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Updated: May 17, 2024
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Copyright © 1997-2024
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2024 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos from Inside-archive)


...Johan Carbo...
(1950 - 2024)
(© Private Photo)
Former baseball-journalist and Inside-contributor Johan Carbo passed away

DE MEERN (Neth.) - Sports-journalist Johan Carbo, who for several years covered baseball for Het Parool, Utrechts Nieuwsblad and Inside, unexpectedly passed away on Friday, May 3 at age 73. Carbo was a wellknown baseball-writer in the seventies and eighties and in those years, he was very recognizable because of his eye-catching moustache, but also for his very readable and sometimes critical articles.

The memorial and cremation-ceremony of Johan Carbo was held in private on Monday, May 13.

Johan Carbo was born on December 16, 1950 in Utrecht. After having become a sports-journalist, Carbo later wrote many articles about FC Utrecht, the professional soccer-team in his home-town. It also was in Utrecht that Carbo was closely involved with local baseball- and softball-clubs UVV and HMS in the seventies and eighties.

Since the seventies, Johan Carbo was a sports-writer for Amsterdam-based newspaper Het Parool. From 1976 on, he covered baseball, soccer and basketball, succeeding Carel Brendel. Carbo would be the newspaper's prime reporter for soccer and baseball through 1984, writing weekly articles throughout the season. He covered basketball through 1983. In soccer, Carbo wrote about professional and amateur leagues.

In all three sports, Carbo interviewed many leading athletes, coaches and administrators through the years. On December 29, 1976, Johan Carbo's first baseball-article was published in Het Parool, which was accompanied by his name. In this article. Carbo interviewed Dutch pitcher Win Remmerswaal, who a year earlier had started his professional career in the Boston Red Sox-organization. In 1979, Remmerswaal, who passed away in 2022, would become the first Dutch-born and raised player to reach the Major League.

Although, baseball, soccer and basketball were Carbo's main sports, he also wrote (background)-stories or covered some events in rowing, fencing, ice hockey, rugby, handball, korfball, cycling, motor sports, checkers, table tennis, softball, billiards and tennis. In this last sport, Carbo covered the Wimbledon-tournament in London (England) in 1982.

From 1976 through April 1978, Carbo wrote several articles for Het Parool together with Harry ten Asbroek in the weekly sports column Amateurs in de slag (Amateurs in battle), covering all kinds of news-items regarding several sports.

On many occassions, Johan Carbo accompanied Jaap ten Dam for the presentation of the Parool Ring, which was handed out annually by the newspaper to persons with special contributions to sports of for a club. On behalf of the sports department of Het Parool, Carbo himself several times handed out the Parool Shoes and Parool Ball, which were both amateur soccer-trophies.

...Johan Carbo's portrait accompanying one of his articles of...
...the 1980 Haarlem Baseball Week for Het Parool-newspaper...
From April 1981 on, Johan Carbo also began writing articles for the Radio and TV newsroom of the Amsterdam-newspaper, which he did for some years. The staff of that department was led by Hans Doeleman, who also had covered baseball for Het Parool as one of the predecessors of Carbo. Besides that, Doeleman was involved with the wellknown radio-show NOS Langs de Lijn. In 1986, Doeleman was the Press Officer during the World Championship Baseball, which then was held for the first time in the Netherlands.

Another change in Carbo's journalistic career came in September 1983, when he became police reporter for Het Parool. As such, Carbo reported about several actions and investigations of the Amsterdam police. In his years as police reporter, Johan Carbo covered two major stories. In November 1983, Carbo reported about the kidnap of Dutch businesman Freddy Heineken, who was the chairman of the board of directors and CEO of brewing company Heineken International, and his driver Ab Doderer. Carbo covered this case together with Bert Bommels, who passed away in February at age 84. The other major story that Carbo covered came in September 1987 when Gerrit Jan Heijn, another Dutch businessman, was kidnapped. Heijn was a top manager of Ahold (Albert Heijn-supermarkets).

In June 1988, Carbo moved to the foreign editorial staff, which was led by Tom Kuijt. He went on to cover the changes in Eastern Europe and wrote about the leading political persons from that time.

In 1989, Johan became the editor-in-chief of the foreign editorial department of the Utrechts Nieuwsblad. As such, he traveled to Berlin in East Germany and in November of 1989, he witnessed in person the fall of the Berlin Wall, covering this historic event for the Utrecht-based newspaper.

Although Johan Carbo left the sports department at the end of 1984, he regularly kept on writing some articles for Het Parool regarding baseball and soccer in following years. In 1985, Carbo was succeeded as baseball-reporter by Peter Rollof, who covered the sport for some three years. Other sports-reporters in those years who covered baseball for Het Parool were Ferry van Straelen and Robert Misset. Since the early nineties, Jan van Ewijk was the prime reporter for several years.

...In 1979, Johan has an interview for Inside with...
...Bruno Beneck, who then was President of the...
...Italian Baseball and Softball Federation...
(© Photo: Inside)
In 1978, Johan Carbo joined the editorial staff of Inside, which was the official magazine of the Royal Netherlands Baseball and Softball Federation. When Carbo joined the magazine, it was led by Joop Köhler, who was the editor-in-chief of Inside since August 1972 and would remain that through the final edition in 1988. When the magazine was launched in 1971, the first editor-in-chief was Hans Doeleman. Other contributors in 1978 were Bas den Breejen, Carel Brendel, Rob van der Gaast, Haro Hielkema, Jaap Hofman, Kees Leseman, Chris Mast, Hans van der Sluis and Dries de Zwaan, while Bert van der Does was responsible for the lay-out. Most of them also covered baseball and/or softball for a newspaper or the radio. Besides this group or reporters, Martin Bremer also regularly contributed, while Roger Boogaerts was the Belgian correspondent.

After Carbo had joined in early 1978, several others, most of them also baseball/softball-journalists, joined Inside in following years, including Ad Brevet, Marco Stoovelaar (both since November 1978), Kees Algra, Hans Doeleman, Piet Jan Overgoor (all since February 1980), Leo Verheul, Ton Verheul (both May 1980), Ruud Fokkenrood, Henk de Groot (both April 1981), Frank Snoeks (May 1981), Paul Onkenhout (February 1982), Ronald Boot (March 1984), Jaap Bonkenburg, Rob van Tuyl (both November 1985) and Ed van Opzeeland (January 1987). Ton Hofstede contributed with articles from Curaçao since November 1978 and Pim van Nes covered Italian (and sometimes French) baseball since February 1982, while being stationed in France and Kuwait (since 1987) for his work. Amongst the photographers were Rob Brink, Soenar Chamid and Peter Smeets. Later, Peter Elenbaas became the staff photographer.

Johan Carbo's first article for Inside in May 1978 was an interview with Gerard Voogd, who then was the President of the Organizing Committee of the international Haarlem Baseball Week, which was organized for the tenth time later that year. Another article he wrote for the magazine was an interview with Jan van Ewijk and Boudewijn Maat in November 1979, regarding the cooperation between Hoofddorp Pioniers and Haarlem Nicols. Later, Van Ewijk also wrote a few articles for Inside and, as mentioned, he went on to cover baseball for Het Parool.

During his career as baseball-reporter for Het Parool, Carbo covered the visit of Major League homerun-king Hank Aaron to the Netherlands in June 1977 and the European Championship Baseball a month later in Haarlem. From 1978 on, Carbo covered several international events for both his newspaper, as well as Inside, including four Haarlem Baseball Weeks (1978, 1980, 1982, 1984), two Haarlem Softball Weeks (1980, 1983), the World Championship Baseball in 1978 in Italy, the European Baseball Championship in 1979 in Italy, in 1981 in Haarlem, in 1983 in Italy, the European Softball Championship in 1981, also in Haarlem, the Intercontinental Cup in 1983 in Belgium and some European Cup-tournaments in Haarlem, Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

...In 1980, also for Inside, Johan talks with Aldo Notari,...
...who then was President of Italian Baseball-club Parma...
(© Photo: Inside)
Although Johan Carbo no longer worked as sports-journalist for Het Parool from 1985 on, he continued to write for Inside through its final edition in 1988. Due to his other busy journalistic activities, he no longer contributed to each edition of the monthly magazine and no longer covered events, but he wrote several background-stories, including the 1985 European Baseball Championship in Haarlem and the 1986 World Championhip Baseball in the Netherlands. After having moved to the Utrechts Nieuwsblad, Carbo also wrote some baseball-articles for this local newspaper in Utrecht.

Johan Carbo covered baseball regularly for some eight years (1976-1984), but continued to write about the sport through the nineties via several background-stories. In these years, all newspapers, local as well as national, had their own baseball-reporter(s), who covered the season with weekly recaps in the Monday-edition, as well as with news-articles on other days. Besides Johan Carbo, amongst the baseball/softball-journalists in the seventies, eighties and through the end of the nineties were many wellknown names. Some covered baseball for only some two years, others for more than thirty years. Amongst them were (in alphabetical order) Donald Bax (Rotterdams Nieuwsblad), André Bisschop (Trouw), Pauline Blom (Haarlems Dagblad), Jaap Bonkenburg (Haarlems Dagblad), Paul van den Bosch (Algemeen Dagblad), Hans Botman (Algemeen Dagblad), Ad Brevet (De Telegraaf), Peter Bruin (De Volkskrant), Richard Dubbeld (Algemeen Dagblad), Jan van Ewijk (Het Parool), Frank van de Gevel (Algemeen Dagblad), Ido de Groot (Noord-Hollands Dagblad), Gijs van den Heuvel (De Volkskrant), Cees Hiele (Utrechts Nieuwsblad), Gé Hoogenbos (De Telegraaf), Jan-Willem van der Horst (Het Vaderland), Cor Jonker (De Volkskrant), Joop Köhler (NRC Handelsblad), Chris Mast (Rotterdams Nieuwsblad/Haagsche Courant), Guus Mater (ANP), Charles van der Meijs (BN De Stem), Robert Misset (Het Parool), Ben Muller (ANP), Jan van der Nat (Haarlems Dagblad), Pim van Nes (Italian baseball), Paul Onkenhout (Haarlems Dagblad), Monne Reitsma (Noord-Hollands Dagblad), Peter Rollof (Het Parool), Loet van Schellebeek (Het Vrije Volk), Ab Schreijnders (De Volkskrant), Dick Sintenie (Haarlems Dagblad), Frank Snoeks (Haarlems Dagblad), Herman Spilker (De Courant Nieuws van de Dag), Marco Stoovelaar (De Courant Nieuws van de Dag/De Telegraaf), Ferry van Straelen (Het Parool), Fred Troost (Trouw), Ton Verheul (Het Vrije Volk) and Dries de Zwaan (Haarlems Dagblad). Covering regular season-games for the radio in those years included Bas den Breejen (NCRV), Margriet Zegers (TROS), Hans Doeleman, Rob van der Gaast, Andy Houtkamp (all NOS Langs de Lijn) and Theo Plasschaert (local radio Haarlem/Radio Noord-Holland) and providing commentary for (live) television-broadcasts were Hugo Walker, Theo Reitsma, Mart Smeets, Jan Stekelenburg, Frank Snoeks, Ronald Boot (all NOS Studio Sport) and Andy Houtkamp (RTL4/NOS Studio Sport).

Carbo also covered international events in soccer and basketball. And he also covered many games in these two sports. Amongst his basketball-articles was an interview in January 1977 with retiring player Ton Boot (who would become a successful coach). Another story he wrote was with retiring soccer-referee Gerrit Berrevoets in May 1978. Berrevoets was the brother of longtime HCAW team scorer Adrie Berrevoets, who passed away in March last year.

Besides being busy as a journalist in the seventies, Carbo also had become very involved with UVV, one of the Utrecht-based baseball- and softball-clubs. Since the sixties, Johan initially was a frequent visitor of the games played at the cozy Sportpark J.C. Verthoren, the club's former site. On UVV's website, an In Memoriam was published, written by boardmember Marina van Huissteden-Kaspers, who is the mother of former big league-catcher and Netherlands Softball Team-player Nina van Huissteden.

...In 1981, Johan is honored by players and coaches...
...of HMS after conclusion of his fundraising-walk...
...Standing second from right is Bill Froberg...
(© Photo: Inside)
Marina wrote:
,,There are those people who don't do anything for very long, but who leave an indelible mark on something. Such a person was Johan Carbo for UVV baseball in one of UVV's glorious periods in the seventies/eighties.
A gifted (sports) journalist/copywriter/blogger/author and columnist, teacher and media trainer. Johan took early retirement to be able to care even more for the love of his life: Ellen, who passed away on April 30, 2022.
His great hobby was baseball. In the sixties and seventies he rode his moped to many UVV games, as UVV controlled his life for a number of years. Our Honorary member Joop Kruithof 'recruited' Johan during a baseball-game. It turned out to be a golden opportunity.''

Marina further memorizes that Johan became a member of the board, which was chaired by club-icon Line Klein-Desta and ''it goes without saying that his writing talent and the associated network also took him into other areas. Add to this his unbridled energy and drive and you arrive at the conclusion that he left his mark on this period of UVV. He came into contact with all kinds of players and coaches and of course they all had to come to UVV. In 1988, he edited the 40-year baseball anniversary book of the club. His input on the form and content was decisive for the great success of this 'gem' with his friend, the late Jack Keja as a wise and calm coordinator.''

At UVV, Johan Carbo was a boardmember and the so-called game-secretary for baseball in 1972-1976. In 1971, b>Ad Brevet handled the game-affairs softball for UVV. Later, Brevet became the Head Coach of UVV's baseball-team when it played in the big league. Brevet went on to cover baseball for De Telegraaf for some years and also became a contributor of Inside. For this magazine, Brevet and Carbo traveled to Italy together in 1980 to make a series of background-stories. When Carbo was active for UVV in 1972 and 1973, the father of player Hennie Jenken was the club's secretary. Jenken also played for Haarlem Nicols and the Netherlands Team and later became a coach. Another club-icon in Carbo's years at UVV was Ruud Fokkenrood, who was the youth-secretary in the seventies. Fokkenrood still is very involved with the club. In 1977, Fokkenrood succeeded Carbo as game-secretary, while Rob Hoogkamer became the new secretary.

After Johan Carbo had left UVV, he joined HMS a few years later. In 1980-1983, Carbo was the secretary of the board of club, whose abbreviation stood for Houdt Moedig Stand, which translates as Holds Stands Bravely. At HMS, Carbo also was the team manager of the main baseball-squad of the club in these years. How involved he was with the club was underscored on June 8, 1981. On that day, he walked 50 kilometers to an away-game of HMS against BSCU, another club from Utrecht, as a fundraiser to acquire a pitching-machine. For each kilometer he walked, an amount of money was donated. The walk raised 2500 guilders. HMS won the game with a 10-6 score. One of the players of HMS, which then played in the Second Division, in 1981 and 1982 was American Bill Froberg, who in the following three seasons was both Head Coach and player. In following years, Froberg went on to become a successful coach in the Dutch big league as Head Coach of Haarlem Nicols, Twins Oosterhout, Quick Amersfoort, Neptunus and HCAW. In 2007 and 2009, Froberg (who passed away in December 2020) was a member of the coaching-staff of the Netherlands National Team.

...The covers of the two commemorative books...
In later years, Carbo taught journalism at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. For some fourteen years, through 2014, he also gave lectures at Fontys Hogeschool Journalistiek in Tilburg for media-training and courses for interview techniques, as well as writing. He also regularly gave lectures in Surinam.

Johan Carbo also contributed to two commemorative baseball-books. In 2010, a book was compiled about the 25 Haarlem Baseball Weeks that had been organized since 1961, titled 'One big party' ('Een groot feest'). In 2012, a book was released about the 100-year plus history of baseball in the Netherlands, titled 'A century with golden shine' ('Een eeuw met gouden glans'), when the KNBSB celebrated its 100th anniversary. Many of the editors who wrote for Inside also contributed to these two books, which became collector's items.

From 2010 on, Johan Carbo took care of his wife Ellen when she was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and in later years dementia. In 2014, he retired early to focus entirely on his beloved wife's caretaking. Carbo wrote a book about the toddler-years of his wife during Second World War. Later, Johan also wrote a book about his experiences as an informal caregiver of his wife, who passed away in 2022. Since 2016, he posted extensive stories about this subject on his blog.

Through the years, Johan Carbo was a well-respected, driven and passionate journalist. In his sports-articles, Carbo often included critical notes when he wanted to make things clear. He also regularly wrote about unfairness or mishaps in several fields while being a police reporter or covering local stories for the domestic editorial staff. Johan was a committed personality, who was always very interested in the stories of others.

The webmaster of Grand Slam * Stats & News offers his condolences to Johan's family and friends and wishes them a lot of strength with this big loss.

(May 17)

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