Dean Kremer has become the first Israeli to sign a contract with a Major League Baseball team.
The 20-year-old right-handed pitcher was selected by The Los Angeles Dodgers as their 14th-round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft.
Born in California to Israeli parents, he holds Israeli citizenship and will play this summer on the Dodgers’ Rookie League team, the first of six levels of the minor leagues he will need to play in, before getting a chance to feature in the Dodgers’ Major League roster.
A regular for the Israeli national side over the past three years, he won gold when playing for USA at the 2013 Maccabiah Games.
He said: “I’m very excited and honoured to be a part of such a great organisation, in the Dodgers. I felt that I was ready this year to start my career so I am taking advantage of the opportunity I was given. I just hope that the higher I go up in the system, the more baseball will become popular in Israel. I just want to set the example that it can be done.”
Israel Association of Baseball President and National Director Peter Kurz, said: “This is a major achievement and the whole of Israel Baseball is cheering him on.
“Ever since I first met Dean five years ago when he was a skinny teenager, he’s played for Team Israel, worked at our summer camps and while we can’t take credit for his great baseball, we are always proud to say that he is part of the Israel baseball family.”