As the clocks ticks past midnight into August 1, a new era began for Israel baseball. The reason: Nate Fish officially took on his role as the Israel Association of Baseball’s National Director.
Nate’s bio is as varied as it is long - originally from Cleveland, Ohio, played high school baseball at Shaker Heights High School where he was a three-time all-region selection and a friend and teammate of current Chicago Cubs relief pitcher, Matt Guerrier. Played for four Years at the University of Cincinnati from 1998-2002 where he was a friend and teammate of the Yankees’ Kevin Youkilis. As a senior at UC, Nate was the captain of the Bearcat team, and set the Conference USA record for hits in a single game (6). He represented the US in the 2005 Maccabi Games winning a gold medal. He played for the Tel Aviv Lightning in 2007 in the inaugural season of the Israel Baseball League, the first pro baseball league in the Middle East, and was awarded the Gold Glove Award as the best defensive infielder in the league. The following year, Nate played for and coached the Munich Disciples in the Bundesliga, Germany’s top pro league and has also played in Argentina, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.
As a coach, Nate founded and managed the Yorkville Baseball Academy in New York City, has run travel teams, camps, and clinics for thousands of kids and coaches in the New York area over the past 10 years. He coached the Israel National Team in the 2011 European Championship Qualifier and coached Team Israel in the 2012 World Baseball Classic Qualifier.
Having made aliyah, Nate is now ready for his next challenge – bringing his own brand of enthusiasm and excitement to baseball in Israel. Nate is ready to take to the streets and get every Israeli as hyped up about baseball as he is, and he is very likely to succeed.
Nate agreed to be the first subject of our “Introducing” series of articles, and answered our soon to be famous “Baseball Profile Questionnaire.”
Name: Nate Fish
Role/team: National Director for the IAB, Player/Coach for the Israel Senior National Team, King of Jewish Baseball.
Baseball position: 3rd base
Your first baseball experience: I can’t say because playing baseball predates my memory. I’ve played almost every day of my life. My first legit baseball experience was at 15, I played for a regional all-star team that traveled the country competing in tournaments and I realized then I would have a chance to play at a high level.
You’re a fan of: First love… Boston Red Sox. My first games were at Fenway and I always wanted to play for Boston. But I have graduated from fandom and I now like all teams and players and find myself rooting for different people at different times.
The player you most admire and why: I, like everyone else, am amazed at how good (Derek) Jeter has been for a long time now, and the way he plays the game.
Your most memorable play: I was in the Dominican Republic, playing short stop. There was a little pop-up hit into shallow left-center field. I probably shouldn’t even have been running after the ball because it was too far away to catch, but I tried, I dove for the ball heading away from home plate and sailed a pretty far in the air and actually caught the ball. It was the only time I have ever been surprised when the ball landed in my glove. The Dominican National Team came out of their dugout and gave a standing ovation, an honor for a short stop in a country of short stops. It was a sort of random, but cool, moment for me.
If you weren't playing baseball, you’d be… Making art and writing.
Favorite TV show: I don’t watch TV.
Favorite food: Gotta say Italian.
Favorite place: 11 Raziel Street, my new home, and new international HQ for Israel Baseball.
Your motto: Follow Your Dreams and never give up.
You can read Nate’s blog on Israel baseball - www.kingofjewishbaseball.com