This week, Rafael Bergstrom became the first Israel Baseball League (IBL) player to sign a pro contract in the U.S.
The 6"5, 26-year-old pitcher from the fledgling IBL signed with the Atlantic League's Bridgeport (CT) Bluefish after coming off a strong season with the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox, where he went 7-2 with a 2.44 ERA. Last week, Bergstrom pitched a complete game shutout to lead the Blue Sox to the IBL's championship title.
The Pacific Grove, CA native returns to the states after a career that has taken him to leagues in Germany, Australia then Israel.
Granted, he's not joining the Yankees, Red Sox or even the woeful Devil Rays, but it could be a harbinger of things to come should the IBL manage to cultivate a league that piques the interest of MLB scouts.