(photo credit: )
Ron Blomberg and Art Shamsky, two former Major League stars currently managing teams in the Israel Baseball League, took time out from their preparations for the IBL playoffs to take a tour of the southern city of Sderot on Tuesday.
The pair, who are both Jewish, also travelled to the Hatzor Air Force base where they met with IAF servicemen and flew an F-15 simulator.
Blomberg said it was "wonderful" to meet residents of Sderot, the town which has had thousands of Kassam rockets fired at it in recent years.
"It was one reason why I came here, to see some of the problems the people in Israel have gone through." Blomberg told The Jerusalem Post. "It makes me proud to be a Jew seeing how strong these people are."
Shamsky said he found the trip to the base a "learning experience."
"It was very interesting. It was an amazing experience in the simulator. I had seen some of the country on previous days but this was a really good day. It was fascinating to meet some of the young people who are involved in the airforce."
Discussing the future of the league, Shamsky said: "I don't know if I will come back next year. This hasn't been discussed yet. We have a couple of games to go and my concentration is to get the team ready for the players."
While there have been a number of difficulties, including low attendance Shamsky added that he believes the league will continue and go from strength to strength.
"I think the fact they actually got the league off the ground has been an accomplishment. It's been a learning process.
"I think they need to learn from these things. Hopefully they will do it in a way to make it more interesting to the israelis and more visible to them," he said.