The Olympics are off and running and Missouri fans have some of their own to root for.
Mikel Schreuders (Aruba) and Fabian Schwingenschlogl (Germany) are competing in swimming and Karissa Schweizer in track.
But Missouri’s lone team sport athlete is none other than 2012 baseball Hall of Famer Ian Kinsler.
Kinsler was part of the Missouri Class of 2003, a team that broke a six-year drought of NCAA Tournament appearances for the Tigers. Kinsler batted .335 that year, and had 45 RBIs
Kinsler made his MLB debut, and his name, with the Texas Rangers where he made three All-Star games and two World Series appearances.
Kinsler also won a Gold Glove in 2016 with the Detroit Tigers.
After retiring from the MLB in 2019 after his stint with the San Diego Padres, Kinsler announced that he would make Aliyah (immigrate) to Israel to try and earn the opportunity to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
In 2017, Israel participated in the World Baseball Classic where they were staunch underdogs. They were the “cinderella story” of the classic, going 4-0 and clinching a spot in the Olympics.
Although Kinsler wasn’t a part of the Classic, he earned the opportunity to be able to represent not only Israel but Missouri as well.
No matter the result at the end of the Olympics, Ian Kinsler has already made Tiger fans proud.
Kinsler and Team Israel took on South Korea on Thursday at Yokohama Baseball Stadium, with the game going to extra innings.
Kinsler went 1-5 with 2 RBIs, as Israel lost 6-5 on a walkoff hit-by-pitch.
Kinsler and Team Israel face some tough competition, as they are in the same group as South Korea and the USA. Historic powerhouses Japan, Mexico and the Dominican Republic fill out the rest of an incredibly talented field.
Best of luck to Ian and the rest of Team Israel! YALLAH!