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Updated: September 25, 2013
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Copyright © 1997-2013
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Jonathan Schoop hits homerun in Major League-debut!
BALTIMORE, Maryland (USA) - Jonathan Schoop made his debut in the Major League on Wednesday-evening September 25, as he was the second baseman for Baltimore Orioles in the home game against Toronto Blue Jays. He was listed as eighth batter in the starting line-up of Manager Buck Showalter. And Schoop made it a memorable debut, as he singled in his first at bat, homered (!) in his third trip to the plate and scored three runs! Baltimore won 9-4.

...Oriole Park at Camden Yard...
...the home of the Baltimore Orioles...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Schoop immediately made a name for himself, as he delivered a single in his very first Major League at bat in the third inning with the Orioles trailing 3-0. With an 1-0 count, he hit a delivery by Esmil Rogers away for a line drive into centerfield. Moments later, he scored his first run, as next batter Ryan Flaherty hit a homerun.

In the fourth inning, Baltimore made it a 3-3 score via a homerun by Steve Pearce with one out. Jason Pridie and Steve Clevenger then followed with singles, but hereafter, Schoop (in his second at bat) grounded into a double play on the first pitch he saw.

Baltimore then scored three runs in the fifth inning to take a 6-3 lead. Toronto got one run back in the top of the sixth. In the home half, Kyle Drabek became the new pitcher for Toronto. He faced Jonathan Schoop, who then hit the fourth pitch he saw over the centerfield-wall for his first Major League-homerun!

By hitting the homerun, Schoop became only the second player in the history of the Orioles to hit a homerun in his first Major League-game. The first was Larry Haney, who did it on July 27, 1966 against Cleveland Indians.

In the eighth inning, in his fourth plate appearance, facing new pitcher Ricky Romero, Schoop walked. He then scored his third Major League-run shortly thereafter when Ryan Flaherty hit his second homerun in the game.

The 21-year old Schoop (he turns 22 next month) was added to the big league-roster on September 4, but he had to wait until today (21 days later) to make his debut. So far this month, Baltimore played a series of important games in the race for one of the two Wild Cards in the American League. Therefore, the experienced players on Baltimore's roster were used in these games, leaving less room for younger (and less experienced) players to be inserted. But of course, for these players, being with the team during these important games at the big league-level is part of a learning process for them.

On Tuesday, the Orioles were eliminated for the Wild Card after losing 3-2 to the Blue Jays in 10 innings. Last Monday, the Orioles lost third baseman Manny Machado, who suffered a torn knee ligament after slipping off of first base when he hit a single in the seventh inning. Machado will be out for six to eight weeks. He was replaced by pinch-runner Alexi Casilla, who became the new second baseman (Flaherty moved from second to third base). In the eighth inning, Casilla hit his head against the knee of rightfielder Nick Markakis when he dove to catch a blooper. Casilla remained in the game, but was replaced after the inning.

When he took the field in the first inning, Jonathan Schoop became the 30th player in history of Dutch origin to play in the Major League. Three Dutch-born players already made their debut at the end of the 19th century! In 1871, Rynie Wolters was the first and he played on the highest level for three seasons. In 1894 and 1897, John Houseman was the second Dutch-born player, followed in 1895 by John Otten.

It then took until 1970 for the next Dutch-born player to make his Major League-debut, which was pitcher Bert Blyleven with the Minnesota Twins. Blyleven, the Pitching Coach of the Netherlands Baseball Team during the World Baseball Classic in 2009 and this year, pitched for 22 seasons in the Major League and was elected into the Hall of Fame in 2011.

While born in the Netherlands, these four players all were raised in the USA, as they moved there at a very early age. The first Dutch-born and raised player to make his Major League-debut was pitcher Win Remmerswaal, who pitched for the Boston Red Sox in 1979 and 1980.

The first Curaçao-born and raised player in the Major League was Hensley Meulens in 1989 and the first Aruban-born and raised player in the Majors was Eugène Kingsale in 1996.

When not counting the four Dutch-born players who weren't raised in the Netherlands and also not count pitcher Pedro Strop (who was born and partially raised in the Dominican Republic), Schoop became the 25th Dutch player in the big league, who were born and raised in either the Netherlands or on Curaçao or Aruba.

(September 25)

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