The Ezra Schwartz Memorial Baseball Tournament (“ESMBT”) hosted by Maimonides School is in remembrance of, and to honor, one of the best players I have had the opportunity to coach for the Maimo baseball program. Ezra approached each and every practice and game with a relentless, gracious, driven and fearless mentality. Ezra played the game with a unique tenacity that resembled a controlled reckless abandon, and that is why I loved watching him play the game he loved so much. Ezra knew what to do in every situation, whether it be at the plate, in the outfield, at shortstop, or on the mound. In each of these situations, he always gave his teammates and our coaches everything he had to help us win a game or get better at practice. Ezra was a key contributor to the growth and culture of the Maimo baseball program, and we as a team approach every day with the same mentality in which Ezra played the game.
I had the great opportunity of being Ezra’s coach for four years and as described above, you can tell he was a great baseball player. But Ezra was much more than just a great baseball player and someone I was privileged to coach; he was a phenomenal young man with so many great characteristics and attributes that I am more honored to have called him my friend. Ezra and I shared many conversations over our time together, mostly about baseball, but also about life in general. Ezra was most passionate about three things in life: baseball, his family/friends, and his camp that he attended every summer. The one common theme to all three is that Ezra was unselfish and always put others first, which is one of his characteristics I admired most. Ezra felt more joy in seeing others succeed, whether it be his teammates, his siblings, or his campers. He took a greater sense of satisfaction in knowing that he contributed to other’s success and happiness, rather than focusing on his own. I miss Ezra every day and a part of me still hopes I will see him at a practice or game someday, or receive a call from him to catch up like we used to so many times in the past. Even though that will never be the case, I honor Ezra by approaching every aspect of my life with the same unselfishness and tenacity that Ezra approached life and the game of baseball with so enthusiastically.
This is the second consecutive year Maimonides has hosted the ESMBT. The inaugural ESMBT exceeded all expectations due to the high level of competitive play and the phenomenal sportsmanship displayed by all teams. I look forward to this year’s ESMBT to again surpass all expectations. Ezra would be honored to know that we are continuing this tradition and all participating in a baseball tournament in his memory. I know the only request Ezra would have, and it is the same one I have, is the following: exemplify good sportsmanship, play like champions, leave everything you have on the field, and support your teammates and the other teams in the tournament. On behalf of Ezra and the Maimonides baseball program, I thank you all for participating in this amazing event and here is to another great ESMBT weekend.
Maimonides Memorial Day Alumni v.s. Varsity Game 2016