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Updated: November 9, 2018
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Copyright © 1997-2018
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2018 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Henk Seppen & Alfred Cop)

Dwayne Kemp Most Valuable Player; Diegomar Markwell Best Pitcher 2018

NIEUWEGEIN (Neth.) - Dwayne Kemp of Dutch Champion Curaçao Neptunus is the Most Valuable Player of the 2018 season in the Dutch big league. Veteran lefthander Diegomar Markwell (also Neptunus) won the Award for Best Pitcher. For Kemp, this is the first time that he is the MVP of the highest division. Markwell won his second Best Pitcher Award, but his first since 2006.

It marks the third time that both the MVP and Best Pitcher are playing for Neptunus. The last time that both Awards went to Neptunus was in 2005 when Dirk van 't Klooster was the MVP and Rob Cordemans was the Best Pitcher. The first time that Neptunus won both Awards was in 1981. Back then Eddy Tromp was the MVP and Steve Donovan the Best Pitcher.

Last year, the winners of these Awards also played for the same team, as Danny Rombley (MVP) and Rob Cordemans (Best Pitcher) of L&D Amsterdam Pirates won. Since 2005, it now has happened eight times that both awards went to players of the same team. After Neptunus won both Awards in 2005, Hoofddorp Pioniers won both in 2009. Thereafter, the MVP and Best Pitcher played for Amsterdam Pirates five times (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017). Overall, it was the 19th time that both the MVP and Best Pitcher played for the same team.

For the first time in history, the KNBSB Awards were not handed out during a get-together evening at one location where the best players in both baseball and softball are honored. Since the first time that Awards were handed out in 1953, it always was done at one location in 65 consecutive years in different cities, including Amsterdam, Haarlem, Hoofddorp, Rotterdam and Nieuwegen. Last year, the Awards were handed out at Claus Park Collection in Hoofddorp.

This year, the KNBSB introduced a new way of handing out the Awards using social media to do so. In the first days of November, Norbert van Oosterhout, who was one of the co-hosts of the Award-evening two years ago, traveled throughout the country to the homes of the nominees and winners to hand out the Awards for the Best Players in the regular season. There, he surprised the players and the results could be seen in short items on YouTube. With this, the KNBSB hoped to reach a bigger audience, as the short items of course could (and can) be seen by everyone. On the other hand, as the Awards were handed out on different days and on different locations, no one (for example members of the media and photographers, teammates or club-boardmembers), was able to attend the handing out of the Awards in person, except for some family-members or friends who just happen to be at the home of the winner or the nominee. And of course, we don't have a group photo now with all the winners.

Some of the other Awards that normally were handed on 'the evening' in previous years, already have been handed out earlier. The Roel de Mon Award, Ron Fraser Award (both baseball), Riet Vermaat Trophy and Bep van Beijmerwerdt Trophy (both softball) were all handed out on Wednesday, September 19 during the Super 6 Baseball Softball in Hoofddorp. The Egbert van der Sluis Award (softball) was handed out on Sunday, October 14 during the Season's Final Softball in Haarlem. On Saturday, November 3, two new Awards for Official of the Year were handed out during a meeting of Game-Officials in Almere.

Some Awards still have to be handed out. The Leen Volkerijk Award (baseball), Nol Houtkamp Award (softball), Club Official of the Year Award, Club of the Year Award and the Slugger will be handed out on December 8 during the annual KNBSB Congress in Nieuwegein.

(November 9)

Go here for the Softball Awards 2018

...Dwayne Kemp...
...Most Valuable Player...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

Most Valuable Player

Dwaye Kemp (Curaçao Neptunus) not only was named Most Valuable Player for the first time in his career, he also was nominated for the first time for the Award.

However, it was the fifth time that Kemp won an Award. He also was the Best Hitter of this season. In 2016, he was the MVP of the Holland Series and in 2011, he won the Award for Most Stolen Bases and the Guus van der Heijden Memorial Trophy.

Kemp batted .407 (68-for-167) this season to also become the Best Hitter in the highest league. The infielder also led in Slugging Average (.539), Basehits (68), Runs Batted In (41) and Total Bases (90). He was fifth in On Base Percentage with .429 and was seventh in Runs Scored (29). Kemp struckout nine times.

Besides leading Neptunus in Batting Average, Slugging Average, Basehits, RBI's and Total Bases, Kemp led the Rotterdam-team in Sacrifice Flies (5) and Stolen Bases (20). Defensively, Kemp made four errors in 128 chances, which gave him a .969 Fielding Average. He had 88 assists and participated in 15 double plays.

Kemp led in hitting and RBI's, but as he hit only one homerun, he missed winning a Triple Crown.

MVP's, Neptunus
1980Eddy Tromp
1981Eddy Tromp
2000Robert Eenhoorn
2005Dirk van 't Klooster
2018Dwayne Kemp
In six of the previous seven years, the Most Valuable Player played for Amsterdam Pirates. Last year, it was the eleventh time that the award went to a Pirates-player, which set a record.

It was only the fifth time that a player of Neptunus to be named MVP and the first time since 2005 when Dirk van 't Klooster won the Award. Eddy Tromp was MVP twice (1980, 1981) while playing for Neptunus.

...Nominated Players for MVP Award...
...Kenny Berkenbosch, Roelie Henrique & Shurman Marlin...
(© All Photos: Henk Seppen)
Dwayne Kemp was one of four players nominated for the MVP Award. The other nominees were Kenny Berkenbosch (L&D Amsterdam Pirates), Roelie Henrique (HCAW) and Shurman Marlin (De Glaskoning Twins). All four were nominated for the first time for the MVP Award.

Kenny Berkenbosch led Amsterdam Pirates in Slugging Average (.503) and was second in Batting Average (.330), On Base Percentage (.451), Runs Scored 33), Basehits (44) and Homeruns (4). Berkenbosch was third best for Amsterdam with 29 RBI's and shared the lead with 12 Doubles.

Roelie Henrique led HCAW in several categories, including Batting Average (.352), Slugging Percentage (.430), On Base Percentage (.440), Basehits (45), Homeruns (2) and Stolen Bases (21). He was third best at HCAW with 19 Runs Scored.

With a .289 Batting Average, Shurman Marlin led Twins, which this year reached the Play-Off for the first time. Marlin was second best with 28 RBI's and third best in Slugging Average (.407) and On Base Percentage (.368). His 39 Basehits were fourth best of the team.

...Diegomar Markwell...
...Best Pitcher...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

Best Pitcher

Diegomar Markwell (Curaçao Neptunus) was named Best Pitcher for the second time in his long career. Markwell first won the Award in 2006. The lefthander was nominated for the Award three times (2009, 2012, 2013).

Markwell closed the season with an 11-0 record and an 1.24 ERA, which was second-best in the league behind teammate (and closer) Loek van Mil, who finished with 0.22. Despite throwing only 40 innings, Van Mil qualified for Best ERA, as pitchers needed only 34 innings this season to be eligible for the list and the Best Pitcher Award. Markwell's ERA was the best amongst starting pitchers. His Opposing Batting Average of .164 also was the best for starters. With 11, he won the most games this season, sharing the lead with Orlando Yntema, also from Neptunus. Markwell, who struckout only 50 batters, was fourth with 87 1/3 Innings Pitched in 14 games (all starts).

In the previous seven years, the Best Pitcher Award was won six times by a pitcher of L&D Amsterdam Pirates. Five of these were won by Rob Cordemans, who was the Best Pitcher last year. The other Amsterdam-pitcher to win was Kevin Heijstek in 2014.

The last time that a Neptunus-pitcher won was in 2016 when Belgian Kenny Van Den Branden was the Best Pitcher.

The last lefthanded pitcher to win the Best Pitcher Award was Markwell himself when he won in 2006. Since 2000, there has been only one other lefthanded pitcher to win the Award, which was Patrick Beljaards (Kinheim), who won in 2000.

Best Pitchers, Neptunus
1981Steve Donovan
1987Harry Koster
1989Eric de Vries
1990Eric de Vries
1996Geoffry Kohl
1999Rob Cordemans
2002Rob Cordemans
2003Rob Cordemans
2004Eelco Jansen
2005Rob Cordemans
2006Diegomar Markwell
2010Leon Boyd
2016Kenny Van Den Branden
2017Diegomar Markwell
It is the fourteenth time that a pitcher of Neptunus wins this Award. With that, the club is the recordholder.

...Nominated for Best Pitcher...
...Lars Huijer & Robin Schel...
(© Both Photos: Henk Seppen)
The other nominees for the award were Lars Huijer (Meerlease Pioniers) and Robin Schel (L&D Amsterdam Pirates). Huijer also was nominated in the past two seasons. For Schel, this was his first nomination.

Lars Huijer was third best in the league with a 1.35 ERA and finished in second place with 93 1/3 Innings Pitched. Huijer was one of only two pitchers with 100 or more Strikeouts, finishing in second place with 101 behind Chris Pfau (HCAW), who struckout 103. Huijer was 5-4.

Robin Schel led Amsterdam Pirates with an 1.41 ERA, which gave him fourth place in the league. The lefthander was 5-0 and gave up only nine earned runs, which was second best in the league. Schel started eight games this season and pitched in relief five times, striking out 44 batters.

Statistical Awards

Best Hitters, Neptunus
1980Kevin McDonald
1986Mike Gargiulo
1991Marcel Kruyt
1992Eric de Bruin
1997Marcel Kruyt
2002Dirk van 't Klooster
2005Dirk van 't Klooster
2006Raily Legito
2015Christian Diaz
2016Christian Diaz
2017Benjamin Dille
2018Dwayne Kemp
Best Hitter
Dwayne Kemp was the Best Hitter this season. The infielder closed the regular season with a .407 batting average (68-for-167) It is the first time that Kemp leads the league in hitting.

Kemp was the lone player this season to hit above .400 in the highest league. The second-best hitter was Tijmen Takke of Quick Amersfoort, who batted .381.

It marks the fourth year in a row that the Best Hitter plays for Neptunus. Last year, Benjamin Dille won the Award. In the previous two seasons, Christian Diaz was the Best Hitter.

It marks the twelfth time overall that a player of Neptunus is the leading hitter of the season.

Homerun King
The award for Homerun King this year went to Sam Kennelly (De Glaskoning Twins). The Australian infielder hit six homeruns and tied for first place with outfielder Denzel Richardson (DSS). When two (or more) players are tied in this category, the winner is the player who hit his homeruns in the least total of at bats.

It was a close finish, as Kennelly hit his six homeruns in 165 at bats, while Richardson finished the season with 166 at bats. Several years ago, the award was handed out to all players who led in homeruns, whatever the total of at bats.

Kennelly and Richardson were followed by Aldi Guzman (Silicon Storks), Quintin De Cuba (Curaçao Neptunus) and Rodney Daal (L&D Amsterdam Pirates), who all hit five homeruns.

Not counting the Holland Series MVP Award, Kennelly became the first Australian player to win one of the regular season-Awards. In 2010, Australian pitcher Dushan Ruzic (Neptunus) was the Holland Series MVP.

Kennelly also became only the second player of Twins to win one of the season-Awards. The first time was in 1996 when Patrick van Heyningen also led the league in Homeruns. Since that year, Kennelly is only the second foreign player to lead the league in Homeruns. The other was Cuban Fausto Álvarez Rizo (Amsterdam Pirates), who hit the most Homeruns in 2007. Since 1960, it is only the eighth time that a foreign player hits the most Homeruns in the Dutch big league.

Most Stolen Bases
Roelie Henrique (HCAW) led the league this season in Stolen Bases with 21. One more than a trio of players, who stole 20, being Dwayne Kemp (Curaçao Neptunus), Jarreau Martina (De Glaskoning Twins) and Denzel Richardson (DSS). Henrique was caught stealing five times.

For Henrique, this is the fourth time in six years that he wins this Award. The second baseman/outfielder also won in 2013 and 2014 when he played for L&D Amsterdam Pirates, then again in 2016 when he played for HCAW.

It was the fifth time that a player of HCAW led the league in Stolen Bases. The first to do so was Arnold Smith in 1974. It then took until 2008 before the next HCAW-player stole the most bases, which was Jermaine Esprit. Thereafter, Kody Hightower won in 2012 and Henrique in 2016.

With his fourth Stolen Base Award, Henrique ties recordholder Harm Horeman, who also led the league in Stolen Bases four times. The third baseman of Schoten and Amstel Tijgers stole the most bases in 1976, 1977, 1983 and 1984. Next on the list are Don Wedman, Eugene Henson and Johnny Balentina, who all stole the most bases three times. Since 1967, there have been only thirteen players who led the league in this category two times or more.

...Dwayne Kemp...
...Best Hitter...
...Sam Kennelly...
...Most Homeruns...
...Roelie Henrique...
...Most Stolen Bases...
(© All Photos: Henk Seppen)

...Stijn van der Meer...
...Holland Series MVP...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

Other Awards

Most Valuable Player Holland Series
The winner of this award was announced and handed out after completion of the sixth and final game of the Holland Series on Sunday, October 7. The Championship Final was won by Curaçao Neptunus, which won the best-of-seven against L&D Amsterdam Pirates, 4-2.

The Award went to short stop Stijn van der Meer of Neptunus, which captured its sixth consecutive championship-title. The short stop led Neptunus with a .455 (10-for-22) Batting Average and also led his team in Basehits (10) and Runs Scored (6). Defensively, he led the Holland Series in Assists (17).

...Sem Robberse...
...Roel de Mon Award...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
Roel de Mon Award
This award is handed out annually to the most talented youth pitcher of the year. The award is named after legendary pitcher Roel de Mon, who in 1943 set a single-season record with 235 strikeouts. De Mon, who once averaged 15 strikeouts per game in a four-year period, played for Schoten and SC Haarlem, as well as in the national team.

The Award went to Sem Robberse, who this season made his debut in the highest league pitching for HCAW. The righthander made a fine impression from the beginning. He was 1-3 with an 1.80 ERA and struckout 12 batters in 20 innings, appearing in six games (three starts). The Award was handed out on Wednesday, September 19 before the start of the game between the Netherlands and Germany during the Super 6 in Hoofddorp.

In July, Robberse was one of the pitchers of the Netherlands Under-18 Team during the European Championship in that age group. In Grosseto (Italy), the team captured the title. Robberse pitched in three games for the Orange-squad and was 1-0 with an 1.64 ERA, striking out six batters. In the Semi-Final against Italy, Robberse threw a complete game in a 12-2 victory, throwing seven ininngs.

Robberse becomes the fourth pitcher fo HCAW to win the Award, which was first handed out in 1969. The others are Robbie de Graeve, who was the first winner in 1969, Tony Kreisel (2012) and Maickel Rietel (2014).

...Darryl Collins...
...Ron Fraser Award...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Ron Fraser Award
This award is handed out to the most promising youth-player since 1962. The award is named after Ron Fraser, who was the first American Head Coach of the Netherlands National Baseball Team. He guided the Orange squad to three European Championship-titles.

This year the Award went to outfielder Darryl Collins (Curaçao Neptunus), who played in his first full season in the highest league this year. Like the Roel de Mon Award, this trophy also was handed out on Wednesday, September 19 before the start of the game between the Netherlands and Germany during the Super 6 in Hoofddorp.

The lefthanded hitting Collins batted .418 (33-for-79) in 28 games with four doubles, one triple and one homerun. He scored 13 runs and batted in 14, while stealing 12 bases. Collins hit his first big league-homerun in his final at bat of the regular season, which was a walk-off, 2-run homerun in the 12th inning against L&D Amsterdam Pirates.

In July, Collins was a member of the Netherlands Under-18 Team that captured the title at the European Championship in Grosseto (Italy). He batted .520 (13-for-25), which was second best in the team, but he led with his 13 basehits. Collins scored eight runs, batted in 11 runs and recorded three doubles, two triples and one homerun.

In August, Collins signed a professional contract with the Kansas City Royals. He will make his professional debut next year.

Collins is the sixth player of Neptunus to win the Ron Fraser Award. The others are Robert Eenhoorn (1984), Harvey Monte (1999), Sjoerd Hermans (2003), Erik van Dorp (2008) and Ruben Prins (2015).

...Ronald Jaarsma...
...Coach of the Year Award...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

Coach of the Year Award
Ronald Jaarsma, Head Coach of Curaçao Neptunus, won the Coach of the Year Award. It marks the second year in a row that Jaarsma wins the Award.

In his second season as Head Coach of Neptunus, Jaarsma led the team again to two titles. Like last year, the Rotterdam-based team won the European Champions Cup, as well as the Dutch Championship-title.

In June, Neptunus shutout Pirati dei Rimini (Italy) 5-0 in the Final of the European Champions Cup-tournament. The event was hosted this year by Neptunus on its home-site in Rotterdam, while games also were played at the site of Euro Stars in nearby Capelle a/d IJssel.

In the Holland Series, Neptunus won the best-of-seven against L&D Amsterdam Pirates 4-2 to win its sixth consecutive title.

It marks the ninth time that the Award is handed out to a coach of Neptunus. Charles Urbanus first won the Award in 1992 and 1993, then Robert Eenhoorn won in 2000 and 2001. Hereafter, in 2004, the award went to the 3-man coaching-staff of the team, which then shared equal duties, as there was no Head Coach. The members of that staff were Jan Collins, Paul van den Oever and Ben Thijssen. In 2009, Steve Janssen was the next Neptunus-coach to win the award, then Evert-Jan 't Hoen won in 2015 and Jaarsma last year. With that, Jaarsma becomes the third Neptunus-coach to win the Award in consecutive years, preceeded by Urbanus and Eenhoorn.

Jaarsma became the first coach to win the Award in consecutive years since Brian Farley won in 2010 and 2011 for his accomplisments with the Netherlands Junior Team and the Netherlands National Team.

Since 2004, this is the eighth time that the Award is going to the Head Coach of the Dutch champion. Besides Jaarsma (2017-2018), 't Hoen (2015), Janssen (2009) and the 3-man staff (2004) for Neptunus, the others were Ben Thijssen (Kinheim, 2007), Rikkert Faneyte (Amsterdam Pirates, 2008) and Hans Lemmink (Kinheim, 2012).

...Linda Steijger and Daniël Bouman with their Awards...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)

Official of the Year Award & Fred van Groningen Schinkel Award
These two new Awards were handed out on Saturday, November 3 during the annual end-of-the-season meeting of Game-Officials at the clubhouse of Almere '90 in Almere.

In the past, the Umpire of the Year Award for both baseball and softball had been handed out several times annually, but that tradition ended in 2002. Back then, the Awards were handed out to Piet Sterk (baseball) and Anne de Bruijne (softball).

Recently, it was decided to introduce three new Awards for officials. One for the Most Promising Official, one for the Official of the Year and one for the Club Official of the Year. The latter will be handed out on December 8 during the KNBSB Congress.

The Award for the Most Promising Official is named after Fred van Groningen Schinkel, who last year retired as an umpire after having officiated games in the Dutch big league for a record 46 years (1972-2017). The first winner of this Award is softball-umpire Daniël Bouman. Van Groningen Schinkel mentioned that Bouman is a very successful umpire, who got good reviews this season, not only from accompanying experienced umpires, but also from the clubs he officiated. With that, Bouman not only is a talented umpire, but also someone who can promote to the Golden League in the near future.

The Official of the Year Award was handed out to official scorer Linda Steijger, who is active in both baseball and softball. She not only is an Official Scorer for 21 years, but she also is very active in scoring development, conducting scoring courses, writing scoring scourses and translating scoring rules for both the European as well the World Federation (WBSC). Since 2002, she was a member of the Scoring Work Group, later Scoring Commission of the European Baseball Confederation (CEB) of which she became the Chairman last year. Linda Steijger made her international scoring debut in 2001, then traveled abroad as official scorer for the first time in 2006 for the World Women Baseball Championship in Taiwan. Later, she also became a Scoring Director for both baseball and softball.

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