Wednesday, July 30, 2008

International Relations

So I get an email from my sister Paula about her boys Matt and Chris playing in an international baseball tournament up in Freeport, PA. Apparently they did pretty well. Matt got the chance to pitch against the Israeli team and was fortunate enough and, frankly, pitched well enough to win 4-2. Even going so far as to strike out their best hitter. Yeah! Way to go Matty!

Afterwards the Israeli player, Moshe Hyde, came up to Matt to jokingly tell him his pitches should be "illegal." They shook hands and laughed and Paula even snapped a pic of the two of them. An interesting aspect of all this is that the kid got a special delay in his military service because, as Paula told me, he is considered an athlete with advanced skills. He will be returning to Israel to immediately start serving in an elite combat unit that serves as a front line against terrorists trying to infiltrate the country. The boy is just 18. Slightly different life for those kids, eh?

Anyway, big congrats to you Matt for an impressive performance; striking out the best. Hope your coach at Dematha learns about this soon! And mazel tov Moshe for your performance and for the recognition of being an "athlete of advanced skills." Also, and more importantly, good luck and be safe.



  1. I too wish good luck and god speed to Moshe but must say some 18 year old US boys (& girls)share this life with Moshe in Afghanistan and Iraq. Will say however that, unlike those US 18 year olds in Johnson's viet nam war, our boys (& girls) have volunteered to join Moshe in fighting the terrorists. Good luck to them all.
    Aunt Jeanmarie

  2. Yes indeed, good luck to them all.

    I'd say, however, that serving in the U.S. armed forces in Afghanistan and Iraq is not the same as sharing the life of Moshe in particular, or Israelis in general. Conflating these two things isn't quite accurate.

    In any event, this was really just a post about a pal my nephew recently made... and despite their shared interest in baseball, despite their similar age, just how different their lives really are. How Israelis live a completely different existence than Americans.

    This was not a judgement one way or the other. Simply an observation. It should also go without saying that this post should not be perceived as some sort of slight towards American kids suffering through that insane war in Iraq or the ongoing conflict Afghanistan.

    But I do appreciate your thoughts.