Join us as Ryan Lavarnway, a professional baseball catcher, talks with hosts Kayla Bradham and Roy Kessel about his path to the MLB and his time playing for Team Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Ryan is one of the main characters in the documentary, “Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel,” and he talks in this interview about how his time in Israel helped him feel more connected to the Jewish religion and community.
His optimism is contagious and he stands by the saying “nothing is impossible.” Tune in to hear his story as well as what he has to say about women in sports and what he calls “crazy dreams.”
Ryan Lavarnway Bio
“First and foremost, I’m a baseball player. Since my Major League Baseball debut in 2011, I’ve played in parts of 10 MLB seasons with eight different MLB teams including the 2013 World Series winning Boston Red Sox. I’ve also played for the Israeli national baseball team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
I take my athletic mindset into everything I do. In the offseason, I speak at high school leadership conferences, universities and large companies about leadership, teamwork and overcoming adversity. My hope in sharing my experiences is that I can help teams and individuals overcome adversity in their own lives and reach their full potential.
I was proud to be inducted into the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2020 and to have my old uniform number retired by my alma mater, El Camino Real High School, in 2018. I was also a recipient of the 2018 Pirates Community Commitment Program Award for Community Service and the 2017 Nashville Sounds Fan Favorite Player Award.
I also serve as a Mortgage Loan Originator at Cross Country Mortgage and volunteer for Freedom Service Dogs and Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver. But baseball is never far from my mind.”
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