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Designated HittersThe Story of Israel Baseball / Sponsored

First Base: Danny Valencia

How being raised as a proud Jew by his mother led the MLB journeyman to become the first baseman for the Israel national team that made it all the way to the Olympics.

Israel's Danny Valencia plays during a baseball game at Yokohama Baseball Stadium during the 2020 Summer Olympics, Aug. 2, 2021, in Yokohama, Japan. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Israel's Danny Valencia plays during a baseball game at Yokohama Baseball Stadium during the 2020 Summer Olympics, Aug. 2, 2021, in Yokohama, Japan. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

In this episode of Designated Hitters, join Chana Weinberg to learn about the life and career of MLB journeyman Danny Valencia, and how being raised as a proud Jew by his mother led him to become the first baseman for the Israel national team that made it all the way to the Olympics.

About Designated Hitters: This limited-run podcast will tell the story of how a small country the size of New Jersey which features no professional baseball league managed to produce a world-class team that beat a string of baseball Goliaths to secure a trip to Tokyo.

With unprecedented insider access to players, coaches, and managers, the show will tell the stories of the ragtag team of athletes — some former Major Leaguers, some underdogs — who managed to pull off one of the greatest upsets in modern sports history, touching on larger themes like faith, friendship, and nationhood.

Subscribe to Designated Hitters on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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