Umpire Henri van Heijningen active in Spain
VALENCIA (Spain) -
Dutch big league-umpire Henri van Heijningen is the first to get into action internationally this season.
The veteran umpire currently is in Valencia (Spain) to officiate games during an international tournament on the newly renovated complex of Baseball Club Astros.
Van Heijningen is the lone foreign umpire in the tournament, where he is surrounded by Spanish colleagues.
The event is the EuroCopa Valencia 2014, which is the inaugural international tournament for European Baseball Academies.
Participating in the event are four teams compiled from the Baseball Academies in France, Germany, Italy and host Spain, which are Under-19 teams.
On Day 1 of the tournament on Thursday, Germany nipped Spain 6-5, while Italy narrowly won vs. France with a 3-2 score.
The event is played under the auspices of the Los Angeles Dodgers Major League-organisation.
The complex is the Astros is located in the garden of the former Turia river.
In 2009, it was the site of the European Softball Championship, where the Netherlands Softball Team captured the title, remaining unbeaten.
One million Euro is invested to renovate the complex in Valencia, which now has an artificial surface.
Bob Engle, Vice-President of International Scouting for the Dodgers, stated that the complex meets all conditions to have a tournament of this caliber.
Not only because of the facilities, but also the climate and the sports culture of the city.
It is expected that the field will host more international tournaments in the future.
The tournament ends on Sunday, March 2.