(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Henk Seppen)
Fred van Groningen Schinkel and Robert Eenhoorn inducted into Dutch Hall of Fame
NIEUWEGEIN (Neth.) -
Former baseball-umpire Fred van Groningen Schinkel and former baseball-player/coach/technical director Robert Eenhoorn are the newest inhabitants of the Netherlands Baseball and Softball Hall of Fame.
The two were officially inducted on Saturday (December 8) during the annual Congress of the Royal Netherlands Baseball and Softball Association (KNBSB).
The last time that someone was elected into the Hall of Fame was last year.
In February 2017, Gé van Berkel was inducted and in August, Olga Lablans was posthumously inducted.
With the addition of Van Groningen Schinkel and Eenhoorn, there are now 53 members of the Dutch Hall of Fame.
Also during the Congress on Saturday, the annual Leen Volkerijk Award and Nol Houtkamp Award were handed out.
The Leen Volkerijk Award (baseball) went to Charles Urbanus, the Nol Houtkamp Award (softball) was handed out to Rieke Dirks.
...Fred van Groningen Schinkel during...|
...his final game in 2017...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
The Slugger was handed out to Jos Peeters for his activities in G-baseball/softball, while Onze Gezellen was named Club of the Year.
With the handing out of these Awards, all postseason-awards have now been handed out.
In the first weeks of November, all individual awards for the best players in this season's highest Dutch baseball- and softball-leagues were handed out.
Leen Volkerijk & Nol Houtkamp Awards Slugger & Club of the Year
Baseball Awards Softball Awards
In May 1983, the Netherlands Baseball and Softball Museum with Hall of Fame was founded to remember the rich history of baseball and softball in the Netherlands.
The exhibition room of the Museum is located at the Pim Mulier Stadium in Haarlem and frequently is open for the public, especially during events in the stadium, such as the Baseball Week Haarlem or other international tournaments.
In November 1983, the inaugural class of nine persons from the period 1912-1940 was elected for induction in the Hall of Fame.
A second class, with 13 persons from the period 1940-1956, was elected in 1984.
The following year, 1985, a group of twelve persons from the period 1956-1977 was elected to complete the first entries into the Dutch Hall of Fame.
Hereafter, candidates from all eras from both baseball and softball became eligible.
From 1988 on, there have been several elections to add newcomers to the Hall of Fame.
Unlike other Halls of Fame, there is no annual election with a list of candidates to choose from.
To become eligible for the Netherlands Hall of Fame, someone has to be nominated by someone first.
Thereafter, the Election Committee will vote.
When someone receives the necessary total of votes, a date will be set to induct the newest Hall of Famer.
Through this process, only 19 persons were added since 1988.
Fred van Groningen Schinkel is only the fourth baseball-umpire and the first since 1989 to be elected into the Hall of Fame.
The others are Co Hetem (1984), Evert van Tuyl (1985) and Piet Schijvenaar (1989).
Elected in the first group in 1983 were M.C. (Maarten) Bakker and Emile Bleesing, who both also were umpiring pioneers, but they were mainly elected for the long administrative career and their important contributions to the development in baseball in the early years.
In 2005, Dries de Zwaan was also elected for a combination of contributions, including administrative positions in board and commisions, plus his work as a journalist.
But he also is the lone softbal-umpire in the Hall of Fame.
On July 22 last year, Van Groningen Schinkel officiated in his final game, retiring in his record 46th season in the highest Dutch baseball-league.
This is by far the most ever by a Dutch umpire at the highest level.
Fred van Groningen Schinkel started his umpiring career in the District The Hague in 1967 and climbed via several levels to the Dutch big league.
On May 6, 1972, he made his debut in the highest league when he was at first base in the game between HCK (Kinheim) and OVVO.
After making his umpiring debut on August 5, 1967, Van Groningen Schinkel went on to officiate in almost 2,700 games.
This includes more than 1,200 regular season-games in the Dutch big league.
The other games he officiated were in Play-Offs, Play-Downs, Holland Series, lower divisions and during international tournaments.
...Fred van Groningen Schinkel officiated in almost 2700 games...|
...including more than 1200 in the big league...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In his long and impressive career, Van Groningen Schinkel officiated in more than 80 international events after having become an international umpire in 1977.
Since that year, he umpired in severla big events, including the Olympic Games of 1996 (Atlanta, USA) and 2004 (Athens, Greece), the first World Baseball Classic in 2006, four World Championships, nine European Championships, 15 Haarlem Baseball Weeks, 11 World Port Tournaments and many more events.
Since 2005, Van Groningen Schinkel is active as a Technical Commissioner during international events, organized by the European Baseball Confederation (CEB).
Robert Eenhoorn played in the Dutch big league, but he got his biggest accomplishments playing professionally and as a baseball-coach and later during his work as Technical Director of the KNBSB.
Eenhoorn played in the Dutch big league in only six full, four with Neptunus (1986, 1989, 1999-2000) and two with Haarlem Nicols (1987-1988).
He also played briefly for Neptunus during the 1984 season when the club relegated from the highest league, then played for the team in 1985 in the First Division.
In 1990, he played in a few games for Neptunus, but the left to start his professional career.
In June 1990, he was drafted and signed to a professional contract by the New York Yankees.
On April 27, 1994, Eenhoorn made his debut in the Major League, playing for the Yankees.
With that, he became the third Netherlands-born and raised player to reach the Major League, preceeded by pitcher Win Remmerswaal in 1979 (Boston Red Sox) and outfielder Rikkert Faneyte in 1993 (San Francisco Giants).
Eenhoorn went on to play in three games for the Yankees in 1994, five in 1995 and 12 in 1996.
In September 1996, the infielder was put on waivers, them selected by the California Angels, for whom he played in six games in the remainder of the season.
In 1997, Eenhoorn played in eleven games for the team, which then was named Anaheim Angels.
In his second to last MLB-game, Eenhoorn hit his lone homerun.
In 1998, he played in the Triple-A team of the New York Mets, then returned home later that year.
In total, Eenhoorn played in 37 Major League-games, hitting .239 (16-for-67) with three doubles and one homerun.
He scored seven runs and batted in ten.
...Robert Eenhoorn with the Netherlands...|
...during the 2013 World Baseball Classic...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
After returning to the Netherlands in 1998, Eenhoorn re-joined Neptunus.
As he was not eligible to play in the remainder of the season for Neptunus, he joined the coaching-staff.
In 1999 and 2000, Eenhoorn was the playing/head coach of Neptunus and led the team to the Dutch Championship-title in both seasons.
In 2000, he was named Most Valuable Player and also won the Coach of the Year Award, becoming the first (and only) one to win both awards in the same season.
In the same year, he participated with the Netherlands Baseball Team in the Olympic Games in Sydney (Australia).
Eenhoorn retired as a player after the 2000 season to focus entirely on coaching.
In 2001, Eenhoorn again led Neptunus, but earlier in the year, he also was named Manager of the Netherlands National Baseball Team.
He went on to lead the National Team for eight years (2001-2008).
In that span, the Orange squad won four consecutive European Championship-titles (2001, 2003, 2005, 2007) and qualified for participation in the Olympic Games of 2004 and 2008.
In 2013, he returned in uniform for the Netherlands Team shortly before the World Baseball Classic to be the Bench Coach of Manager Hensley Meulens.
In 2009, Eenhoorn became the Technical Director of the KNBSB.
In that position, he strenghtened the ties with Major League Baseball, which included the addition of more professional players to the Netherlands Team-roster.
In 2011, that led to the Netherlands winning the title at the World Championship in Panama.
It also formed the basis for more international successes during the World Baseball Classic.
The Netherlands qualified for participation for all four editions and went on to reach the Semi-Final in 2013 and 2017.
...Robert Eenhoorn as Technical Director of the KNBSB...|
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
As Technical Director, Eenhoorn also introduced the first Baseball Academy in Europe.
Several Academies were founded in the Netherlands, who played in their own competitions.
Other European countries later also copied the format of the Baseball Academies.
Eenhoorn left his position as Technical Director in 2014 to become the General Director of soccer club AZ in Alkmaar.
Eenhoorn is the eighth baseball-coach to be elected into the Netherlands Hall of Fame, joining John Heyt (1984), Charles Urbanus Sr. (1984), Bill Arce (1985), Ron Fraser (1985), Henk Keulemans (1985), Charles Urbanus Jr. (1997) and Jan Dick Leurs (2009).
While also being a baseball-coach, Gé Hoogenbos was elected for a combination of contributions, including development, writing about baseball as a journalist and in books and taking many initiatives, including the idea for the Haarlem Baseball Week.
Arce and Fraser only coached the Netherlands Team for a few years, but they were elected for their many contributions to the development of baseball in the Netherlands.
At the moment of his induction, Urbanus Jr. was elected primarily for his career as a player.
He is one of only eight inductees to be chosen for their career as a player in baseball.
The others being Cor Wilders (1983), Rob Hoffmann (1984), Roel de Mon (1984), Hamilton Richardson (1984), Han Urbanus (1984), Herman Beidschat (1985) and Marcel Joost (2005).
Slugger for Jos Peeters (G-baseball/softball); Onze Gezellen Club of the Year. (December 8, 2018)
Rieke Dirks and Charles Urbanus win Nol Houtkamp and Leen Volkerijk Awards. (December 8, 2018)
Dwayne Kemp MVP, Diegomar Markwell Best Pitcher 2018 (baseball). (November 9, 2018)
Dinet Oosting MVP, Stephanie Trzcinski Best Pitcher 2018 (softball). (November 9, 2018)
Olga Lablans inducted into Dutch Hall of Fame. (August 23, 2017)
Baseball-umpire Fred van Groningen Schinkel retires. (July 22, 2017)
Gé van Berkel inducted into Dutch Hall of Fame. (February 18, 2017)
Loek Loevendie newest member Dutch Hall of Fame. (October 4, 2014)