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Updated: July 6, 2021
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Copyright © 1997-2021
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2021 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Marco Stoovelaar, Joop van Bilsen/Anefo & Jac. de Nijs/Anefo)


...Simon Heemkerk...
(1935 - 2021)
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Former big league/National Team-player and former coach Simon Heemskerk passed away

HAARLEM (Neth.) - Simon Heemskerk, who played in more than twenty seasons in the highest baseball-league in the Netherlands, passed away on Wednesday, June 30, a month after he had turned 86. In his long playing career, Heemskerk played for Schoten, EHS and Haarlem Nicols. He is part of a Championship-team eight times, winning the title with all three teams he played for. With Haarlem Nicols, he played for the first team from the Netherlands that won the European Cup. Simon Heemskerk won the European Championship-title with the Netherlands Team and also was a successful coach in the Dutch big league baseball, resulting in two more Championships and the winning of an European Cup.

The memorial service will be held on Friday, July 9 at 1:30 PM at Crematorium Westerveld at the Duin en Kruidbergerweg 2-6 in Driehuis.

Simon Cornelis Heemskerk was born on May 24, 1935 in Amsterdam. Although he was born in Amsterdam, Heemskerk played his entire career for Haarlem-based teams Schoten, EHS and Haarlem Nicols. As a coach, he was active for Haarlem Nicols and Kinheim, also both from Haarlem. Simon started playing baseball for Schoten at a young age. At age 18, he made his debut in the main-squad, as well as in the highest Dutch league which in those years was the First Division. In the first half of his long career, Heemskerk played at first base, but in the last ten seasons, he moved to the outfield.

Simon played nine seasons (1953-1961) for Schoten in the highest division and won the Championship-title four times with the team. In those years, Schoten was one of the leading teams in both Haarlem and the Dutch big league. The team, which was nicknamed 'Canaries', had several wellknown players, who also were regulars in the Netherlands National Team. Amongst them was second baseman Henk Keulemans, who was the longtime playing coach of the team, and catcher Joop Geurts.

Other teammates of Heemskerk at Schoten included Teun van den Berg, Herman van der Brugge, Teun de Groot, Jan Klein, Frans Klooster, Henk Lukkien, Hil van Maren, Johan Munsterman, Gerrit Nanne and Ruud Zijlstra.

From the beginning, Simon Heemskerk showed that he was a productive and powerful hitter, which earned him the nickname 'Tarzan' in the early years of his career. He was a contact-hitter, but also had enough power to hit extra-basehits and several homeruns each season. In 1959, he was the third best hitter of the league with a .283 batting average and finished second in the voting for Most Valuable Player behind Gé Oosterbaan (EHS).

1960 was one of the best seasons Simon Heemskerk played. During that season, Schoten played a rare scoreless, 12-inning game against EHS, which was a pitching-duel between Ruud Zijlstra (Schoten) and Herman Beidschat (EHS). Schoten collected five basehits, including two by Heemskerk. EHS got six basehits, three of them by Nol Houtkamp. In the ninth inning, Schoten came close to scoring the lone run. Simon Heemskerk hit a double and moved to third base via a sacrifice bunt by Frans Klooster. Next batter was Gerrit Nanne, who was known to be a bunt-specialist. Nanne, the father of future big league-players Paul Nanne and Tom Nanne, this time was not successful and struckout. Heemskerk stranded on third base.

...Simon Heemskerk is carried around after scoring...
...the winning run for Schoten against Sparta in...
...the Championship-game on August 27, 1960...
(© Photo: Nationaal Archief/Anefo/Joop van Bilsen)
Halfway August 1960, Heemskerk showed his power in another game against EHS. Schoten was in first place, but defending champion EHS had a chance to pass the team. However, EHS pitching-ace Herman Beidschat had a rough first inning. The righthander walked the first three batters he faced, Henk Keulemans, Herman van der Brugge and Joop Geurts. That brought up clean-up hitter Simon Heemskerk and he connected well on a delivery from Beidschat, hitting a grand slam homerun! When Beidschat also walked next batter Teun de Groot, Joop Schuitemaker was inserted as new pitcher. Afterwards, veteran Home Plate Umpire Henk de Ruiter was criticized by EHS for having a bad strike-zone in that first inning. Later in the game, Heemskerk added a solo-homerun and he batted in six runs for Schoten that wins with a 9-4 score.

Two weeks later, Schoten captured the Championship-title with a 3-2 win against Sparta in ten innings. Young righthander Ruud Zijlstra was the pitcher for Schoten, while experienced Jaap de Koning was on the mound for Sparta. The team from Rotterdam got a chance to open the score in the top of the first inning. Lead-off hitter Ton Fabrie reached on an infield-hit and moved to third base on a following error. But with the runner on third base, Zijlstra struckout Henk Hendriks and Wim Corpeleijn, then Cees de Bruin grounded out. In the bottom of the first inning, Henk Keulemans led off for Schoten with a homerun. The Haarlem-team doubled its lead in the third inning when the speedy Herman van der Brugge walked and scored on a hit by Heemskerk. Sparta got one run back in the sixth when Henk Hendriks walked and went on to score on a single by Cees de Bruin. Hendriks, who passed away last year at age 85, was the father of future big league- and Netherlands Team-player Rob Hendriks. De Bruin is the father of future big league and Netherlands Team-player Eric de Bruin, who currently is the Manager of the Netherlands Under-18 Team that participates in the European Championship in Italy. In the seventh inning, Sparta came close to tying to score. Jaap de Koning then doubled, but the inning ended with a great running catch by centerfielder Teun de Groot on a line drive by Jan van der Tol. But in the eighth, Sparta did come alongside when Ton Fabrie doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Wim Corpeleijn. The inning ends with another great catch, this time by rightfielder Herman van der Brugge, who makes another fine catch in the tenth inning. In the bottom of the tenth, Simon Heemskerk leads off for Schoten with a double. A pick-off attempt by Jaap de Koning then ends in an error, which enables Heemskerk to advance to third base. Moments later, he scored the winning run on a passed ball. Schoten is the champion of 1960 and Heemskerk is carried around the field on the shoulders of his teammates. For Schoten, this was its fourth title after 1947, 1956 and 1957. After the season, Simon Heemskerk is the Best Hitter of the highest league with a .407 batting average (24-for-59) ahead of teammate Herman van der Brugge. In fact, Van der Brugge was the third best hitter, trailing American Ike Eigen (UVV), but in those years, foreign players were not eligible for awards, as advised by American Ron Fraser, who then was the Manager of the Netherlands National Team. Heemskerk's batting average is the highest ever since the introduction of individual awards in 1953.

In 1961, Schoten again captures the Championship-title. After that season, Simon Heemskerk was asked to play for EHS by Gé Hoogenbos. He was the Head Coach of EHS and wanted to create one strong Haarlem-based team instead of having several teams. In those years, there were several successful teams from Haarlem-area playing the highest baseball-leagues, including Schoten, EHS, EDO, HCK (Kinheim), HHC, TYBB and RCH.

Heemskerk decided to play for EHS (nicknamed Bulldogs) and there, he joined a team that also included Herman Beidschat, Wim van Dusschoten, Nico van Heemskerk, Nol Houtkamp, Leo Kops, Gé Oosterbaan, Joop Schuitemaker and Ben Tromp.

In August 1962, an Amsterdam-based company specialized in floors sponsored a special election during a home-game of EHS against Sparta during Heemskerk's first season with his new club. The player with the cleanest shaved face of each team was awarded a pound of eel. The player that was the least shave won a portable radio. After the game, the players were checked by a female spectator. Wim van Dusschoten of EHS and Hamilton Richardson of Sparta won the pound of eel. The players that won the radio were Simon Heemskerk and Leen Staub.

...The Championship-team of EHS in 1962...
...Simon Heemskerk sits at right...
...Head Coach Gé Hoogenbos stands 2nd from right...
(© Photo: Nationaal Archief/Anefo/Jac. de Nijs)
In 1962, EHS captures the Championship-title. Simon Heemskerk bats .333 and finishes in second place behind rookie Boudewijn Maat, who sets a record with a .451 average. Maat plays for Schoten, where he succeeded Heemskerk as first baseman. Maat also was the Most Valuable Player in 1962.

After the 1963 season, EDO and EHS merged to become Haarlem Nicols. Simon Heemskerk continued to play for the new club with whom he wins three more Championship-titles. Gé Hoogenbos also led Nicols as Head Coach and succeeded in compiling a competitive, strong and very successful team. Haarlem Nicols was the leading baseball-team in the Netherlands through the early nineties. When Nicols was created, the best players of EDO and EHS went on to play for the new club, but also some new players from other clubs were added. Amongst them was Boudewijn Maat, who succeeded Heemskerk as first baseman at Schoten. Maat was a great defensive player, as well as a solid hitter and he became the regular first baseman for Haarlem Nicols. As Heemskerk also was still a very productive hitter, he moved to the outfield. In his ten seasons with Nicols, Heemskerk mostly played in leftfield and centerfield.

Amongst his early teammates at Haarlem Nicols were Herman Beidschat, Roel Hopman, Leo Kops, Boudewijn Maat, Robert Maat, Jan Molleman, Piet de Nieuwe, Gé Oosterbaan, Rickey Placidus, Joop Schuitemaker, Ton Terneuzen, Ben Tromp, Henk Vissers and Dolf de Zwart.

In 1965, Haarlem Nicols captures its first title. With that, the team also qualifies to participate in the European Cup-tournament in 1966. In that year, the team writes history by becoming the first club from the Netherlands to win the Cup. Back then, there were two pools in which the teams played a home and away-game against other. The pool-winners would then meet in a Final. In 1966, Nicols reached the Final and faced defending champion Europhon Milan from Italy. Nicols was the better team and defeated the Italians with a 10-4 score in the Final that was played in Haarlem. The Haarlem-team had a surprise starting pitcher, as Ton Terneuzen began instead of expected ace Herman Beidschat, who now was the second baseman. Nicols opened the score in the first inning when Simon Heemskerk singled and scored on a double by Bob Estavillo. Heemskerk and Estavillo also made some important catches in the outfield. The Italian opponent came alongside, but Nicols re-took the lead in the third inning when Robert Maat hit a 3-run homerun. Terneuzen threw a strong game and also helped himself by hitting a 3-run homerun. Boudewijn Maat and Herman Beidschat also homered.

In 1966, Heemskerk finishes in second place for Most Valuable Player behind Hamilton Richardson (Sparta). In those years, the players in first and second place were awarded a Gold and Silver Medal.

In 1967, Ben Tromp became the new Head Coach of Haarlem Nicols. From this year on, some new players also joined the team, including Nol Beenders, Arnoud Blom, Wim van Dusschoten, Ton de Jager, Fokke Jelsma, Johnny Jonkers, Cees Kuijer, Jack Leurs, Jan Dick Leurs, Leo Naaktgeboren, Joop Peeters, Dassy Rasmijn, Steef van der Sluis and Harry van der Vaart. In the early seventies, Tromp was assisted by Leo Kops, who himself was the Head Coach for one season (1972).

...Haarlem Nicols celebrates winning the European Cup in 1966...
...Simon Heemskerk sits third from left...
(Photographer unknown)
In the sixties, besides OVVO, Rotterdam-based Sparta became a contender for the title. The team, led by legendary coach John Heyt won the Championship-title five times in the sixties and nine times in a 12-year period through 1974. In 1963, Sparta became the first team outside Amsterdam or Haarlem to become the Dutch Champion. In 1969, Sparta was approaching its fifth title, but it was Haarlem Nicols (which won the title in 1968) that prevented that on August 17 in a night-game at the Pim Mulier Stadium in Haarlem. Nicols won 4-3 against Sparta in a game in which all runs were scored on homeruns, In the first inning of that game, Hamilton Richardson hit a 2-run homerun for Sparta to give the team an early lead. Nicols got one run back in the second inning when Harry van der Vaart also homered. Sparta added a run in the fourth on a homerun by Piet Bouts. Trailing 3-1, Nicols struck in the fifth inning. First, Jan Dick Leurs homered. Hereafter, Joop Peeters walked, then Simon Heemskerk homered to put Nicols ahead, 4-3. A week later, Sparta wins the title, but Nicols is the Champion again in 1970.

It was also in these years that Simon Heemskerk kept on showing how he wanted to continue to contribute for his team. In 1971, he was the oldest player of the Nicols-team, but still was one of the best and most reliable players. In a game against Storks, he made a great running catch as centerfielder, then got the ball in time on second base to complete a double play. The play saved the game for Nicols, which won 1-0 on a run scored by pinch-runner Leo Naaktgeboren in the eighth inning.

In 1972, at age 37, Simon Heemskerk played in his 20th season in the highest league and still was one of the better players of the team. And he still had some running speed also. During that season, Haarlem Nicols won 5-4 in the eleventh inning in a game against rival OVVO. It was Heemskerk, who then scored the winning run. With two outs, he hit a triple and when that was followed by an error, Heemskerk continued running to score to end the game. Heemskerk lied at home plate exhausted, but again, he underscored how driven he was to get best possible result for his team.

But after the 1973 season, at age 38, Simon Heemskerk retired after having played 21 seasons in the highest league, although he would come back two more times. Some other players also left Haarlem Nicols, including Nol Beenders, Herman Beidschat and Ton de Jager. American Darryl Southwick, who in 1973 was the Best Hitter of the league, returned home and Head Coach Ben Tromp retired.

But Haarlem Nicols remained successful. In 1974, American Wade Jensen took over the coaching, but also played himself. Halfway the 1974 season, Simon Heemskerk returned to Nicols. This time as a coach, as he did the coaching in the games when Jensen was playing himself. In the 1974 season, Haarlem Nicols won the European Cup for the second time.

...Simon Heemskerk (left) with former Netherlands Team...
...players Ton Bodaan, Boudewijn Maat, Ruud Zijlstra,...
...Hudson John, Karel Crouwel and Leo Kops...
...during a reunion at the 2011 World Port Tournament...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Simon Heemskerk was then appointed Head Coach of Haarlem Nicols for the 1975 season. American player Steve Steitz assisted him during the practice sessions. In 1975, some new players joined the team, including Alfons Beentjes, Jersey van Doornspeek, Henny Jenken, Douglas Morton, Harm Schildmeijer and Bouke Vakkers, who joined veterans Ton de Jager (who had returned), Fokke Jelsma, Jan Dick Leurs, Boudewijn Maat, Robert Maat, Leo Naaktgeboren and Harry van der Vaart. Heemskerk also played in one more game himself.

In these years, Haarlem Nicols was not always one of the easiest of teams to play for, but as Head Coach, Simon Heemskerk created a great team-atmosphere. He also became known for something doing things that were not expected. Like he did in a game in June of the 1975 season against OVVO, which the was one of the top-teams in the league. Nicols got runners on first and second base in the first inning with the team's best hitter Boudewijn Maat coming to bat off of Charles Urbanus, Jr., who then was one of the best pitchers. Heemskerk instructed Maat to put down a sacrifice bunt, which was totally unexpected that early in the game. The runners advanced and it eventually led to a run. Urbanus dominated, but Nicols won with an 1-0 score.

In his first full season as Head Coach, Heemskerk led Haarlem Nicols to the Championship-title in 1975. The title was captured in another suspenseful game against OVVO, as the winning run was scored in the twelfth inning of what was a pitching-duel between Douglas Morton and Charles Urbanus, who both threw all twelve innings. Morton passed away last year at age 70. Nicols opened the score in Amsterdam in the fourth inning on doubles by Steve Steitz and Harry van der Vaart. OVVO came alongside the fifth when Urbanus hit a homerun for the home-team. In the top of the eleventh inning, Nicols re-took the lead when Fokke Jelsma homered. But in the bottom of the eleventh, OVVO again came alongside. Henk Boeren singled, moved into scoring position via a sacrifice bunt by Bruce McNeely and scored on a triple by Don Wedman. Moments later, Wedman was eliminated in a rundown when a squeeze failed. Haarlem Nicols took the lead for the third time in the top of the twelfth. Leo Naaktgeboren singled, advanced on a single by Douglas Morton and scored on a single by Henny Jenken. Again, OVVO appeared to come at least alongside in the bottom of the twelfth. Pitcher Douglas Morton began with a strikeout, then gave up a single to Jelle Postma, saw Charles Urbanus reach on an error and got the bases loaded with a walk. Morton followed with another strikeout, but thereafter, Bob Pels then hit a hard grounder. Short stop Leo Naaktgeboren made a great play to eliminate Pels. With that, Haarlem Nicols was the champion of the 1975 season after Sparta had captured the title in the previous four years. Again, Heemskerk was carried around on the shoulders of his players.

After completion of the season, in September, there was more succes for Haarlem Nicols, as it won the European Cup for the third time. Nicols played against Sparta from Rotterdam in the Final, which was played in a soldout Pim Mulier Stadium in Haarlem. Jan Dick Leurs was the starting pitcher for Nicols, as it was not allowed in those years to use foreign players as pitcher, according to the rules of the European Federation. With that, American Douglas Morton was not allowed to pitch. John van Westrenen was the starting pitcher for Sparta, which was coached by Cees Herkemij. Nicols took an early lead in the first inning on a 2-run single by Harm Schildmeijer and Herkemij inserted third baseman Fred Beckers as new pitcher. But Nicols took more distance and at one moment led with a 7-2 score. However, Sparta came back thanks to hitting by Henk Daniels and a homerun by Hamilton Richardson. With Nicols leading 7-6, the game ended when Leurs struckout Fred Beckers and John Jonkers.

And so, Simon Heemskerk led Haarlem Nicols to both the Championship-title, as well as the European Cup in his first full season as Head Coach of the team.

...Simon Heemskerk with Jan Dick Leurs,...
...Hamilton Richardson, Bill Arce and...
...Henk Keulemans (front) during a reunion...
...of former Netherlands Team-players and...
...coaches at the 2010 Haarlem Baseball Week...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Halfway the seventies, Haarlem Nicols realized that developing players within the club also was important, instead of regularly adding new players from outside. The club started to give more attention to the development of its youth players, as led by Simon Heemskerk, Jan Dick Leurs, Boudewijn Maat and later also by pitchers Douglas Morton and Herman Beidschat. This led to the addition of several younger players towards the end of the seventies, some from within the club, but also some from outside.

In 1976, Heemskerk again was the Head Coach of Haarlem Nicols, this time assisted by Jan Dick Leurs, who also was one of the pitching-aces of the team. Other new players in this season included Bill Kelly and Huub Kohl. On a few game-days, Heemskerk was not able to coach due to his regular job. Leurs then filled in, but the team had enough experienced players. In 1976, Heemskerk led Haarlem Nicols to another Championship-title. After the season, he steps down, due to commitment to his regular job.

In 1979, Heemskerk comes out of retirement as a player one more time. At age 44, he plays in one game for Haarlem Nicols, which is then coached by Huub Kohl.

In 1981, Simon Heemskerk is one of the two coaches of Kinheim, which plays in the second highest league. In 1980, Kinheim, led by American Ed Pikor, relegated from the big league. Heemskerk leads Kinheim with Matthy Möllmann, but none of them is the Head Coach, as they share the responsibilities together. After the season, the two step down.

In 1985, Kinheim makes its comeback in the highest league, but has a tough season. The team is initially led by Flip le Cuivre, but he steps down in May and his assistant Hugo Kuijer briefly acts as interim-coach. Heemskerk then returns as Head Coach. In his first game back, Kinheim played a strong game against Haarlem Nicols, but loses 8-7 in ten innings. But the tide cannot be turned and the team relegates again. Although he was to be the Head Coach again in 1986, Heemskerk steps down in February of that year, due to a change in his regular job. However, he is back in uniform when the season begins as the acting Head Coach until the arrival of American Lyle Olsen.

Right from the beginning of his playing-career, Simon Heemskerk showed he was a talented player, a good hitter and a solid first baseman. Since making his debut in 1953, he was regularly selected for the Haarlem All Star Team. In those years, the All Star Teams of Haarlem and Amsterdam annually played against each other. In some later years, these teams also played against All Star Teams from The Hague or Rotterdam.

...Simon Heemskerk as coach of Kinheim...
...during the Men's Baseball Senior...
...World Series in Phoenix (USA)...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
In May 1959, Heemskerk is invited to join the practice sessions of the Netherlands National Team, which at that moment is led by (player) Martin Jole and Bud van Leuven. Shortly thereafter, Canadian Ed Zukiwsky becomes the first foreign coach of the National Team. In August 1959, Heemskerk makes his debut at first base when the Netherlands Team plays two exhibition games against then West-Germany. Also making his debut is pitcher Herman Beidschat. Initially, Heemskerk was only to play in the first game, but the next day, he took over at first base when Martin Jole got injured. Heemskerk has a good debut, as he hits four basehits in the two games combined. In the first game, played in Haarlem, Heemskerk bats in the first run. In the first inning, Henk Keulemans leads off with a walk, steals second base and moves to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Nol Houtkamp. Keulemans then scores on a perfect bunt by Heemskerk.

In 1960, Heemskerk participated with the Netherlands Team in the European Championship in Barcelona (Spain). There, the team, led by American Ron Fraser, captures the title.

Amongst Simon's teammates in the Netherlands Team in these years are Simon Arrindell, Herman Beidschat, Nico Brands, Flip le Cuivre, Bobo Echobardo, Ton Fabrie, Joop Geurts, Teun de Groot, Cees Hiele, Rob Hoffmann, Nol Houtkamp, Rickey Kersout, Henk Keulemans, Herre Kok, Leo Kops, Ruben Leyssner, Piet de Nieuwe, Henny Regeling, Jan Schreuder, Jan Smidt, Ben Tromp, Nico Tromp, Han Urbanus, Wim Vrenegoor and Ruud Zijlstra. Unfortunately, two other players from this group also passed away this year. Han Urbanus passed away on February 5 at age 93 and Piet de Nieuwe passed away on March 8 at age 88.

In 1961, Heemskerk almost misses the first part of the season. Since December 1960, he has to stay in bed for some four months due to swollen glands. Instead of prescribing medicines, Heemskerk is ordered to rest. He recovers in time to start the season and also to play again for the Netherlands Team, which makes an unique trip. This year, the team travels to Grand Rapids, Michigan in the USA where a series of games is played against the semi-professional team Sullivans. The team is coached again by Ron Fraser, assisted by Charles Urbanus, Sr.. The players who make the trip are Arrindell, Beidschat, Brands, Echobardo, Geurts, de Groot, Heemskerk, Kersout, Keulemans, Kops, Leyssner, Regeling, Schreuder, Smidt, Ben Tromp, Urbanus and Zijlstra. A month later, Heemskerk and most of these players participate with the Netherlands Team in the first-ever international Haarlem Baseball Week.

In following years, Boudewijn Maat takes over the first base position in the Netherlands Team. But as Heemskerk still showed he was a solid and trusted player, he made his comeback in the Netherlands National Team eleven years later in 1972 at age 37 in what was his 20th season in the big league. Ron Fraser, who then had returned as Netherlands Team Manager, added Heemskerk to his roster for the Haarlem Baseball Week that year. Another veteran on the roster is pitcher Herman Beidschat with whom Heemskerk also played in the Orange Team in the early sixties. However, the two didn't play much, as Beidschat pitches in one game and Heemskerk is inserted only as a pinch-hitter in two games. Teammates of the two during the Haarlem Baseball Week in 1972 are Hans Augustinus, Fred Beckers, Nol Beenders, Arnoud Blom, Wim Crouwel, Roy van den Dungen Gronovius, Ade Fijth, Wim Hageman, Ton de Jager, Jan Dick Leurs, Robert Maat, Dassy Rasmijn, Win Remmerswaal, Hamilton Richardson, Arnold Smith, Charles Urbanus, Jr., Harry van der Vaart and John van Westrenen.

Overall, Simon Heemskerk played in 13 official international games for the Orange-squad.

...The team of Kinheim that participated in the 1994...
...Men's Baseball Senior World Series in Phoenix, Arizona (USA)...
...Simon Heemskerk sits second from the left...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Although he went on to coach at Kinheim in the early eighties, Simon Heemskerk always remained very involved with Haarlem Nicols, the club for whom he played the majority of his career. In 1993, it became clear that the club from Haarlem was in financial problems, especially since the main-sponsor didn't extend its contract. In September of that year, the author of this article had an interview with Heemskerk, other former players Boudewijn Maat and Jan Dick Leurs and Nicols-chairman Fred Lenderink for De Telegraaf-newspaper regarding the problems of Haarlem Nicols. At that moment, Nicols was the most successful European baseball-club. ,,We were the first sports team from the Netherlands that won an European Cup, even before Ajax or Feyenoord'', Heemskerk then said, not only referring to the two wellknown Dutch soccer-clubs, but also underscoring the accomplishments of Nicols. Feyenoord was the first Dutch soccer-club to win the European Cup in 1970, Ajax did so in 1971. Unfortunately, despite all its successes and triumphs, Haarlem Nicols had to withdraw from the big league before the start of the 1994 season.

At Kinheim, Simon Heemskerk kept on playing and coaching in a veteran team in the late eighties and early nineties. With this team, as a player, he participates in some Men's Baseball Senior World Series in the USA. In 1994, Simon is the Head Coach of the Kinheim-team that participates in the event in the Phoenix-area. Playing for the team were several former Dutch big league-players. When the team was in Arizona, Simon coached a team that consisted of Frank Breek, Wim Crouwel ,Jersey van Doornspeek, Hans van Driel Krol, Ed Halman, Peter Jager, Fokke Jelsma, Frans Mäkel (who passed away on May 15 at age 79), Ton de Nijs, Rickey Placidus, Frank van der Putten, Jan Smidt, Dirk-Jan Tuijl, Bram Vermeer, Bart van der Voort and Ruud Zijlstra. The author of this story then was the scorekeeper of the Kinheim-team. The games of the 1994 Senior World Series were played at the Spring Training-site of Major League-clubs San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners.

As both a player and a coach, Simon Heemskerk had a calm and modest exposure and sometimes even eyed nonchalant or laconic. However, he clearly was in charge and didn't miss a thing, as his eyes followed all actions on the field. Simon almost never lost his temper and as a coach, he never felt above the team, but simply was in the middle of the group of players. But he knew what he wanted, knew what a team needed. When decisions needed to be made, he did so for the better of the game or the team.

Simon had a lot of knowledge of tactics and techniques. In his playing days, he loved to read about baseball-techniques and enjoyed talking about all aspects of the sport with coaches and other interested players. Simon also had a lot of humor, both on and of the field. This all made him a beloved and respected teammate.

Through the years, Simon was always present at the reunions of former National Team-players during the Haarlem Baseball Week and the World Port Tournament. He also remained a frequent visitor of games played by Kinheim in the Pim Mulier Stadium. During those visits, the sympathetic Simon often talked with former teammates or his former players when he was a coach, but never was on the foreground. Off the field, he always had time for a talk or a drink and enjoyed socializing with friends. Simon will surely be missed by his many friends in the baseball-world.

The webmaster of Grand Slam * Stats & News offers his condolences to Simon's wife Marieke, son Robert, daughter-in-law Astrid, grandchildren and other family and friends and wishes them a lot of strength with this huge loss.

(July 6)

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