Itai Goldner

From BR Bullpen

Itai Goldner (איתי גולדנר)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 180 lb.

Biographical Information[edit]

Itai Goldner has been on the Israeli national team.

Goldner learned about baseball by visiting his grandparents in the US and watching New York Yankees games while there. When he was 8 years old, he asked his father about baseball opportunities in his native Israel and his father tracked down a team in Tel Aviv. [1] He played for Israel in the 2019 European Junior Championship Qualifier, hitting .278/.381/.278 with 6 runs in 5 games. [2]

He entered the Israeli Defense Forces in 2021. [3] The same year, he got to play for Israel's senior national team for the first time, in the 2021 European Championship. While the country's American-laden team in the Tokyo Olympics had not gotten much attention, Israel's 2021 Euros team got more focus back home due to the much higher number of native Israelis (they had only four such players in the Olympics). [4] Goldner, at age 19, started every game for Israel in their first medal run ever in a European Championship (Israel competes in European tournaments due to anti-Semitism keeping them from local competitions). He was their DH and #7 batter in their opening 2-1 win over Russia, going 0 for 4, grounding out against former Twins farmhand Andrei Lobanov his first time up. His first run came the next game, reaching on a French error and he singled later on that day off Mathis Nayral. He came up big in the quarterfinals. He got to pitch versus Great Britain, relieving indy leaguer Bubby Rossman and closing out a 11-4 win with a scoreless frame. He got Ben Andrews on a fly but Aaron Singh doubled and Kennard Dawson and Jordan Edmonds both drew walks. He recovered to get Kent Blackstone to hit into a game-ending double play. In the quarterfinals, he played a big role to keep Israel's medal hopes alive. In the bottom of the 9th, he singled off former Phillies and Pirates minor leaguer Marek Minařík and advanced on an error, then scored on a hit by Joey Wagman for the winning run in a 3-2 victory for Israel. In the semifinals, he drew a bases-loaded walk from another ex-Pirate farmhand, Claudio Scotti, to force in Ben Wanger with Israel's first run against Italy in what would be a 11-5 upset win, Israel making their first Gold Medal Game in a European Championship. In the finale, he was 0 for 4 in a loss to the defending champion Dutch national team but Israel had still made history for their first small country. He had hit .160/.192/.160 with 3 runs and one RBI in six games, handling 10 chances error-free while playing RF, LF, 3B, P and DH and pitching the one shutout inning. [5]