Tipped for an early exit, Israel came top of its group, by beating the Netherlands 4-2 to complete a clean sweep in the round robin stage and progress to the quarter finals.
While 11 of Israel's squad have Major League Baseball experience, it is the team mascot - Mensch on a Bench - who has attracted most of the media attention.
Like another recent famous sportsman on a bench, Sutton reserve goalkeeper Wayne Shaw, Mensch is distinctly overweight but from eating latkes rather than pies.
Mensch on a Bench is the hero of Neal Hoffman's children's book of the same name about Hanukah. The US media has focused on Mensch power and something akin to a Hanukah miracle as Israel, ranked 41st in the world has beaten Korea, Taipei and the Netherlands ranked third, fourth and ninth respectively.
But a far bigger miracle will be required in the quarter finals in Tokyo when Israel will likely come up against Japan - the world's number one ranked team.