It is an honor for me to offer humble greetings as you take part in this year’s Ezra Schwartz Baseball Tournament. As I knew Ezra, there is no better way to mark his legacy than a gathering of young, Jewish men from around the country in spirited baseball competition. This sport that Ezra loved so much typifies the spirit he embodied.
Baseball is a game that depends as much on the individual as it does on the team — like with baseball, Ezra himself always made the most of his individual way in life, but also always in support of the larger chevra around him that he valued so much, and to whom he brought good humor, dedication, mentorship, and a tangible sense of possibility. Baseball is a game that demands passion and loyalty over the long-haul, making a team feel more like a family whose members have each other’s back no matter what — Anyone who knew Ezra knows that he was a rock for his family, inspiring their best and being there for them through thick and thin.
Whether to his siblings, his parents, his friends and schoolmates, or his coaches and teachers, Ezra gave everyone many reasons to cheer on his field of dreams. Now it is to us to sustain his dreams through this wonderful tournament in his memory. Just as it was for us in watching Ezra play, it is impossible for us to participate in this tournament as a player, coach, or spectator from any school, without bringing more of his spirit to the game. He would want nothing less from us than to make the most out of our lives as individuals, as teammates, and as a broad, extended family together. In honor of Ezra, “Play Ball!”
Chief Executive Officer