RiYL podcast 044: music booker and Israeli baseball player Shlomo Lipetz

Recommended if You Like is Boing Boing's weekly podcast of Brian Heater's cafe conversations with musicians, cartoonists, writers, and other creative types.

I met Shlomo last week at New York's City Winery, just before settling into another RiYL interview. The 6'4 mustachioed Israeli was making sure everything was all right with the the Old 97s' Rhett Miller, ahead of his show that night. Fascinated by meeting my first real life Shlomo (surprising, perhaps, given my own ethnic makeup), I Googled the venue's booker the following day, stumbling upon a Wall Street Journal story from 2012 about Israeli baseball — a subject which I, admittedly, know nothing about. At the top was an image of the booker, full-beard, in a pre-pitch lineup. Down below, the paper described Lipetz as, "Israel's biggest baseball star." A day later, we sat down during a Bob Mould soundcheck to discuss how one earns such a title. Lipetz is characteristically modest, pointing out that he's the best at something in a country that seemingly barely knows it exists. According to the Journal story, some 1,000 of Israel's population of eight million play the sport. Still, how many of us can say we're the best at anything?

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