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Former Cardinals pitcher wants to lead Israel’s national baseball team


While professional baseball might be over for former Cardinals pitcher Jason Marquis, recently turned 42, he doesn’t plan on quitting just yet – hoping to play for Israel’s national baseball team one last time, local media in St. Louis reported on Tuesday.    

Marquis has played baseball most of his life. At the age of 12, he took his team to third place in the Little League World Series. He is one of only a few players to have played both a Little League World Series and a Major League World Series – and the only one to have also played in the World Baseball Classic with Israel’s national team.
In 2017, at nearly 38 years of age, the Jewish right-hander was Israel’s secret weapon, leading its national team to several memorable victories during the tournament. Playing in South Korea and Japan, the Israeli team led by Marquis’s unparalleled experience managed to beat Cuba, South Korea and the Netherlands, winning four of the six games it played.

The next World Baseball Classic – the only senior baseball tournament that grants the winner the title of “world champion” – was postponed to 2022 because of the coronavirus pandemic. But that’s not stopping Marquis, who’s sure of his ability to lead the Israeli team once again. 

“My plan is to pitch again,” Marquis told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Obviously, whether they want me or not is a different story. I’m in relatively good shape. I’ve got a 14-year-old son so I’m always around the game. My body feels great. That would be the plan until I can’t anymore, right?

“[In 2017] I was trying to make a comeback. That didn’t pan out so I realized professional baseball was over – but I planned on staying in shape for the Classic the next time through,” he added. 

Marquis was born in Manhasset, New York, and grew up in Staten Island. As a kid, he was a New York Yankees fan. Growing up in a conservative Jewish home, he attended Hebrew school and received a strict Jewish upbringing from his mother, whose parents were Holocaust survivors. 

Marquis’s dedication to the game has led to his well-earned title of one the greatest Jewish major league baseball players of all time. 

“You work your butt off year after year… you want to contribute every step of the way,” Marquis said. “From a pride sense, in the moment, you get a little emotional and heated. But you move on. The past is the past and you learn from everything you do in life.”



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