Team Israel coach Gabe Kapler returns to San Francisco Giants

Newly hired San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler (AP/Eric Risberg)

Just like Gabe Kapler’s playing days, he is swapping teams once again.

By Joseph Wolkin, World Israel News

Just like Gabe Kapler’s playing days, he is swapping teams once again. After being let go following two years of managing the Philadelphia Phillies, the former baseball player-turned manager is back in the dugout.

The San Francisco Giants named Kapler the team’s next manager. Kapler, who played in the majors for 12 years, won the 2004 World Series with the Boston Red Sox.

Kapler’s Phillies failed to make the playoffs in the two years he managed the team. He led the Phillies to 80 wins during the 2018 season, and 81 triumphs in 2019. However, it wasn’t enough to stay with the team. He is only the eighth Jewish manager in MLB history.

Now, he moves to the West Coast, where he’ll work for Jewish CEO Larry Bear, and mentor Jewish center fielder Kevin Pillar.

Kapler took part in the World Baseball Classic qualifier in September of 2012, coaching Team Israel just two years after retiring from life as a player. While Israel lost to Spain, failing to qualify for the actual tournament, it put his name on the map to potentially manage a major league team.

Kapler has a tattoo on each of his legs, with one saying, “רצון חזק, אופק חזק,” or “Strong Willed, Strong Minded” inside of a Magen David. The other has a flame surrounded by the words “Never Again,” as well as the years the Holocaust took place: 1939 on one side of the flame and 1945 on the other.

Kapler hit 82 home runs in his 12-year playing career, in which he played with the Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, Colorado Rockies, Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays. He stole 77 bases and hit for an average of .268.

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