games
11. Huelga! Huelga!
12. The Mighty Black Sox
13. Shabbat Shalom
14. Sabras
15. Sportek
16. Para Bailar La Bomba
17. The Love Doctor
18. Rainout in the Desert
19. Blooming the Desert
20. Bus Ride
21. Three Fields of Wheat
22. Losing Sucks
All-Star Break
23. Flirting with Ramallah
24. All-Star Game
Second Half
25. Progress Report; or, Every Five Days
26. Fourth Time's a Charm
27. The Clara Fashion Bar
28. The Road to Peace
29. Home Run Derby
30. Tikkun Olam
31. The Rookie
32. Clinched
33. A Day in Palestine
34. Playoffs
35. All Good Things
36. The Schnitzel Awards
37. Sportsmanship and Character
38. Yalla


Named one of Baseball America's Top Ten Books of 2011

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