WASHINGTON – With the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo just a few months away, Israel’s national baseball team sent its pitcher, Jonathan de Marte, and assistant coach Nate Mulberg to meet with Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer at the Israeli Embassy in Washington.“It is the first time that baseball would be an Olympic sport, and we are lucky to qualify,” Embassy spokesman Elad Strohmayer told The Jerusalem Post. “While Israel is not known for baseball, and people are not always familiar with the rules, here in the US it is obviously a big deal, so it’s natural for us at the embassy to embrace the national team and wish them well.” “I want to congratulate you for qualifying for the Olympics in Tokyo,” Dermer said to the team. “With only six teams making the Olympics, there’s a good chance that Israel will leave with a medal. We hope to see the team on the medal podium and hear ‘Hatikvah’ playing in Japan. Good luck, and I’m sure you’ll make us proud.”The ambassador wore a jersey that he received as a gift from the US baseball team the Washington Nationals, who recently won the World Series. The jersey honors Israel’s 70th Independence Day, with the name of the country printed on the back.The group took it to the embassy’s courtyard and had a short practice: Jonathan de Marte pitched, Nate Mulberg umpired, Dermer batted and Deputy Ambassador Benjamin Krasna played second base.