He is a top ten All-Time Jewish baseball great. He is a 4-time All-Star and a 2-time Golden Glove winner. A 2017 WBC Gold Medalist. World Series Champion. 267 Home Runs. And now he is Team Israel’s newest and best weapon; Ian Kinsler. Kinsler, alongside Ryan Braun and Kevin Youkilis, led a renaissance for the newest wave of Jewish baseball players. We caught up with the second baseman to talk about his newest team.
1) How did you get started with baseball? What are your earliest memories?
I started playing baseball when I was in diapers, and my earliest memories are playing whiffle ball with my father in the backyard.
2) What is your biggest accomplishment as a player and why?
My biggest accomplishment as a player is a hard question to answer. If I had to pick, I would say being apart of the Texas Rangers teams that turned the direction of the franchise. The Rangers had never won a playoff series before that.
3) Who is the toughest pitcher you have ever faced and why?
The toughest pitcher would have to be Felix Hernandez or Corey Kluber. Both have the three things you need to be a great pitcher; control, life on their pitches, and a competitive edge.
4) How did your interest in playing for Team Israel come about?
I was asked to play for the last WBC team, but I was playing for Team USA. That put the idea in my head, but I never thought I would play for Team Israel in the Olympics.
5) You have represented the USA on a grand stage. What does it mean to you to represent Israel?
I am looking forward to representing my roots and using a skill that I developed to represent a country and a strong culture. They really are two in the same.
6) Now that you are retired, what are your plans?
To spend a lot of time with my family and get to scratch at the game of golf. Also, to stay in shape and prepare for any baseball in the near future.
7) Any advice to young fans of yours out there who are in little league trying to be the next Ian Kinsler?
Play hard and have fun, don’t look too far ahead and just try and be the best you can be every day!