The players became a team with a delightful family-like twist. They shared bar mitzvah pictures, warmed up before the games playing matkot as if they were at the Tel Aviv beach, and kibitzed non-stop. Walking in the Old City, former New York Mets infielder Kelly did an impression of a Sabra accent that comedian Elon Gold would kill for.The players’ families were equally impressive. Parents and siblings, girlfriends and spouses with babies all made the trip. Pre-game Hatikvah was a moving moment for everyone and besides supporting the blue-and-white, the family members displayed an incredible wealth of knowledge of the game. Yet I couldn’t resist kidding one of the “Jewish" mothers,” jokingly asking her not to yell at her son when he crouched in his batter’s stance – “Don’t slouch! Stand up and be proud of your height!”By the seventh inning of the final game, with the outcome and Olympic berth assured, the Israeli fans organized a wave. It was no small feat getting 50 Jews to agree to anything, let alone move in unison. It was reminiscent of the old joke about a visitor to a synogogue on the High Holy Days who sees half the congregation standing for the Kaddish, explaining “that’s our tradition,” while half would sit, also saying “that’s our tradition.” When the visitor asked why they are fighting with each other, they all chimed in “that’s our tradition.”Hopefully, Team’s Israel's victory will usher in a new tradition, of understanding and pride among Jews from Israel and the Diaspora. When the game ended, Nefesh B’Nefesh benefactor Sylvan Adams, whose grant helped with the players’ aliyah, called the clubhouse. After congratulating the team and saying he looks forward to meeting them in Japan, Adams spoke movingly about the team’s contribution to Jewish people in Israel and around the world. (He was also the first person to correctly identify the last Israeli sports team to compete in an Oympics – in soccer at the 1976 Games in Montreal.A recent editorial in The Jerusalem Post asserted that Israel’s fantastic baseball achievement was a welcome respite from the grind of our daily news. In a similar vein, US Chief Justice Earl Warren once remarked that he always turned first to The New York Times sports page and only later to the front page. As he explained, “on the sports page I can read of man’s hopes and achievements... whereas the front page tells of his shortcomings.”Indeed, Team Israel’s feat reminds of Vin Scully’s legendary call of Kirk Gibson’s 1988 World Series home run: “In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!” But for Peter Kurz and Team Israel, the focus is already on Tokyo. There's a medal to win.