They helped build Israel’s first baseball field. Now their son is pitching at the Olympics.

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Alon Leichman in action. (Photo: Margo Sugarman / Israel Baseball)

Debra Nussbaum Cohen

This article originally appeared at forward.com. Reposted with permission.

The cheering from Kibbutz Gezer is going to be so loud that Alon Leichman may hear it as he takes to the mound in Tokyo as a pitcher for Team Israel’s baseball team.

That’s because his proud parents – David Leichman and Rabbi Miri Gold – will be shouting and clapping along with other family and neighbors on the kibbutz, which lies midway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

David Leichman is in many ways responsible for his son’s career as a pitcher, even though he himself has never played baseball (softball is his game). The elder Leichman built Gezer’s baseball field, which was the first in Israel, in 1983.

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Both he and Gold had emigrated from the U.S. to Israel in 1976, as part of an early group building Kibbutz Gezer. ​​David grew up in Queens, and Gold in a suburb of Detroit.