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Olympic Zone - Canaries players prepare for Olympic Games

Mitch Glasser & DJ Sharabi Playing For Israeli National Team, Charlie Valerio For Dominican Republic
Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 9:00 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Playing baseball in the independent leagues is all about keeping hope alive for one day reaching something greater.

For Canaries reliever DJ Sharabi it was a chance to compete at the Olympics.

“I’ve been trying to do this since I was 21, so about eight years now, and just to be a part of the journey it’s something special and it means a lot to me.” Sharabi says.

And this year he has company with Sioux Falls teammates Mitch Glasser and Charlie Valerio joining him in Tokyo.

“To have three Olympians? No that can’t have ever happened before in American Association history. I don’t think so.” Glasser says.

“When we get here we fly in on the same play and we was talking back and forth, back and forth, during the flight. We try to enjoy every moment.” Valerio says.

Glasser and Sharabi play for the Israeli national team while Valerio plays for the Dominican Republic. Used to long road trips through the American Association, all three logged even more miles this year going between Sioux Falls and their Olympic qualifiers.

“I’m not really, like, used to it I would say. But, you know, when I’m in Sioux Falls, I want to win, and when I’m here I want to win. So at the same time it’s hopefully trying to be a good teammate and do what you can to help each team do well.” DJ says.

All three are planning on returning to finish their seasons in Sioux Falls after the games, and they’ll return with a wealth of knowledge playing with and against former major leaguers.

“This name on my chest, have my flag on my chest, I try to do my best. I’m not giving it a hundred percent, I’m giving it a million percent! A thousand percent! It’s something I can’t even explain!” Charlie says.

“The greatest athletes in the world all coming together. That’s going to be the pinnacle of my career.” Mitch says.

“It’s truly something special. You don’t feel alone.” Sharabi says.

Especially if they get what they’re hoping for.

A chance to play against each other!

“We’ve been talking and we say, like, can you imagine if we go to the finals to fight for the gold medal? That would be awesome!” Valerio says.

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