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City broker pitching in for new Israeli baseball team.

Broker, Leon Feingold, will get a chance to live out one of his life-long dreams this summer when he heads to the Middle East to pitch for a team in Israel's first ever national baseball league.

"It's amazing," said Feingold, who pitched for the Cleveland Indians from 1994-1995 and who now works as a broker at Cooper & Cooper Real Estate. "It's a rare opportunity to play a game I've loved for as long as I could remember and alto to be a little part of trivia history."

For the first time in the Israel's history, the country is in the midst of developing a professional baseball league. While most of the players are of Jewish extraction, that is not a prerequisite of the league, which is also developing a national baseball academy to cultivate future players. The new league will stage its opening day on June 24 at the Yarkon Sports Complex in Patach Tikva when six newly formed teams comprised of players from around the globe will compete for the championship title and a chance to play for Israel in the 2008 World Baseball Classic.

Described by former Major Leaguer and Indians coach 'B-Dud' Williams as the nicest guy he's ever met in baseball, 6 ft 6 ins Feingold is aiming to a member of that national team, despite being born and raised in New York. "I really hope to be a success in pitching for them," he said.

"I have a personal connection to Israel because I'm Jewish, but I also have an emotional connection to playing baseball there."

Feingold was tipped off to the Israeli baseball trials earlier this year by a friend who'd followed the broker's pitching history. Forced to quit the game after a shoulder injury derailed his career, New York born Feingold initially became an attorney and later served as managing editor for the Journal for Drugs and Dermatology.

An assistant coach to the Stuyvesant Town Peter Cooper Village Little League, Feingold ultimately settled on a career in real estate where, he said, he gets the chance to "problem solve" for people. "It's challenging and sometimes frustrating, but I love the job and the people."

The nature of the job also has its perks--like taking six weeks off in the summer to play baseball.

"Real estate is the perfect job for me because it allows me to go away for a season, and feel confident that my clients are in good hands."

Baseball isn't the right-hander's only talent. A professional competitive eater, Feingold has been ranked as high as 12th in the world by the International Federation of Competitive Eating.
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Comment:City broker pitching in for new Israeli baseball team.
Author:Perez, Esther O.
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:May 30, 2007
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