Arenas | Seeking Israeli soccer bases for the U.S. pastime

Kevin Youkilis of the Boston Red SoxJerusalem | In a reversal of the American paradigm, in which baseball and gridiron-football stadia are grudgingly loaned for soccer, U.S.-based opportunists seek soccer stadia in Israel for launching a professional baseball league. New York Times columnist Murray Chass writes that speculators seek small stadia, with between 3,000 and 5,000 seats, rather than larger venues in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. One targeted area is Bet Shemesh, 15 miles west of Jerusalem, the city destroyed by Nebuchadrezzar II in the sixth century B.C.E. “A lot of Americans live there,” says Bostonian Larry Baras, the brains behind the baseball scheme. “They have 200-plus kids playing baseball there, and they have a soccer stadium.”

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