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Updated: November 9, 2013
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Ralph Milliard conducts clinic in Lithuania
VILNIUS (Lithuania) - Former Netherlands National Team short stop Ralph Milliard last week conducted a baseball-clinic in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Milliard played in the Major League for Florida Marlins and New York Mets. Before turning professional and after returning from the States, Milliard played in the Dutch big league for Mr. Cocker HCAW and is generally considered one of the best Dutch short stops ever.

...Ralph Milliard playing...
...for HCAW in 2007...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Diana Pupininkienè of Baseball Club Vilnius reported that ''Good work was done in five days''. She continued: ,,This baseball clinic helped to improve baseball skills, but more important gave a memorable experience for young baseball players they won't forget''.

The intention of Baseball Club Vilnius is to organize more baseball clinics like this one in the future.

Milliard signed a professional contract in July 1992 with the Florida Marlins. After some years in the Minor League, Milliard made his debut in the Major League on May 12, 1996. On that day, the Marlins won 7-5 vs. Colorado Rockies. Milliard entered that game defensively in the top of the eighth inning as second baseman. In his first at bat in the bottom of the eighth inning, Milliard received a walk from pitcher Curt Leskanic, who also has a Dutch connection. In 1986, Leskanic participated with Little Pirates in the Amsterdam Baseball Series at the old site of Amsterdam Pirates. That event was held shortly before the World Championship Baseball, which was then held for the first time in the Netherlands. The national team of Taiwan participated in the Amsterdam Series to prepare for the World Championship. The Netherlands B-squad then also participated.

Including his debut, Milliard played in 24 games for the Marlins in 1996, collecting ten basehits. He then played in eight games for the Marlins in 1997. In February 1998, Milliard was traded by the Marlins to the New York Mets, where he was on the 40-man Spring Training Major League-roster that year. During the 1998 season, Milliard was recalled and played in 10 games for the Mets.

When Milliard, who was born in Curaçao, made his Major League-debut in 1996, he became the fourth player who was raised the Netherlands who reached the Major League, following Win Remmerswaal (1979), Rikkert Faneyte (1993) and Robert Eenhoorn (1994).

In February 1999, Milliard was traded again, this time to the Cincinnati Reds. He went on to play in Double-A for the Reds in 1999, then played in the Triple-A team of the San Diego Padres in 2000. Another transfer followed, as in 2001, Milliard played in the organization of the Cleveland Indians, playing in Triple-A. Hereafter, Milliard returned home to the Netherlands and continued his career with Mr. Cocker HCAW, where he later also coached their second team. In 2011 and 2012, Milliard was one of the coaches of Corendon Kinheim in the Dutch big league.

(November 9)

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