The Capital City Reds is a summer team for players from colleges located in Ottawa, Canada’s capital. The team recruits players from throughout the United States and Canada, as well as from other parts of the world, including Central America. For the first time, the Reds have recruited a player from Israel – David Ibn Ezra.
David is currently serving in the Israel Defense Forces as a sportsman for baseball. He started playing baseball at the age of 11 for the Tel Aviv Comrades, and has played for many years on national teams. Today, he plays in the Israel Baseball Premier League for the Jerusalem Lions.
The head coach for the Reds was alerted to David after seeing his recruiting video on YouTube. “He contacted me and told me that he was impressed with me,” David recalls. “After asking some questions and consulting with the leadership of Israel Baseball and national team coaches, I decided to join the team.”
The team plays in the best summer leagues in New York – PGCBL and NYCBL. In addition, they play again local Canadian teams.
With his current commitments to the IDF and to the Israel Baseball Senior National Team, David had to find a way to play with the Reds during their season. “The Reds have a two-month season, from the end of May till the end of June,” he explains. “In order to be part of the Israel Senior National Team that’s playing in the European Championships at the beginning of July, and as a result my army limitations, I decided to participate for half the season, with permission from the team coach. There are 50 games in the season, so in half I season I will get to play a significant number of games. While I am there, I will live with a host family.” In order to play with the team, David will receive special leave from the army, supported by the Israel Association of Baseball.
This opportunity will be a great boost for David in the future: “I finish my army service this November and my plan is to play collage ball in the US afterwards, just as other Israel Baseball army sportsmen have when they finished the army. It’s a great opportunity for me to learn from experienced coaches and players and to play on a very high level every day. I believe that the professional experience I gain with the Reds will prepare me well to assist the Israel Senior National Team as it works towards reaching the Olympics in 2020. I will also be exposed to college coaches and get help from the Reds in finding a college. Many players have been able to get collage scholarships via the Reds. The professional staff of the IAB and the coaches have supported me and helped me understand the importance of this opportunity.”
In a Facebook post, the Reds wrote about David: “The Capital City Reds have always liked recruiting players from all over the world and this time we are going to Israel for the first time! Please welcome OF David Ibn Ezra to the squad! At a young age he already has International experience having played on the Israeli National team.”
“David is an excellent example of a successful baseball army sportsman,” notes Peter Kurz, President of the IAB. “He has always been a player with a high level of commitment and puts in a lot of hard work developing his skills. He also always contributes to the IAB as a player and a coach. I am confident that he will enrich the Capital City Reds and will be a great ambassador for Israel Baseball abroad.”