Wild pitch: How an Israeli kibbutznik became a Cincinnati Reds pitching coach


January 6, 2023

Kazuhiro Fujihara/AFP via Getty Images

Alon Leichman, recently hired as a pitching coach for the Cincinnati Reds, pitches for Team Israel during the eighth inning of the Tokyo Olympic Games baseball opening round game against the United State in Yokohama, Japan, July 30, 2021.

KIBBUTZ GEZER, Israel (JTA) - Bill James, the influential baseball writer, historian and statistician, once described the great Yankee first baseman Don Mattingly in only four words: "100 percent ballplayer, 0 percent bulls-."

The same can be said of Alon Leichman, the first athlete born in Israel to make it to the major leagues, having just been named assistant pitching coach of the Cincinnati Reds.

Under manager David Bell, Leichman will help instruct the team's pitchers - including Chase Anderson, Luis Cessa, Fernando Cruz, Alexis Díaz and Hunter Greene - on mechanics, pitch selection,...

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