When the San Diego Padres selected Israeli baseball player Dean Kremer in the 38th round of the MLB draft recently, the pitcher made history in becoming the first Israeli ever to be selected in the major league draft. The 19-year-old told the Associated Press that he would “love to be the person to get Israel baseball on the map.”

San Diego Padres
San Diego Padres logo

Kremer, who holds both Israeli and American citizenship, says he was “definitely honored” to be the first blue-and-white draftee but has chosen to delay his major league entry and instead play college ball. The 6-foot-2 Kremer will start his frosh year at the University of Nevada Las Vegas on a baseball scholarship this fall.

“We are obviously proud of it. We want the world to know that we have a guy who was just selected,” Nate Fish, the Israel Association of Baseball’s first paid full-time national director, told the Associated Press. “It’s tough to say what is going to happen with the guy, but he has all the things you need to be successful at that level and get to the major leagues.”