Team Israel baseball players participate in EMS vehicle dedication in Israel

On Monday morning, Jeff Aeder, owner of Chicago’s restaurant Milt’s BBQ for the Perplexed, and founder of the Jewish Baseball Museum, donated an ambucycle to United Hatzalah in honor of his father, Arthur Aeder, who recently passed away. Jeff said that his father was a true Zionist, a lover of the Jewish people. The date of the ambucycle dedication was set to mark the 30th day of Arthur’s passing, and the culmination of the Team Israel baseball team’s tour of the country allowing some of the players to attend the dedication.

Ty Kelley and Ryan Lavarnway join Jeff Aeder in dedicating an ambucycle to his father.
Ty Kelley and Ryan Lavarnway join Jeff Aeder in dedicating an ambucycle to his father.

10 professional players from the U.S., who are members of Team Israel, that will play in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) tournament in March 2017 in Seoul, South Korea, toured Israel for a week-long trip that culminated in the dedication on their final morning here.

The trip was organized by Aeder in conjunction with the JNF and the Israel Association of Baseball’s (IAB) President, Peter Kurtz. Ty Kelly of the New York Mets and Ryan Lavarnway of the Oakland Athletics joined Aeder for the dedication of the vehicle that will now be used by Israel’s national volunteer EMS organization to save lives and cut down on EMS response time.   

“United Hatzalah is an example of a civil society organization where 3,000 volunteers from every place in Israel and every walk of life, Jews, Arabs, Christian, Druze, religious, secular, men and women, come together for the mutually shared goal of saving lives. The volunteers visit holocaust survivors and elderly people providing medical care and treat people in trauma situations. The organization is very unique and it is one that I believe the world needs to hear more about,” said Aeder.

Jeff added that his father had also donated a number of ambucycles to the organization. He therefore felt that this dedication, combining two things his father loved, the organization and baseball, was a fitting tribute to his memory. “He simply loved the organization and the work that it is doing,” Jeff added.

The baseball players were moved by the dedication and what they learned about the organization. Mr. Kelly spoke highly of the impression he received from the organization and the work it does. “It was great learning about the innovative first response capabilities of United Hatzalah,” Kelly said after the dedication.

Eli Beer, President and Founder of United Hatzalah, said that “Saving lives is our national pastime. Baseball is a sport that speaks to the entire populace of a country. It helps people from different backgrounds bridge social gaps and create communities together. Those are the same ideals we ascribe to and implemented when we created our community-based emergency medical response organization. Our volunteers leave whatever it is that they are doing and rush to provide free emergency medical treatment to everyone in the country, regardless of who they are, where they come from, what language they speak, or what their religion is. To us, every person deserves the opportunity to run the bases of life as long as they can. We are there to help them do it.”


Beer quipped with Aeder and the players by saying that “As opposed to baseball, a game that takes hours to complete, United Hatzalah has an average response time of less than three minutes, which makes it the fastest EMS response organization in the world.” Beer then wished the players luck in their upcoming competition in Korea.