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Updated: October 20, 2018
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2018 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Jan Kruijdenberg & Marco Stoovelaar)

Brian Finnegan new Head Coach of Amsterdam Pirates

AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Brian Finnegan is the new Head Coach of L&D Amsterdam Pirates, the club announced on Saturday-evening (October 20). While Finnegan's name already circulated in Amsterdam for some weeks and while several reports stated he was to become the new Head Coach, the club initially didn't want to confirm whether or not he was a candidate for the position. Finnegan succeeds Charles Urbanus, who confirmed on Sunday, October 7 after completion of the Holland Series that he steps down.

...Brian Finnegan as Coach of...
...Amsterdam Pirates...
...Rookies in 2014...
(© Photo: Jan Kruijdenberg)
Earlier this year, Urbanus already had informed the club that he would step down, as it is currently impossible for him to combine coaching with his regular job. ,,But this will be no retirement yet'', Urbanus stated. ,,I like coaching too much and probably will be back in the future.''

Brian Finnegan is no stranger to Amsterdam Pirates, as he had been the Head Coach of the team for two seasons 15 years ago. Finnegan led the squad at the big league-level in 2002 and 2003.

Since 2014, Finnegan is a member of the coaching-staff of the second team of Amsterdam Pirates in the second highest league ('Overgangsklasse'). That staff was led since 2016 by Glenn Romney, who was named Head Coach of the big league-squad of Cityside Apartments Quick Amersfoort on September 27, succeeding Marco Wels.

Finnegan has a long career of more than 35 years in coaching baseball in the Netherlands. In 1984, he played and coached at Run '71 in Oldenzaal, a year later, Finnegan was playing coach for Amsterdam-based De Volewijckers. In the early nineties, the American first coached the baseball-team of Badhoevedorp. After the 1990 season, Finnegan succeeded Leo Vonk as Head Coach of the team. In his first season with Badhoevedorp, the team finished in third place in the First Division, which then (just as today) was the third highest league. Playing for Badhoevedorp that season were former big league-players Bart van der Voort and Johan Urbanus and future big leaguer Jerry Brohm. Playing in for Badhoevendorp in 1993 were former big leaguers Pierre Corten, Cesar Aquino and Erik Boland. Since a few years, Boland is the Chairman of the Board of Badhoevedorp.

...Brian Finnegan with Ritchie Daal at Pirates in...
...2003, Finnegan led the main-squad, while...
...Daal was the Coach of Pirates-2...
...This year, their sons Aidan Finnegan and...
...Rodney Daal played for L&D Amsterdam Pirates...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Finnegan was then succeeded as Head Coach by Guus van Dee, who currently is the President of the Organizing Committee of the Baseball Week Haarlem.

In October 2001, Finnegan was named new Head Coach of Amsterdam Pirates, succeeding Chicho Jesurun, who had become the Technical Director at Almere '90 after having led the Amsterdam-team for four years. In Finnegan's first season in Amsterdam, the team finished in eighth place in the first half of the regular season with a 7-18 record and two ties. With that, the team played the second half of the season in the Promotion/Relegation Pool. Amsterdam then finished in second place with a 12-7 record and one tie to secure its spot at the highest level for 2003.

In 2002, Ronald Stoovelaar was the Bench Coach and Didi Gregorius the Pitching Coach in the staff of Finnegan, who coached at third base himself. Gregorius threw many seasons for Amsterdam Pirates and also played for Haarlem Nicols, Sparta and Almere '90. Gregorius is the father of current Major League-short stop Didi Gregorius (New York Yankees), who was born in Dutch capital Amsterdam.

In 2003, Amsterdam Pirates finished in fifth place in the first half of the big league-season with a 12-15 record to qualify for the Championship Pool. In this Pool, Amsterdam finished in sixth place, winning two of the fifteen games played. In 2003, Finnegan was again assisted by former National Team-player Ronald Stoovelaar. Halfway the season, Michael Crouwel, also a former National Team-player, was added to the coaching-staff. Stoovelaar played his entire career for Amsterdam Pirates, playing for 17 seasons in the main-squad. Crouwel also played for Amsterdam, but also for Amstel Tijgers, Haarlem Nicols and Kinheim.

...Brian Finnegan coaching Diamonds Amsterdam in 2014...
(© Photo: Jan Kruijdenberg)
After the 2003 season, Finnegan was succeeded in Amsterdam as Head Coach by Paul Nanne. Stoovelaar and Crouwel stayed on as Assistant Coach, while Eelco Jansen became the Pitching Coach. That made it an unique coaching-staff, as all four has participated in an Olympic Games with the Netherlands Team. Currently, Stoovelaar is the Head Coach of Omron Pioniers, the second team of Hoofddorp Pioniers, while Crouwel is the Head Coach of Kinheim. Both teams play in the second highest league.

In later years, Finnegan coached several youth-teams at Amsterdam Pirates. He then became involved with Diamonds Amsterdam Baseball Academy in 2013. Finnegan not only became an instructor, but also coached several of the Academy's teams. In 2013-2016, Finnegan was the Head Coach of the Cadets Team. In 2013-2015 and 2017, he also led the Juniors Team of the Diamonds.

In 2014, Finnegan became a member of the coaching-staff of the Rookie League Team of Amsterdam Pirates, which then became the second team of the club two years later. He remained one of the coaches since 2014.

Brian Finnegan, who grew up in Holbrook, Massachusetts (USA), played in the baseball-team of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1981-1982. In those years, the team was led by wellknown Dick Bergquist, who was the Head Coach of the Amherst Minutemen in 1967-1987 and was the Head Coach of Team USA during the 1975 Intercontinental Cup.

(October 20)

Related Article:
Charles Urbanus steps down as Head Coach Amsterdam Pirates. (October 7)

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