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(Statistics through June 20)

Dean Kremer became the first Israeli citizen to sign with a Major League team.
Dean Kremer became the first Israeli citizen to sign with a Major League team.

Dean Kremer, a right-handed pitcher, became the first Israeli to sign a contract with a Major League Baseball team when the Los Angeles Dodgers signed the 20-year-old Israeli American on June 14 after drafting him earlier this month.

Kremer, a native of Stockton, Calif., who was born to Israeli parents, became the first Israeli to be drafted by a Major League team last year when he was selected by the San Diego Padres, but he did not sign with the team.

Kremer played for Israel’s national baseball team for the past three years. He was named the European baseball championship’s most valuable pitcher each of the last two years and led Israel out of the tournament’s C pool into the stronger B pool last year.

He transferred from San Joaquin Delta College to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he went 4-5 with a 4.92 ERA in 12 starts.

Kremer will play this summer for the Dodgers’ Rookie League team.

Been a long time: The Cleveland Cavaliers, who features a Jewish owner in Dan Gilbert, and a Jewish ex-head coach in David Blatt, won the NBA Championship on Sunday by beating the Golden State Warriors, 93-89, becoming the first team in league history to overcome a three-games-to-one deficit. 

Blatt was fired in January with his team in first place with a 30-11 record; his successor, Tyronn Lew, finished the season at 27-14. Blatt led the team to the championship game last season, but lost to the Warriors. 

The win represents the first major sports title for Cleveland since the Browns won the NFL crown in 1964.

Pederson pops a pair: Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson added two more home runs during the week to pad his total to 13. Four of the five Jewish Major League regulars have double-digit four-baggers: Ian Kinsler (Detroit Tigers, 14), Ryan Braun (Milwaukee Brewers, 12), and Danny Valencia (Oakland Athletics, 10). Kevin Pillar (Toronto Blue Jays) has seven and, barring catastrophe, will join the power brigade.

Sources: JTA, JewishBusinessNews.com

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