Grand Slam * Stats & News
Updated: June 26, 2018
Scores & Statistics
Baseball Scores & Stats
Softball Women Scores & Stats
Copyright © 1997-2018
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
International Baseball
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2018 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Yvonne Krabbendam)

Umpire Henri van Heijningen in action in Prague Baseball Week

PRAGUE 4 / PRAGUE (Czech Rep.) - The 37th edition of the annual Prague Baseball Week went underway with four games on Tuesday (June 26). The event takes place at the beautiful Eagles Praha Complex in the Czech capital. At the site, there are five baseball- and five softball-fields.

The history of the Prague Baseball Week begins in 1979 after the National Team of then-Czechoslovakia traveled for the first time to the Netherlands for a series of games. Hereafter, the idea was born for a tournament and in 1980, a series of exhibition games is played between some international teams in Prague. The same is done in 1982. While these were only a series of exhibition games, they were played ina tournament-format and are listed as the first and second edition of what would become the Prague Baseball Week.

...Henri van Heijningen is behind the plate during the game...
...between the Czech Republic and Italy...
(© Photo: Yvonne Krabbendam)
In 1984 and 1985, for the first time, there was a real tournament-system. Both events were won by teams from the Netherlands, All Stars in 1984 and Trail Blazers in 1985. Another exhibition games-only tournament followed in 1986. But from 1987, there has been a tournament annually. In that year, Trail Blazers again won the tournament. Trail Blazers was compiled from Dutch and foreign players who play in the two highest leagues in the Netherlands. Trail Blazers also participated in 1988 and 1989. In those years, the team was accompanied by umpire Henri van Heijningen. After almost 30 years, he is now again in Prague as one of the umpires during this years tournament.

Other Dutch tournament-winners over the years include HCAW (1989), Storks (1991) and Trail Blazers (1993). In 1997, HCAW became the last Dutch club to win the event.

Participating in this years events are eight teams. The National Under-18 Team of the Czech Republic is joined by the Nationals Teams of Belarus, Poland and Russia, the National Under-18 Team of Italy, New South Wales Blue Sox from Australia and two squads with an international flavor, being 3n2 International Stars and International Future Stars.

The team of 3n2 International Stars is compiled of foreign players who are active in European baseball-competitions. Most of them come from the USA. Others come from Japan, Canada and the Netherlands, but there also is a British/German player, a Chilean/American player, a Swedish/American player, two Australian/American players and Czech guest-player Pavel Budský. The player from the Netherlands is lefthanded pitcher/outfielder Rick van Dijck, who plays for Praha Eagles in the Czech Republic. In 2015, he pitched in one game in the Dutch big league for UVV. Head Coach of the team is Kevin Roovers, who last season led Twins in the Dutch big league. Amongst his assistants is Shurty Tremus, who also was his assistant at Twins.

The International Future Stars also has several nationalities, including younger players from the USA, Sweden, Netherlands, Italy, Belarus, the Dominican Republic and Denmark. The Dutch players are Cerilio Soleana, Shair Lacrus, Jorge Vrolijk, Max Draijer, Angelo Wicklert and Tijani Dunlop. Soleana, Lacrus and Vrolijk play for Macerata Angels in Italy, Draijer and Wicklert currently play in the Dutch big league for Hoofddorp Pioniers, Dunlop plays in the big league for Silicon Storks. The team is led by Italian Andrea D'Auria. Former Dutch pitcher David Bergman is the Pitching Coach of the squad.

The coaching-staff of the Italian squad includes two wellknown former National Team-players, including John Cortese (manager) and Massimiliano Masin (pitching coach).

...Henri van Heijningen between innings during the game...
...between the Czech Republic and Italy...
(© Photo: Yvonne Krabbendam)
On the first day of action, Russia opened the event with a 4-1 win against Belarus in the afternoon. The Australian NSW Blue Sox nipped 3n2 International Stars 8-7.

In the third game of the day, International Future Stars outscored Poland 6-1. The day ended in the evening witn a 7-1 win for the Czech National Team against Italy.

Short stop Max Draijer was 0-for-5 for International Future Stars in its opening game. Tijani Dunlop was 1-3 and scored a run. Jorge Vrolijk, who played in centerfield and was the lead-off hitter, was 3-for-5, scored once and batted in a run. Shair Lacrus pitched the last inning and struckout two hitters.

Dutch umpire Henri van Heijningen today officiated at first base in the game of the 3n2 International Stars and NSW Blue Sox. The Australians trailed 4-0 after four innings, but then rallied for five runs in the fifth. The Blue Sox led 8-4 halfway the ninth inning. The international-squad then scored three runs to narrow the deficit to 8-7, but ended up short. As always, Van Heijningen was sharp noticing a balk during this game.

The tournament, which is attended by some eight Major League-scouts, was officially opened before the start of the evening-game between the National Under-18 Teams of host Czech Republic and . In that game, Henri van van Heijningen was behind the plate. Van Heijningen currently is the most experience umpire in the Dutch big league. Last weekend, he officiated in his 700th official regular season-game at the highest level.

During the Opening Ceremony, Petr Ditrich, President of the Czech Baseball Association, adressed the attendees. Hereafter, the ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Zdeněk Kovářík, the Vice-Mayor of Praha 4, which is one of five municipalities in Prague and is the location of the Eagles Praha Complex. Praha 4 is one of the 22 Administrative Districts within the capital city of Prague. All Districts have their own Mayor.

(June 26)

Thank you for visiting this site.
Mail your suggestions and questions to
Copyright © 1997-2018 Marco Stoovelaar / Grand Slam * Stats & News.