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Updated: February 20, 2018
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Berry van Driel)

The Hague honors athletes on Wall of Fame

THE HAGUE (Neth.) - On Tuesday (February 20), 145 sport legends have been inducted into a Wall of Fame, which today was unveiled at Sportcampus Zuiderpark. To be eligible, the athletes must have been born in The Hague or must have a long association with the city and must have been a member of a National Team that captured an European of World Championship-title or won an Olympic Medal.

...Berry van Driel's Star on the...
...Wall of Fame in The Hague...
(© Photo: Berry van Driel)
Amongst the first group of 145 athletes inducted into the Wall of Fame are fourteen baseball-players and three softball-players who all won European Championship and/or World CHampionship-titles with the Netherlands Team. They are baseball-players Roger Bernadina, Roy Blijden, Rudi Dom, Berry van Driel, Roy van den Dungen Gronovius, Berry Eijgendaal, Ton de Jager, Fokke Jelsma, Patrick Klerx, Jurrian Koks, Ferry Neuteboom, Win Remmerswaal, Kalian Sams and Bart Volkerijk and softball-players Marian van Deursen, Jolanda Droog and Marit Kreischer.

Blijden, Dom, Van den Dungen Gronovius, De Jager and Jelsma all were members of the Netherlands Baseball Team that won the European title in 1969. Dom also played in the Orange-team that won European gold in 1962, 1964 and 1965, while Van den Dungen Gronovius also was a member of the winning team in 1965 and 1971. Eijgendaal and Neuteboom won the European title in 1973, while Volkerijk was a pitcher when the Orange squad was successful in 1981, 1985 and 1987. Klerx (1993), Bernadina (2007), Koks (2014) and Van Driel (2016) all won one European title. Sams played for the European champion in 2014 and 2016. Van Driel and Sams also were members of the Netherlands Team that captured the title at the World Championship in 2011.

All three softball-players won three European titles. Marian van Deursen and Marit Kreischer in 1979, 1983 and 1984, Jolanda Droog in 1984, 1988 and 1990.

The Wall of Fame was opened by Alderman Rabin Baldewsingh. During the unveiling, he was assisted by Peter Blangé (volleyball) and Lisanne Lejeune (field hockey), amongst others.

Many of the honored athletes were present at the opening. The oldest of them being 74-year old Ria van Velsen (swimming), who in 1962 won the European Championship-title backstroke Also present was the 93-year old widow of Frits Ruimschotel, who in 1948 won the Bronze Medal at the Olympic Games in London (Great Britain) and the grandson on soccer-player Harry Dénis, who won Bronze at the Olympics of 1920 in Antwerp (Belgium).

All athletes are honored with a big star on a long wall. The star lists the name of the athlete and his/her accomplishment(s). Sportcampus Zuiderpark opened in 2017. At the Sportcampus, not only athletes can practice and prepare themselves, but also international events are organized. Also, research is done at the location.

The Wall of Fame will be expanded with more athletes in the future.

(February 20)

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