Jake Bird pitched a perfect inning in his MLB debut, on 6/16/2022 (click photo to see video)

By Scott Barancik, editor

Colorado Rockies reliever Jake Bird, who made his MLB debut in June and later committed to represent Israel in next month’s World Baseball Classic, is the most recent Major Leaguer to be identified as Jewish.

The 27-year-old California native starred at UCLA, his hometown school. In 2018, his senior year, Bird became the first Bruin in 30 years to earn Academic All-American honors. He also led the Pac-12 Conference in ERA.

The Rockies selected Bird in the 5th round of the 2018 amateur draft and paid him a modest signing bonus of $50,000. He made quick work of the minors, especially considering the 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID. The 6-foot-3-inch, 205-pound righthander amassed a 19-6 record with four saves and 3.41 ERA in the franchise’s farm system.

Colorado called-up Bird in June 2022 to deepen its bullpen. In his Major League debut on June 16, he tossed a perfect inning of relief, retiring the Guardians on just 10 pitches (see video).

Bird finished his rookie season with a 2-4 record, 4.91 ERA, and 1.427 WHIP (walks/hits per innings).

Bird was one of four Jewish players to break into the Majors in 2022. The others were P Bubby Rossman (Phillies), SS Dalton Guthrie (Phillies), P Jake Fishman (Marlins), and P Kenny Rosenberg (Angels).

Some Jewish Baseball News readers were confused earlier this year when Bird committed to play for Team Israel but wasn’t listed on our website. JBN’s definition of “Jewish” is more stringent than Israel’s, so it often takes us a bit longer to verify eligibility.

As it happens, Bird recently suffered a left oblique strain, so his participation in the World Baseball Classic is in doubt.

Please join us in welcoming Jake. You can follow him on and Instagram or check out his career statistics here.

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