Field History The dream of a field in Raanana, Israel was born more than 10 years ago. With a surge in baseball players of all ages, and no proper facilities, a group of dedicated volunteers approached the mayor of Raanana to discuss a possible solution. In 2015 the municipality made a verbal commitment to those volunteers and the IAB (Israel Association of Baseball) that it would form a three-way partnership with the lottery to fund a multi-purpose field. In December 2015, just one month after the tragic terrorist incident that took his life, the municipality of Raanana and the IAB decided to name the field after Ezra. In 2018 a formal contract was signed between Raanana and the IAB, and now, a short five years (and four mayors) since the original agreement, field construction finally began! See a short overview video of the field project.
Project Overview The field is located at the northwest corner of Raanana, a city just 10 miles north of Tel Aviv. With three practice diamonds and an adjacent soccer field, the facility will be used every day of the week, and most nights. On Fridays it will serve as the practice facility and site of home games for Ranaana under 18 baseball, with 4 separate leagues sharing the space. Weekday afternoons the field will be used for local soccer practices and games, and evenings will alternate between baseball and soccer - with lights providing around the clock access for kids and adults alike. Eventually, it is the dream of both the Raanana municipality and the IAB to turn Ezra Schwartz memorial baseball field into a national baseball center, hosting international tournaments, providing training for future olympians, and providing the world class facilities so lacking in Israel today.
Funding and fundraising Due to multiple election cycles and the lack of a national budget for sport, the lottery funds originally intended to provide up to one third of the field cost will not be applied to this project. As a result, the IAB volunteers - after raising over $400k USD in 2016 and 2017 - are now in the process of raising an additional $400k to complete the project and ensure use of the field for the long-term. We turn to baseball lovers and those who support the development of sport in Israel to extend a hand and join this worthwhile effort. To make a contribution, please click donate above. To speak with someone about field details or naming opportunities, please send email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. We thank you in advance for your consideration.