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Updated: November 12, 2021
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2021 by Marco Stoovelaar

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

Raily Legito new Head Coach of Neptunus; Coaching-staff announced

ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - Raily Legito has been named as the new Head Coach of Curaçao Neptunus, the club announced on Friday (November 12). The 43-year old Legito, who played thirteen seasons for the Rotterdam-based team, succeeds Ronald Jaarsma with whom the club separated on October 21. Eight days later, Jaarsma became the new Head Coach of Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates. With the naming of Legito, it means that uniform number 30 will back in the team of Neptunus.

...Raily Legito... Head Coach of Neptunus...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In the Holland Series this season, Neptunus lost the first two games, then won the next three, but Pirates came back to win Game 6 and 7 to prolong its Dutch Championship-title. Two years ago, Neptunus won the first three games of the best-of-seven Final, but Pirates then became the first team in history to win the next four games to become the champion. Last year, Pirates won the first two games, but the Holland Series then was halted due to new measurements against the coronavirus (COVID-19) and new champion was crowned in the 2020 season.

Neptunus also announced how its coaching-staff will look like coming year. Diegomar Markwell, who pitched for the team since 2005, will become the Pitching Coach, but also remains available as a pitcher. Markwell succeeds Elton Koeiman. Veteran coaches Jan Collins (Bench Coach) and Wim Martinus (1B Coach) will return.

New in the staff is Quincy Ascencion, who will be the 3B Coach. In the past five seasons, when Jaarsma was the Head Coach of Neptunus, he coached at third base himself. The 39-year old Ascencion played six seasons professionally in the organization of Baltimore Orioles, from 2001 through 2006 in the Minor Leagues, most of them in Single-A. Most recently, he was the Head Coach of Santa Rosa Indians on Curaçao.

This will be the debut as coach in the Dutch big league for both Legito and Ascension. However, in 2019 both were members of the coaching-staff of the Curaçao National Team which then participated in the World Port Tournament in Rotterdam (Netherlands). Legito also was a coach of the team during the event in 2017. Both also played for the Curaçao-team during the tournament. Ascension in 2013, Legito in 2015.

Raily Legito played 18 seasons in the Dutch big league. Before making his debut in the Netherlands, the infielder played two seasons professionally in the organization of Los Angeles Dodgers. Back then, in 1997 and 1998, he played for La Romana, the Rookie League-team in the Dominican Republic.

...Quincy Ascencion playing for Curaçao... the 2013 World Port Tournament...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In 1999, Legito played his first games in the highest Dutch league when he played for ADO for whom he played in three seasons. Next, he played two seasons for PSV, which then also played in the highest league. After these five seasons, Legito was acquired by Neptunus, where he made his debut in the 2004 season. Legito went on to play in thirteen seasons for the Rotterdam-club. Through the years, Legito, who primarily was a third baseman (but also played as a short stop), was a very strong defensive player and a solid hitter.

Playing for Neptunus, Legito experienced his most successful seasons, as he captured the Dutch championship-title eight times while playing for the team. With Neptunus, he also won the European Champions Cup in 2004 and 2015 and the European Cup Winners Cup in 2007. After having played in 18 big league-seasons, Legito retired after the 2016 season.

In these 18 seasons, Legito played in 685 regular season-games and collected 847 basehits. In 2006, he led the league with 36 runs batted in. And in 2007, Legito shared the league-lead with 16 stolen bases with Neptunus-teammate Johnny Balentina. But also with Ronald Jaarsma, who then played for HCAW and whom Legito now succeeds as Head Coach of Neptunus. In 2010, Legito was one of the nominees for the Award for Most Valuable Player in the regular season.

Although 1999 was his first season in the Dutch big league, he also made his debut the same year in the Netherlands National Baseball Team during the World Port Tournament. From that moment on, Legito remained a regular in the Orange-squad for thirteen years. He retired from the National Team during the 2011 World Port Tournament in Rotterdam (Netherlands).

...Raily Legito won his 8th...
...title with Neptunus in...
...his final season in 2016...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In his thirteen years with the National Team, Legito played in (almost) all international events the team participated in. In these years, Legito participated in three Olympic Games (2000, 2004, 2008) and the first World Baseball Classic in 2006. He also participated in five World Championships, four Intercontinental Cups and six European Championships. Legito was a member of the Orange-team that won five European titles.

During the 2007 European Championship in Spain, Legito won three Awards. He was the Outstanding Defensive Player and led the tournament in homeruns and runs batted in. During the European Championship in 2010 in Germany, Legito was the tournament's best hitter and also led in most runs scored, but in that event, the Netherlands lost the Final against Italy.

With the Netherlands Team, Legito also participated in the two big international tournaments in the Netherlands. He played in six Haarlem Baseball Week, winning two of them. And he also played in six World Port Tournament, winning of them with the Orange Team.

In his international career, Legito played in 257 official international games to become the all-time recordholder in the Netherlands. In 2010, he was named Honorary Member of the Royal Netherlands Baseball and Softball Association (KNBSB).

In a press release on Friday, Neptunus-chairman Jorian van Acker said: ,,Legito has built up a long and successful career as a player at Neptunus and has proven himself as someone with a lot of knowledge and experience in baseball. His vision on the game and the team really appeals to the board. We think he has the right profile to guide the mix of young talent and experienced ex-pros to optimal performance. We are very confident that the team led by Raily will achieve new successes at the Dutch and European level''.

In the press release, it is stated that ''Legito and his coaches will have a strong squad that will be given a fresh boost by attracting a number of experienced players and promising talents. In the coming weeks, the club expects to be able to confirm a number of reinforcements and the team can start preparing for the new season''.

Recently, Neptunus announced that outfielder Jiandido Tromp will play for the team in 2022. Tromp currently plays in the professional league in Nicaragua and earlier this year, he made his debut in the Netherlands National Team. The club also confirmed that infielder Raydley Legito, the son of Raily, has transfered from Amsterdam Pirates to Neptunus.

(November 12)

...Raily Legito through the years...
...Left: With then-teammate Roger Bernadina during the 2007 European Championship in Barcelona (Spain)...
...Center: Playing for the Netherlands Team in the 2010 Haarlem Baseball Week...
...Right: As Coach of Team Curaçao during the 2019 World Port Tournament...
(© Photo left: Marco Stoovelaar; © Photos center & right: Henk Seppen)

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