JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Garrett Wittels had a phenomenal 2010 season at Florida International University.

The then-sophomore had a hit in all 56 regular-season games, putting him in contention to break Robin Yount’s all-time NCAA hit-streak record of 58 games when he resumes play in 2011. He finished the year with a .413 batting average, an OPS (on-base plus slugging) of 1.004, and 60 RBIs in just 242 at-bats.

So it comes as a bit of a surprise that the 20-year-old infielder’s summer in the Alaska Baseball League was so, well, average. In 32 games with the Peninsula Oilers, a team not affiliated with Major League Baseball, Wittels hit .254 — a hair above the .249 team average — with 16 RBIs in 118 at-bats, 7 stolen bases, and an OPS of .640.

This does not mean Wittels’ streak was a fluke. After all, he has risen above mediocrity before. He batted only .246 his freshman season at FIU, which made his 56-game hit streak the following year seem all the more unlikely.

In a recent interview with the Wichita Eagle (8/6/2010), Wittels displayed the sort of humility and team-spiritedness that have endeared him to baseball fans and earned him a nomination for a ESPY award (Best Male College Athlete):

This summer, I’ve been able just to go out there and get hits, just play the game. It’s been a relief not to be playing with the hitting streak. But definitely, when the fall comes I’ll be able to get home and get started again trying to help my team win. We have eight returners to our starting lineup, so Florida International baseball is definitely going in the right direction.