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Ian Kinsler to play for Team Israel in the Olympics

Los Angeles Angels Photo Day

TEMPE, AZ - FEBRUARY 22: Ian Kinsler #3 of the Los Angeles Angels poses during Los Angeles Angels Photo Day at Tempe Diablo Stadium on February 22, 2018 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Right now it’s unclear whether the Tokyo Olympics will go off on schedule -- here’s the latest on that, by the way -- but if they are played, this summer or at some later date, a famous, recently-retired big leaguer will be suiting up for Team Israel: Ian Kinsler.

That’s the report from The Jerusalem Post, which called Kinsler “the greatest Jewish second baseman of all time.” I think that’s a pretty dang fair claim. A lot of people believe that Rod Carew is Jewish thanks to the shoutout to him Adam Sandler’s ‘Chanukah Song” but, despite the fact that he married a Jewish woman and raised his children Jewish he did not actually convert. Besides, he played 54 more games as a first baseman than as a second baseman, so I give the nod to Kinsler anyway.

Anyway, the news was subsequently confirmed by this video from Israel Baseball:

Israel is one of six teams that will play in baseball’s return to Olympic competition following a multi-Olympic hiatus.

Kinsler announced his retirement from baseball in December following a 14-year career in which he made four All-Star teams, won two Gold Gloves, and put together a career line of .269/.337/.440 with 257 home runs and 243 stolen bases for the Rangers, Tigers, Angels, Red Sox and Padres.

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