S E C T I O N
Sports ■ April 25, 2012
A LE N DA R
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L AS S I F I E D S
Baseball ambassador Menlo Park Legends Manager David Klein teaches baseball in Tel Aviv By Dave Boyce Almanac Staff Writer
Photo by Jescie Bohbot
Enthusiasm and some sideways glances greeted David Klein, manager of the Menlo Park Legends semi-pro baseball team, as he introduced America’s fabled national pastime to middle-school kids in Ofakim in southern Israel.
aseball metaphors are plentiful in the United States: getting to first base, coming out of left field, being thrown a curve, having two or three strikes against you. Such metaphors likely go unheard in Israel, where soccer and
basketball are popular, says David Klein, who visited Israel in 2011-12 and manages the Menlo Park Legends semi-pro summer team. Outside of the U.S. ex-pat community in Israel, baseball is almost unknown, he says. He tried to change that at several middle schools in Tel Aviv over five months, starting in September 2011. His motive, he says,
Photo by Michelle Le/The Almanac
was to give back to the Jewish community and to baseball. He acquired funding for the fivemonth internship, but the baseball part would prove tougher. Baseball, like cricket, is famously opaque to the uninitiated. “It’s extremely hard to explain, especially in Hebrew,” Mr. Klein told the Almanac. “That was actually very challenging. That was the hardest part.”
He spent a month learning enough Hebrew to talk about baseball. On seminar days, he would rise at 7 a.m., load 50 baseballs, 30 gloves and some bats and cones into an equipment bag, get a cab, and ride off to conduct two- and three-day seminars at the schools. He used gifts of baseball cards as incentives for Continued on next page
April 25, 2012 N TheAlmanacOnline.com N The Almanac N 21
S P O R T S
Photo by Michelle Le/The Almanac
A dream of fields in Israel perchance occupies the mind of David Klein, Menlo Park Legends manager. Mr. Klein, who played as a kid at Palo Alto’s Baylands Athletic Center (pictured here), recently traveled to Israel to bring the game to middle-school kids unfamiliar with it.
In Japan, he says, players keep their emotions under control. Photo by Jordana Bickel Nobody throws helmets. ManagHitting a round ball with a round bat is “the hardest thing to do in ers don’t engage in face-to-face sports,” baseball great Ted Williams once said. David Klein gave of shouting matches with umpires. his experience at the plate to this Tel Aviv girl during his five-month, Everything is by the book. baseball-themed internship to enlighten Israeli kids about the game. With the rocket attacks and Getting some help the antagonism of Middle East In January, near the end of politics in general, Israelis take his sojourn, Mr. Klein took his time to enjoy life, Mr. Klein seminar south by bus to Ofasays. They’re not always on time. They walk slowly and ican culture. They are very, very kim. Ofakim is a few Continued from previous page miles east of Sderot, can spend two hours interested in American values.” the kids’ efforts to understand the or more on a meal. Every week, out of the several a town often cited in “It’s interesting how different game. Public buses “come hundred kids he talked to that news reports as being A seminar would start with week, four or five would indicate a target for rockets whenever they want.” cultures and their cultural norms a discussion of throwing and an interest in playing in Israel’s launched from the Baseball, too, is catching, then hitting, then tying nascent Little League, he says. Gaza Strip, a Palestintranslate to the actual game play.” laid back, he says. it all together with the rules, The game may start “It’s a small and growing sport ian population cenand followed by a simple game, in Israel,” Mr. Klein says. Israel ter. late. Umpires may he says. Most of the classes took has three full-size baseball diaRocket attacks are be late. Players may place inside gyms. monds and a few Little League “a daily threat,” Mr. Klein noted. together students from a Jew- not even show up. The defense “Ninety-nine percent “There was always the ish/Israeli school and an Arab/ takes its time in getting into of the kids had never possibility that it could Israeli school. It didn’t work out, position. even picked up a glove Life there is not but they did engage a school that The trip did confirm his belief “Ninety-nine percent of the kids happen. or a baseball bat, nor had easy and it gives you a had both Jewish and Arab Israeli that baseball is special, however. they ever seen a baseball appreciation for students. Its appeal has to do with it being had never even picked up a glove new game in their lives,” Mr. what we have here.” Under Mr. Klein’s direction, a team sport that showcases indiKlein says. Putting on a or a baseball bat, nor had they ever Also on the bus that the BirthRight group split up and vidual performance, he says. baseball glove may seem day were 30 to 40 young ran 20-minute clinics on base “I think as people understand straightforward to us seen a baseball game in their lives.” adults, ages 18 to 26, running, hitting and catching. that and learn more about the here, but to Israeli kids it visiting from the United The highlight for many Birth- game of baseball, it will help it was a mystery. Why? “I States on an all-expense- Right members: seeing a kid grow,” he says. “Playing catch is don’t know,” Mr. Klein paid 10-day BirthRight make his or her first catch. “They a mindless form of activity that says. fields; nationwide about 1,200 trip. They had volunteered to said it was absolutely priceless,” anybody can enjoy.” “They don’t know baseball. It’s kids play, mostly from families help Mr. Klein teach kids about Mr. Klein says. Baseball is also coming along not cool there,” he says. “(But) that emigrated from the United baseball. Eleven in the group in the Czech Republic, Germany, they have a sense of wonder States, he says. were college baseball players; the A slow game, slower Italy and Spain, he says. “They’re So what did he learn? and are very, very An attempt to form a profes- rest had playing experience. The all growing baseball countries.” “It’s interesting how different i nterested sional league faded in 2007; group was split evenly among Israel is a challenge because the cultures and their cultural norms game is naturally slow. “They in Amerthey had trouble attracting men and women. Thousands of young Jewish translate to the actual game play,” often like games that are a little fans and funding, Mr. adults visit Israel on BirthRight Mr. Klein says. Klein says. more fast-paced,” he says. Mr. Klein, a Menlo Park resident, played at Menlo-Atherton High School and is in the school’s baseball Hall of Fame. He played catcher for the University of California, Santa Barbara.
trips every year, Mr. Klein says, adding that this was the first trip with a baseball theme. During the two-hour bus trip, Mr. Klein drilled the group in baseball-related Hebrew phrases, and read aloud 10 minutes of news about U.S. Major League baseball. “I wanted to keep the baseball vibe alive,” he says. The plan had been to bring
22 N The Almanac N TheAlmanacOnline.com N April 25, 2012
N E W S
Losing Weight has never been so easy!
Kids sue father for mother’s death Three children of former Woodside resident Parima Parineh have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against their father, Pooroushasb “Peter” Parineh, who is now in jail on charges of having killed their mother. The three are her son, Austiag Hormoz Parineh, her daughter, Austiaj Parineh, and her son, Khashayar Parineh. The April 11 complaint filed in San Mateo County Superior Court alleges that Pooroushasb Parineh “willfully and maliciously fired two gun shots to the head of Parima” at their Woodside mansion on Fox Hill Drive on April 13, 2010. The children allege in the complaint that their mother survived this attack for “some period
of time,” and that their father acted out of a motive to cash in on life insurance policies that would have paid out with San Mateo County Ms. Parineh’s Sheriff’s Office death. Parima Parineh Pooroushasb Parineh has been in county jail on a no-bail status on charges of premeditated murder for financial gain since his arrest in Sunnyvale on June 17, 2010, by deputies from the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office. He is the only suspect in the case. Prosecutors alleged that Mr. Parineh, a real estate investor, had several properties in foreclosure,
no liquidity and “enormous debt” at the time of his wife’s death. If Mr. Parineh, who was 64 at the time, is convicted, the apparently planned nature of the crime would make him subject to the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to the state penal code. Among the damages from the death of their mother are the loss of her love, companionship, comfort, affection, society, solace, income and moral support, Ms. Parineh’s children say in the complaint. Austiag Hormoz Parineh resides in Orange County, and Austiaj and Khashayar Parineh in San Francisco County, according to the complaint.
Woodside meets on country club renovation By Barbara Wood Special to the Almanac
oodside’s Planning Commission will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, April 25 in Independence Hall, 2995 Woodside Road, to decide whether the Menlo County Club’s plans for renovating its golf course and tennis courts will be approved. The private club wants to modernize its 25-year-old golf course within its current footprint, including the removal of 345 trees and a manmade pond. Earlier plans to expand the golf course were abandoned because it would
disturb the nests of a rare wood rat that nests near the golf course. In addition to redesigning the course, the project would move two of the club’s tennis courts closer to two other courts in the southwest area of the property and add a 640-square-foot tennis building with an office, restrooms and exercise area. The country club is located across the street from Woodside High School, near the boundary of Woodside and Redwood City. The town is not requiring a full environmental impact report on the project, but instead a report called a “mitigated negative declaration” because, Plan-
ning Director Young has said, research has indicated that the environmental impacts of the project can be made less than significant if the club meets conditions imposed by the town. The project would involve approximately 180,000 cubic yards of grading. About 63,000 cubic yards of sand will be brought onsite to cap the golf course. The country club will need a grading exception and a conditional use permit from the town to do the work. The project does not need approval from the Town Council unless the Planning Commission’s decision is appealed. A
Woodside Library holds book sale The Friends of the Woodside Library have amassed a wide array of books — priced at $1 for hardbacks and 25 cents for paperbacks — for the semi-annual book sale on Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the library, 3140 Woodside Road in Woodside. People are invited to browse through thousands of titles, including new and classic fiction, reference and children’s books. There will be recorded books and DVDs for sale, too. All proceeds benefit the Friends of the Woodside Library, which Margaret sponsors the MacNiven is library’s pop- president of ular children’s the Friends of Woodside p r o g r a m s , the Library.