NATIONAL HARBOR — Adam Gladstone has worn a lot of baseball caps. He oversaw the York Revolution and some other clubs in the independent Atlantic League and also was Buck Showalter's first video replay monitor. Now, he's the assistant general manager of Israel's team in the World Baseball Classic.
Here's how that came about in his own words:
"Back in 2012, which was the first time the WBC invited Israel to participate, Peter Kurz, who is the president of the Israel Association of Baseball and I got together. He's based out of Israel and I'm here in the states and I felt with my experience in different aspects of the game, it was an opportunity to give back to Israel.
"There's not many things I know in this world, but I think baseball is one of them, and this was an opportunity to use some of my experience to form that club and handle all the baseball operations and just continue on. In 2012, we ended up losing in the championship game. Luckily, in 2016, we were able to win our qualifier, which puts us into the tournament as one of the 16 countries playing in the WBC."
Now, he says the real recruiting begins to add enough quality players who are either Jewish or of Jewish descent to make the team competitive when it travels to South Korea to begin play in early February.
"Because the games are being played during spring training we now are elgible to be able to sign big-league guys. Before, when we played in our qualifiers it was during the minor league season so big-league guys weren't available and minor-league guys -- if they were still playing -- weren't available.
"Now, since we're in spring training, everybody's on the table and we have the ability to potentially go after Ryan Bruan, Joc Peterson, Alex Bregman, Danny Valencia, Jason Kipnis, Ryan Lavarnway, Scott Feldman. ...Now, we're hopefully able to bring in some big-league guys with experience because we're going to be playing against Jonathan Schoop; we're playing against (Hyun Soo) Kim; we're playing against (Wei-Yin) Chen. Those are the quality of players we're up against now, so we've got to do our best to put players out there who can compete against those guys."