Two players from the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, a minor league Triple-A baseball team under the Miami Marlins organization, are heading to the coronavirus-delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics to play for two different teams.
Jumbo Shrimp infielder Eddy Alvarez and pitcher Jake Fishman will compete for Team USA and Team Israel, respectively.
Alvarez is a 31-year-old Miami native and Olympic medalist, having previously won a silver medal in speed skating in 2014. Depending on Team USA’s performance, Alvarez could become the third American to win a medal in both the Summer and Winter Olympics.
He’s been in the Marlins organization since 2019, having played for the Jumbo Shrimp, as well as the former minor league team the New Orleans Baby Cakes, and the Marlins for one game in 2020.
Team USA - with Alvarez as a switch-hitter who bats from either side of the plate - beat Canada, Venezuela, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic to qualify for the Summer Games. Alvarez hit two doubles, a triple and gained one RBI across four games.
Fishman, a 26-year-old Massachusetts native, is making his first international debut for Team Israel after being on the team’s reserve roster in 2017.
This was Fishman’s first season in the Marlins organization and as a left-handed pitcher for the Jumbo Shrimp he has struck out 30 batters across 14 games and 25.2 innings.
Fishman was granted Israeli citizenship in 2019 in order to earn eligibility for the Olympic games.
Team Israel - without Fishman - defeated Spain, the Netherlands, Italy and South Africa in its qualifier to earn a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Edwin Jackson, a former minor-league player for Jacksonville in 2003 and 2005 will also be playing for Team USA as a pitcher.
Baseball at the 2020 Summer Olympics will take place from July 28 to Aug. 7.
Team Israel and Team USA will play against each other on July 30, leading to a potential face-off between Jumbo Shrimp teammates.