As Major League Baseball’s pennant races heat up and the 2011 JCC Maccabi Games (the Olympics for Jewish teens) get into full swing, we thought we’d look back on the 92nd Street Y’s 2003 baseball team, which won the Gold medal at the Maccabi Games held in Houston, Texas.
That 92Y juggernaut knocked off a Los Angeles squad that had a multi-year grip on Maccabi baseball’s gold medal, and it featured two 14 year-olds who are now trying to make it to the Big Leagues as hurlers: Jadd Schmeltzer, now pitching for the Boston Red Sox minor league organization; and Dave Laufer, who’s getting a look from the Tampa Bay Rays.
Schmeltzer was selected by the Red Sox in the 2011 M.L.B draft. He’s a big right-hander who used his 90+ mph fastball to notch a 3.63 ERA in his senior year at Cornell, including a complete game four-hit shutout, while averaging seven strikeouts per game. And he happens to be the son of long-time 92Y May Center Director Dave Schmeltzer. The Tampa Bay Rays signed Laufer as a free agent following his June ’11 graduation from Boston College. At BC, Laufer appeared in 68 games as a starter and reliever.
92Y just sent twelve New York area athletes to the Maccabi Games in Israel, and they’ll try to bring home the gold in basketball, tennis, and swimming. Later this month, 92Y will send twenty-two more teen athletes to Springfield and Philadelphia, where they’ll vie for medals in basketball, tennis, track and field and golf.
Here’s hoping that all of the 2011 92Y Maccabi teams do as well as that fabled 2003 baseball squad.
And who knows, maybe there’s a future Josh Beckett or Amanda Beard among them.
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