And the starting lineup for the Miracles is …

new york | The inaugural player draft for the Israel Baseball League started with a 22-year-old Jewish prospect and ended with a 71-year-old Jewish Hall of Famer.

With the first selection in the six-team draft April 26, the Modi’in Miracles chose Aaron Levin, a power-hitting outfielder from Cuesta Community College in San Luis Obispo.

The Miracles had the last pick, too, and went with Sandy Koufax, the left-hander from the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers who famously refused to pitch the first game of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur.

Drafting Koufax was an obvious publicity stunt, as even league organizers acknowledged it would take a real miracle for Koufax to suit up for Modi’in — but Jewish organizations trying to associate with the league are hoping the publicity pays off.

The IBL, Israel’s first professional baseball league, will play a 42-game schedule starting June 24. It has purposefully attached itself to several high-profile names from the American-Jewish sports world.

Three of its managers are former major leaguers: Art Shamsky, a member of the 1969 “Miracle Mets”; Ken Holtzman, a left-hander who notched 174 victories pitching for four teams, including the Oakland A’s; and Ron Blomberg, who was baseball’s first designated hitter as a member of the New York Yankees.

Even before its first game, the league has created a buzz, getting more than 3 million hits on its Web site since its launch two months ago.

Jewish organizations are lining up with the league in what they see as a unique way to connect Americans to Israel. “We are giving a big segment of the North American Jewish community a way to identify with Israel and to define their own Judaism,” said league founder Larry Baras.

Baras said he receives calls every day about potential partnerships with an assortment of Jewish organizations.

The league also is working with the North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry to provide baseball equipment and baseball training to Ethiopian Israelis. It is working with Maccabi USA to provide baseball equipment to Maccabi teams, such as Argentina, that cannot afford it. The aim is to have those teams compete in the biennial Pan American Maccabi Games and the quadrennial games in Israel.

There’s a “bat” mitzvah project in which b’nai mitzvahs can help buy baseball equipment for those in need.

And perhaps most notably, the Jewish National Fund has partnered with the IBL on “Project Baseball” to build ballfields throughout Israel.

“Baseball has had a hard time getting off the ground there because the kids had no place to play,” said the JNF’s campaign coordinator for Los Angeles, Joyce Sacharpoff. “There were three fields, and at the best one you had to run uphill to get to first base.”

Baras said he has had discussions with Birthright Israel about treating the more than 20,000 young adults that Birthright takes to Israel for free each year to a night at the ballpark.

Indeed, the draft April 26 at Cardozo Law School in New York City was sponsored by Birthright and the New York Cornell Connection, a young leadership alumni group of the Hillel at Cornell University.

At the draft, most of the players selected were just happy for the chance to spend two months in Israel this summer playing the game they love.

For Alan Gardner, a Manhattan lawyer who, at 45, is finally going to live a boyhood dream of playing professional baseball, it’s a more than enjoyable way to give back to Israel.

“Thank God I’m being drafted by the Israeli Baseball League,’ he said, “and not the Israeli Army.”