(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Henk Seppen)
Ralph Milliard new Head Coach HCAW
BUSSUM (Neth.) -
Ralph Milliard has been named as new Head Coach of Mr. Cocker HCAW, the club announced late Tuesday-evening (September 23).
Milliard succeeds Ivan Rodriguez, who stepped down recently.
Milliard will be assisted next season by Marlon Frolijk and Robbert Keetelaar.
Frolijk was the Head Coach of the HCAW Rookie League-team this year, but also assisted Rodriguez at the main squad.
Keetelaar will return as Pitching Coach.
With this appointment, Milliard returns to the club, where he played 10 seasons himself.
This season, Milliard was the Head Coach of Twins.
In his first year with the club, he led Twins to the top of the 'Overgangsklasse', the second highest division.
With DSS, Twins remained in the race for the league-championship until the final game of the season.
Last weekend, the two teams met in a deciding 2-game series.
Twins shutout DSS 5-0 on Saturday at home, but then lost 8-7 on Sunday in Haarlem to finish in second place, trailing only three points behind DSS.
With the win, DSS captured the championship and now will meet Mampaey The Hawks, the last placed team of the big league, in a best-of-five.
The winner of that series, which opens next Saturday, will play in the highest league next year.
...New Head Coach HCAW...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Milliard made his debut in the Dutch big league, playing for HCAW in 1990.
Milliard then signed a professional contract with the Florida Marlins in 1992 and left HCAW after three seasons.
While playing for HCAW, Milliard, who is considered one of the best Dutch short stops in history, also played for the Netherlands National Baseball Team.
He made his professional debut in 1993 playing in 53 games in the Rookie League-team of the Marlins.
Milliard climbed steadily in the organization and made his Major League-debut on May 12, 1996 with the Marlins.
As second baseman, Milliard played in 24 big league-games that season for the Marlins and added eight more in the 1997 season.
In February 1998, Milliard was traded to the New York Mets, where he played ten more Major League-games.
In February 1999, Milliard was traded again, this time to the Cincinnati Reds, where he played in the Double-A that season.
He then played in the organization of the San Diego Padres in 2000, playing in 108 games at the Triple-A level.
The stay with the Padres lasted one year, as he played with the Cleveland Indians in 2001, where he played in only five games in Triple-A.
Milliard played professionally for nine seasons, and in total played in 42 Major League-games, hitting .172 (16-for-93) with 12 runs scored and three runs batted in.
Milliard returned back home in 2002 and then re-joined HCAW.
After the 2008 season, Milliard retired as player.
In the following year, he was the Head Coach of the HCAW Rookie Team and also was an instructor during the Mr. Cocker HCAW Baseball School in the winter months.
In 2011, Milliard was one of the Assistant Coaches at Corendon Kinheim.
There, he also was the 3B Coach for Head Coach Eelco Jansen in 2012, but both left shortly after the start of the Play-Offs later in the season.