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Updated: June 13, 2014
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Dutch connection in Minor League All Star Games

...Shawn Zarraga with Haarlem-mayor...
...Bernt Schneiders during the tribute...
...of the Dutch Baseball Team after...
...winning the World-title in 2011...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee / COMSTOCK PARK, Michigan / HICKORY, North Carolina (USA) - In the month of June, there are six All Star Games scheduled to be played in the Minor Leagues. In three of those games, there is a Dutch connection. A player who won the World Championship-title with the Netherlands National Baseball Team in 2011, a player from Curaçao and a player who was on the preliminary Dutch roster for the World Baseball Classic will play in these games! These three players are catcher Shawn Zarraga, short stop Carlton Daal and catcher Spencer Kieboom.

All three were selected for the Divisional All Star Team of their respective league, which will play in the All Star Games next Tuesday, June 17.

Catcher Shawn Zarraga was a member of the Netherlands Baseball Team that captured the World Championship-title in 2011 in Panama. There, the last World Championship 'old-style' was organized. Since last year, the World Baseball Classic has become the new global event to decided the championship.

Zarraga, who was born in Oranjestad (Aruba), plays for the Huntsville Stars, the Double-A team of the Milwaukee Brewers. He currently has played in 50 games this season and is hitting .366 (49-for-134) with 12 doubles and one homerun. Zarraga scored 25 runs and batted in 23. The 25-year old Zarraga plays professionally since 2008.

Zarraga has been named to the roster of the North Division All Star Team, which will face the South Division All Star Team in the Southern League All Star Game (Double-A). The game, which will be the 50th, will be played in Chattanooga (Tennessee) at AT&T Field, the home of the Chattanooga Lookouts. Before the game, in inaugural class of the Southern League Hall of Fame will be inducted. Included therein are former Major Leaguers as Reggie Jackson, Bo Jackson, Dale Murphy, Alan Trammell, Tim Wakefield and Ryne Sandberg.

...Carlton Daal...
(© Dayton Dragons)
Short stop Carlton Daal has been named to the roster of the Eastern Division All Star Team of the Midwest League (Single-A). The 50th Midwest League All Star Game will be played Tuesday in Comstock Park (Michigan) in Fifth Third Ballpark, the home of the West Michigan Whitecaps.

The 20-year old Daal, who was born in Willemstad (Curaçao), plays for the Dayton Dragons, the Single-A team of the Cincinnati Reds. This season, Daal has played in 60 games and is hitting .318 (67-for-211) with four doubles and two triples. He scored 26 runs and batted in 21. Daal made his professional debut last season after being signed in August 2012.

Catcher Spencer Kieboom is one of the players on the roster of the Northern Division All Star Team in the South Atlantic League (Single-A). The 55th South Atlantic League All Star Team will be played Tuesday in Hickory (North Carolina) in L.P. Frans Stadium, the home of the Hickory Crawdads.

Kieboom plays for the Hagerstown Suns, the Single-A team of the Washington Nationals. He is one of six players of the team named to the All Star-roster. Also, the team's Manager Patrick Anderson, Pitching Coach Sam Narron and Hitting Coach Luis Ordaz have been named to the coaching staff.

One of Kieboom's teammates in the All Star Game will be Mike Yastrzemski, who plays for Delmarra Shorebirds (Baltimore Orioles) and will be the starting rightfielder. He is the grandson of famous outfielder Carl Yastrzemski, who played 23 seasons for the Boston Red Sox. 'Yaz' played in 3308 Major League-games and collected 3419 basehits. Mike Yastrzemski's father Mike Yastrzemski (Sr.) also played professionally from 1984-1988 in the organization of the Chicago White Sox, but also has a link with the Netherlands. In 1982, he participated in the Haarlem Baseball Week with the team of Mississippi State University.

...Spencer Kieboom with his...
...father Alswinn Kieboom...
(© Photo: Alswinn Kieboom)
So far this season, the 23-year old Kieboom has played in 34 games and is hitting .321 (43-for-134) with 11 doubles, one triple and three homeruns. He scored 23 runs and batted in 20.

Last year, Kieboom missed almost the entire season due to an injury. He played in only four games for the Rookie League-team of the Nationals and underwent Tommy John-surgery. Kieboom was drafted in 2012 and made his professsional debut later that year.

In January last year, Kieboom was named to the preliminary roster of the Netherlands Baseball Team for the World Baseball Classic, as well as Zarraga. Both didn't made the final roster for the event due to injuries.

Kieboom, who was born in Marietta (Georgia, USA), is the son of Dutchman Alswinn Kieboom. As a catcher, Kieboom Sr. played in the Dutch big league for Twins and HCAW and was a member of the Dutch National Junior Team, but moved to the States at a young age. Alswinn's other son, 21-year old Trevor Kieboom is a righthanded pitcher/infielder, who played for the Clemson University. This season, Trevor was the third baseman for the Pirates, the team of Chattahoochee Valley Community College, with whom he particpated in the JUCO World Series (NJCAA Division I, Junior College) last month in Grand Junction (Colorado). In the first game of the Pirates, he played at 3rd base and was 1-for-3 with two RBI's in an 8-6 win vs. Delgado. Two days later, he was 0-for-4 in a 10-2 loss vs. Blinn. The next day, the Pirates were eliminated after an 18-3 loss vs. Spartanburg Methodist. In this game, Kieboom hit a 2-run homerun in the first inning to give the Pirates a brief lead. He also was the third baseman in the final two games.

Three more All Star Games will be played this month. Coming Saturday, the Florida League All Star Game (Single-A) will be played in Bradenton (Florida). Also on Tuesday, the California League/Carolina League All Star Game (Single-A) will be played in Wilmington (Delaware). And on June 24, the Texas League All Star Game (Double-A) will be played in North Little Rock (Arkansas). But there is no Dutch connection in these three games.

In July (2) and August (2), four more Minor League All Star Games are scheduled. The roster-announcements for these games are yet to be made.

(June 13)

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