Israel getting team together for World Baseball Classic

The Israel Association of Baseball is starting to put together a team to compete later this year in a new qualifying round for the World Baseball Classic.

Israel learned last year that its team was one of 16 entered into the qualifiers rounds for the 2013 WBC. Israel will compete this November in Jupiter, Fla., in a group with South Africa, France and Spain; the winner will advance to the WBC in March 2013.

Aaron Pribble

The WBC is an international tournament featuring some of the best players in the world. It has been held twice before, but never has had a qualifiers round for countries that don’t excel in baseball.

Aaron Pribble of San Francisco, a standout high school pitcher in Marin in the mid-1990s, is among the players expected to receive an invitation to try out for the Israeli squad.

Former major leaguers Brad Ausmus, Shawn Green and Gabe Kapler have expressed interest in playing or coaching for Israel, the IAB noted. Two pitchers with Bay Area roots — Scott Feldman of Burlingame (Texas Rangers) and Aaron Poreda of Moraga (Double-A in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization) — are other possibilities.

“The first efforts will be toward major league Jewish players, and then the rosters will fill in from there,” an IBA spokesman said in an email. Pribble said one of the organizers told him there would be three tryout sessions.

Pribble pitched in the short-lived Israel Baseball League in 2007 and wrote a book about the experience titled “Pitching in the Promised Land.”

Players wishing to be considered for the Israeli team should contact Haim Katz at [email protected] or visit the IAB website at www.baseball.org.il.