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Updated: January 27, 2013
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Former player/coach Jersey van Doornspeek passed away


...Jersey van Doornspeek...
(1947 - 2013)

(© Photo: BB Academy Kennemerland)

VELSEN-ZUID (Neth.) - January 2013 is a very sad month for, as we have to say farewell to yet another respected and well-loved member of the Dutch baseball and softball family, as former player and coach Jersey van Doornspeek passed away on Saturday, January 26 at age 65 due to a severe illness.

In this month, we unfortunately also had to say goodbye to Co Pikee (former team manager and 'does-it-all' at Hoofddorp Pioniers), Pierre Wesselink (former district-official and very actively involved with DSS), Cees Rietkerk (former regional boardmember in The Hague), Ron Fraser (former manager Dutch National Baseball Team) and Joop Knegt (former umpire and active in umpiring committee in the Rotterdam-region).

On Thursday, January 31, from 7-7:45 PM, it is possible to say goodbye to Jersey at Uitvaartverzorging IJmond, Waalstraat 101 in IJmuiden. The memorial ceremony will be held on Friday, February 1 at 4 PM at Begraafplaats Westerveld, Duin en Kruidbergerweg 2-6 in Driehuis.

Jersey Andrew Claudio van Doornspeek (who was born on October 30, 1947 in Willemstad, Curaçao) started his playing career in the Netherlands with Terrasvogels. There, he was one of the team's outfielder for several years, which included two hightlight-seasons. In 1969, Van Doornspeek played an important part in the success of the team that year. Terrasvogels won the First Division-championship and therefore promoted to the Dutch big league. In 1970, Terrasvogels played in the highest division for the first time in its history. It was to be the lone season for the club in the big league, but the team from Santpoort belongs to the clubs that has played in the top league.

On May 3, 1970, Jersey made his debut in the big league. In his rookie-season, he played in all 28 regular season-games and batted .240 with three homeruns, 15 runs scored and eight runs batted in. Despite the fact that Terrasvogels relegated back to the First Division, Jersey initially stayed with the club.

In 1974, he played one season for Birds in Zoetermeer on a lower level, then was asked to come to Haarlem Nicols. It was with Haarlem Nicols where Jersey van Doornspeek played his most seasons and games in the big league (1975-1980). It was the period in which Haarlem Nicols became one of the most successful teams in Dutch baseball.

...Jersey van Doornspeek as picher...
...during the Senior World Series...
...of 1994 in Phoenix (Arizona)...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
In 1975, his first season with Nicols, Van Doornspeek batted .295 with four homeruns and 22 runs scored. With Nicols, he celebrated not only the Dutch championship-title that year, but also captured the European Cup. In 1976 and 1977, Nicols again was the Dutch champion. Van Doornspeek, who also was used as a pitcher sometimes, had another fine season with Nicols in 1979 when he batted .300.

In 1981 and 1982, Van Doornspeek played in the outfield for Utrecht-based UVV. In 1982, his final year in the big league, Jersey batted .342 with 50 basehits and scored 39 runs, only three behind league-leader Marcel Joost of Haarlem Nicols.

Jersey van Doornpeek always has been modest, both on and off the field, but he always smiled. As a player, he was a solid fielder and hitter. He did what he had to do and was a great team-player. It was his character, drivenness and enthusiasm that made Jersey a well-respected and beloved person in Dutch baseball.

After concluding his big league-career, Van Doornspeek continued playing on a lower level. He did so for some seasons with Kinheim, where he played in team with former big league-players. With this team, he participated in some Senior World Series in the USA, being joined by players like Jan Smidt, Wim Crouwel, Ruud Zijlstra, Ricky Placidus, Hans van Driel Krol, Fokke Jelsma and Ed Halman and coached by Simon Heemskerk.

...Jersey and his son Robin...
(© Photo:
Van Doornspeek had great knowledge of the game and after concluding his playing career, it was only logical that he started coaching. Jersey had eyes for details, which he showed in his years as a coach, clinician and instructor. He also shared his knowledge with sponsors and their invitees of the Haarlem Baseball Week, visiting their boxes during the event. Besides that, he served as instructor during regional training camps of the Dutch Federation.

A few years ago, Van Doornspeek returned to Terrasvogels. There, in 2009 and 2010, he handled the practice sessions of the baseball-team. In 2010, the team promoted to the First Division and in 2011, Van Doornspeek took over the coaching. It was a special season, as one of Jersey's players was his son Robin, who also had played in the big league as a pitcher and was a member of the Dutch National Baseball Team for several years, including participation in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens (Greece). The 2011 season got an even bigger meaning afterwards. In 1971, Terrasvogels introduced a trophy for the best hitter of its baseball-team. Back then, Jersey was the first recipient and now, 40 years later, his son Robin won the award. Jersey's daughter Carola played in the Dutch softball big league with Terrasvogels in 1997.

Before returning to Terrasvogels, Van Doornspeek also coached for Rooswijk and Sparks Haarlem and in recent years, he conducted clinics at several clubs with Robin. In 2009, he became one of the first instructors of the National Baseball and Softball Clinic, which stages annual youth clinics. Due to his illness, he was unable to be active as an instructor last year. Since its beginning in 2009, Jersey also was affiliated with the Future Stars Program of Baseball Academy Kennemerland Rabbits, where he was one of the coaches and instructors. He also was the Head Coach there of Kennemerland Rabbits, the Little League baseball team of the Academy.

Jersey van Doornspeek will surely be missed by his many friends and all who have known him. The webmaster of Grand Slam * Stats offers his condolences to his family and wishes them lots of strength.

(January 27)

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