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Updated: April 3, 2018
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Tex Town Tigers)

Royal Decoration for Bertil Haage

ENSCHEDE (Neth.) - Bertil Haage, who is active for Enschede-based baseball- and softball-club Tex Town Tigers for many years, received a Royal Decoration on Saturday (March 31) during the Official Opening of the annual J.C.J. Mastenbroek Tournament.

...Bertil Haage has received a...
...Royal Decoration from...
...Jurgen van Houdt, the...
...Deputy Mayor of Enschede...
(© Photo: Tex Town Tigers)
The 35th edition of the international tournament at the site of Tex Town Tigers went underway on Friday-evening. The event was officialy opened at 2 PM on Saturday. It as at that moment that all participating softball- and baseball-teams, as well as the game-officials, get together at the main softball-field. Everyone is then officially welcomed by Bertil Haage and Jan van der Molen, the longtime members of the Organizing Committee of the tournament. After a brief opening statement, the tournament is then opened and the games continue.

This time, the opening took somewhat longer as their was a big surprise for Bertil Haage. Also attenting the opening was Jurgen van Houdt, the Deputy Mayor and the Alderman for Sports of the Municipality of Enschede, who handed Haage a Royal Decoration. For his many contributions to baseball and softball for many, many years within Tex Town Tigers and the city of Enschede, Van Houdt knighted Haage in the Order of Orange-Nassau.

Bertil Haage was a longtime pitcher in the main-squad of Tex Town Tigers with whom he played one season in the Dutch big league. Haage not only was very talented, he also was a pitching-ace for his baseball-team. Therefore, he got several offers to play elsewhere for a big league-team. However, Haage also remained loyal to Tex Town Tigers and kept on playing for the club in whatever league they played.

Haage also played for the Netherlands National Baseball Team in 1975-1982 and was used both as starter and reliever. With the Orange squad, Haage participated in four World Championships, four European Championships and four Haarlem Baseball Weeks, appearing in 34 official games. He won the European title with the Netherlands in 1981.

In the years following his playing-career, Bertil Haage also was active as a coach, administrator and member of the board within the club of which he is one of its icons. He has been a member of the club's technical committee and in more recent years, he acts as public address announcer for both baseball and softball. Haage is a longtime member of the Organizing Committee of the Mastenbroek Tournament, which is a huge promotional activity for the sports in the eastern part of the country. The event developed into a tournament, which also gained much attention nationwide and internationally. In the softball-tournament, most teams from the highest league (and sometimes all) participate annually. Also, many foreign teams have also participated (some annually) through the years.

(March 31)

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