Tokyo bound: Canaries trio to play in Summer Olympics


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Every baseball player dreams of making it to the big leagues. But for three Sioux Falls Canaries, while they may never make it to the show, this coming July they may be a part of something even bigger.

For D.J. Sharabi, Mitch Glasser and Charlie Valeria, the dream of becoming an Olympian is about to become reality.

“With dreams you have to have a vision and it has to be like a clear vision and I kind of saw the steps happening,” Sharabi said.

All three will be heading to Tokyo to compete in the 2021 Summer Olympics for their respective countries.

“I feel just something on my heart like an emotion. Like I feel I’m going to cry because I can’t believe I’m representing my country,” Valerio said. “I give up all of it for my country.”

Valerio will be suiting up for the Dominican Republic, while Glasser and Sharabi will be representing Israel.

“My Dad was born in Israel, he’s from Israel, I’m actually very observant in the religion and I always wanted to play for Israel,” Sharabi said.

Back in 2019, Sharabi was playing for the Cleburne Railroaders and would go toe-to-toe against the Canaries.

“After the game, I knew a guy on the other team who said ‘hey, you know D.J. wants to play on the Israeli team?’, and I’m like I had no idea. I’m like he’s nasty,” Glasser said.

Glasser had been a part of Team Israel going back to 2016 and would reach out to the team’s general manager.

“He kind of mentioned that basically he faced me and liked my stuff and it got me the opportunity to play for team Israel,” Sharabi said.

Glasser and Sharabie will head to New York next week to meet up with the team.

“We’ll play some games, get together and luckily for D.J. Sharabi and me, we’ve been playing here. So, we’re in mid-season form, we’re ready to go and meet up with the rest of the guys, and get ready to go to Japan July 21st,” Glasser said.

While it is an impressive feat for this trio players, it also says a lot about the talent the Canaries have been able to acquire.

“We have three guys that are Olympians. Not only are there three of us but, you know, two different countries. It’s incredible and I don’t really see anyone else in this league that really has that,” Sharabi said.

The 2021 Olympic Baseball Tournament will begin on Wednesday, July 28th

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