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Updated: March 24, 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 Robert Bos & Henk Seppen)


...Antoine Loock...
(1974 - 2021)
(© Photo: Robert Bos)
Dutch international baseball-umpire Antoine Loock passed away

SÜSTERSEEL, Selfkant, Nordrhein-Westfalen (Germany) - The Dutch baseball-world is shocked to learn and is very saddened that big league baseball-umpire Antoine Loock has passed away on Monday (March 22) at the way too young age of 46. Loock also was eligible to lead international games, but due to illness, he was unable to come into action in last years abbreviated season in the Dutch big league.

Antoine Loock was born on June 1, 1974 in Sittard. Through the years, Antoine was closely involved with baseball- and softball-club De Sittard Condors, where he also had played baseball himself. Through last year, he was a member of the club's board, responsible for technical affairs. At this club, Antoine Loock became a member of a commission (Projectteam 'Third Base') that was installed in 2019 to coordinate the financing and building of a new club-house. Antoine's wife Marianne is a coach of the club's Beeball-team.

When Antoine Loock decided to become an umpire, he showed that he had talent right from the beginning. After leading games in lower divisions, he made his debut in the Dutch big League in 2013, officiating one game at the highest level in that season. Loock then became a regular umpire in the big league from 2014 on.

When he promoted to the Dutch big league, Antoine became known for his calm way of leading games. But also for another reason, as he had to travel the longest from his home to most of the playing sites for the games he was assigned to. This was because he lived in Süsterseel, a small village in the Municipality of Selfkant in Germany, just across the border near the city of Sittard in the southern Dutch province of Limburg.

Also in 2014, he was one of the umpires that were assigned for the best-of-five Promotion/Relegation Series between DSS and Mampaey The Hawks. That series needed all five games and in the deciding fifth game in Dordrecht, Antoine was the 3B Umpire with René Ras behind the plate and Henk van der Linde at first base. DSS won the game with an 8-2 score to promote to the highest league.

In 2015 through 2018, Antoine also officiated games in the Championship Pool, the series of games between the top-four teams that determine the two teams for the Holland Series.

A highlight came in 2018 when he was assigned to his first Holland Series. He then was the 3B Umpire in the opening game of the best-of-seven between Curaçao Neptunus and L&D Amsterdam Pirates in Rotterdam. In that crew, he was joined by Edwin Louisa (HP), René Ras (1B) and Stenar van Groningen Schinkel (2B). The latter became a close friend, as was former umpire and currrent Umpire Commissioner Peter Brink, as the three all lived in the same area in the south of the country.

This was to be Antoine's lone Holland Series-game. During the 2019 season, he had to withdraw due to illness and therefore was unable to umpire in the Play-Offs and Holland Series.

...Antoine as 1B Umpire in the game between...
...L&D Amsterdam Pirates and Curaçao Neptunus...
...on April 21, 2019 in Amsterdam (Netherlands)...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Unfortunately, Antoine Loock's promising umpiring career in the Dutch big league, as well as internationally ended prematurely. He would have been part of the big league for many years to come. Since making his debut in 2013, Antoine Loock participated in 69 regular season-games in the highest Dutch baseball-league as an umpire.

In 2014, he officiated in his first international club-tournament in the Netherlands, which was a tournament in The Hague during the exhibition season. In following years, Loock participated in several other pre-season tournaments through 2019.

As Antoine Loock developed into a solid umpire, who not only had a good knowledge of the rules, but also showed his ability to lead games, he experienced another highlight in 2017. In that year, only three years after making his debut in the highest division, he became a member of the International List of the Dutch Association. With that, he became eligible for assignments for international tournament in Europe.

In 2018, Loock participated in the MLB Umpires Camp in Sant Boi (Spain). The same year, Antoine got his first international appointment when he was named as one of the umpires for the European Under-12 Championship in Budapest (Hungary). His qualities as an umpire were underscored during the event, as he was assigned as the Home Plate Umpire in the Final of the tournament. In that game, he was joined by Georg Veit from Austria (1B) and Gabor Erdos from Great Britain (3B). Italy won the Final against the Czech Republic with an 11-0 shutout.

In 2019, Antoine Loock took part in three international tournaments. He was assigned to the European Federations Cup-tournament in Karlovac (Croatia) and the European Under-15 Championship in Nettuno (Italy). In both tournaments, he again was assigned for the Final. In Croatia, he was the 1B Umpire in what was an all-Austrian Final, as Vienna Metrostars and Dornbirn Indians faced each other. Dornbirn won with a 19-1 score in this game in which Antoine was joined by Dario Bukovčan (Croatia) behind the plate and Tony Jones (Sweden) at third base. In Italy, Antoine was at first base and formed a crew with Oswald Tscharf (Austria) and Marek Vicar (Czech Rep.), who were behind the plate and at first base, respectively. In the U15-Final, Germany won 10-3 against Italy.

The third tournament was on home-soil, as for the first time, he also was an umpire in the World Port Tournament in Rotterdam. For every umpire, officiating in one of the two big international tournaments in the Netherlands, the other being the Baseball Week Haarlem, is a highlight in their umpiring career.

During the World Port Tournament in 2019, Antoine Loock was one of four Dutch umpires who rotated to gain more international experience, the others being Niek Elshof, André Ficken and Aad Otsen. They joined the 7-man umpiring crew that was assigned to the tournament: Stenar van Groningen Schinkel, Peter de Haan, Edwin Louisa, René Ras and Roy van de Wateringen, who were accompanied by two international colleagues from abroad, Serge Makouchetchev (France) and Simone Menicucci (Italy).

Last year, Antoine again was on the Umpire Roster for the Dutch big league, as well as the International List. Almost surely, he would have been one of the umpires during the Baseball Week Haarlem, which was cancelled and postponed to 2022 due to the coronavirus-pandemic. However, due to his illness, he was unable to participate as an umpire when the new and abbreviated big league-season in 2020 went underway on July 23.

...Antoine with colleagues Simone Menicucci (Italy),...
...Peter de Haan and Edwin Louisa during the 2019...
...World Port Tournament in Rotterdam (Netherlands)...
(© Photo: Robert Bos)
Baseball Umpires Commissioner Peter Brink, who has worked closely with Loock through the years, wrote the following text:
,,Stop all activities for a while.
Let the music diminish for a moment.
Only the drum of your own heartbeat can contain this news.
Antoine has fought for years and sadly passed away on March 22, 2021, aged 46.

Antoine was a talented colleague who was quite rightly international.
Unfortunately, he was never able to fully enjoy this because he was already in a fight with his own body.
What started as a color difference and a harmless lump on his back has determined and ended his life in recent years.

I will remember Antoine as an incredibly positive person, who found an awful lot of positivity during the greatest setbacks.

We can do nothing but wish his wife Marianne and children Melanie and Ricardo a lot of strength during this very difficult time.

Peter Brink,
Commissioner Umpires Baseball''

Antoine Loock was a well-respected and well-liked umpire. He was known for leading games in a calm (some modest) way, but was on top of every situation. On the field, he showed that he liked to be in an umpire-uniform and clearly enjoyed being on a field. Antoine was very interested in the game-rules, which he underscored during his talks before and after games, when the game-officials were attended in the club-house on a playing site.

Antoine will surely be missed by his umpiring colleagues, but also by the players, coaches and official scorers.

The webmaster of Grand Slam * Stats & News offers his condolences to Antoine's wife Marianne, daughter Melanie, son Ricardo and other family and wishes them a lot of strength with this enormous loss.

(March 24)

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