Sunday, June 16
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Jewish MLB players ‘stand with Israel’ in video condemning Hamas attack

Baseball players are often averse to voicing political stances or taking sides in conflicts that don’t take place on a diamond. Fans, after all, come in all stripes.

Backing Israel in its bloody conflict against Hamas is proving different.

Former MLB infielder and current Texas Rangers executive Ian Kinsler wore the jersey of the Israeli national team Wednesday when he threw the ceremonial first pitch before Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. Kinsler managed the Israel national team during the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

On Thursday, Israel Baseball posted a video on X, formerly known as Twitter, that featured 19 current and former major leaguers stating they are Jewish and asking viewers to “stand up against antisemitism” and “support Israel.”

Houston Astros All-Star third baseman Alex Bregman is prominent in the 1-minute video. After former UCLA and Irvine Northwood High pitcher Zack Weiss begins the video by saying, “For years, you have supported us on the field,” Bregman stares resolutely into the camera and states, “But now it’s time to support all of us and stand up against antisemitism.”

Nine of the players have ties to Southern California, including former Dodgers slugger and Tustin High product Shawn Green, Granada Hills High product and longtime Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun and former Angels manager and Dodgers and Astros catcher Brad Ausmus.

Others are Andrew Lorraine, who pitched at Newhall Hart High and signed out of Stanford by the Angels; Garrett Stubbs, a USC product currently the backup catcher on the Philadelphia Phillies; Jon Moskot who pitched two years for the Cincinnati Reds after starring at Pepperdine and Palisades Charter High; and Kinsler, whose 14-year career included one season with the Angels.

The ninth local player is Ryan Lavarnway, a Woodland Hills El Camino Real High catcher who played for eight big league teams in 10 years. Lavarnway served as captain of the Israeli national team for the European Baseball Championships that took place last month in the Czech Republic.

In the video, several players — including Braun, Green and Ausmus — follow Bregman with similar declarative messages before all 18 players in unison shout, “I am a Jew!”

Another group shout-out ends the video when they say, “Stand up against antisemitism. Stand with Israel.”

Others in the video include Kevin Youkilis, Zack Gelof, Spencer Horwitz, Rob Kaminsky, Danny Valencia, Robbie Ross, Josh Zaid, Ty Kelly and Jake Fishman.

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