Interview: The Future of Jewish Baseball is in His Arm – Josh Wolf

In the history of baseball very few Jewish players have been drafted ahead of Josh Wolf. At #53, straight out of High School, Wolf has the potential to be one of the all-time great Jewish pitchers. A list that includes Sandy Koufax, Steve Stone, and hopefully Max Fried. Wolf had a tough decision to make but it is clear his future is bright and he is taking the right steps to make sure he achieves his goals.

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1) Tell TGR about yourself.
I am 18. I played baseball, basketball, and soccer growing up. My mom is from Israel and Dad is from Cincinnati. In my spare time I love to play FIFA and I am a huge F1 racing fan.

2) When did you begin playing baseball and when was it a reality that you’d have a future as a professional?
I began playing baseball at the age of 5. After my junior season of high school I felt like I was on the right path, but it wasn’t until the first few starts of my senior year that I knew my MLB aspirations were within reach.

3) You were drafted in the second round by the Mets. What was that experience like and how did it go down?
I was with my family when my advisor called to tell me that the Mets were about to select me. It was a very nerve-racking experience but in the end it all worked out perfectly. I had made a list of teams that I wanted to play for before the draft and the Mets were one of the teams at the top of my list.

4) Did you know your name was called by legendary Jewish Met Art Shamsky? Have you had the honor of speaking with him?
Shortly after the draft I found out that Art Shamsky was Jewish. There hasn’t been a lot of Jewish players in professional baseball and the fact that he was able to call my name was an honor. I have not spoken to him yet.

5) You have also committed to Texas A&M, a great school. When will you make your decision and what is going through your mind?
Texas A&M was my dream school and it was a really tough decision but the Mets provided me with an amazing opportunity and I cannot wait to get my pro career started.

6) What are your long term goals as a player?
I want to win multiple World Series with the Mets. My personal goals include winning a Cy Young Award and eventually making it into the Hall of Fame.

7) Who are some of the players you look towards as role models or style of pitching?
A pitcher that has been a role model to me is Justin Verlander.

8) Are you open to playing for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic or Olympics? Did you see their run in the last WBC?
Israel has a special place in my heart. If they offer me a spot on the team I would love to play for them and be able to represent the country. I watched every game they played in the WBC and my grandfather even attended some games in South Korea.

9) What was your Jewish life like growing up and where do you connect today?
I have been active in the Jewish community. I had my Bar Mitzvah at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. I still attend the High Holidays at my synagogue.

10) Where can readers find you on social media to follow your story?
My instagram as well as my twitter are both @josh_wolf30

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