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Updated: January 29, 2020
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2020 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar)


...Ron Voerman...
(1928 - 2020)...
(© Archive Photo)
Longtime KNBSB-contributor, umpire, Honorary Member Ron Voerman passed away

LEIDEN (Neth.) - Ron Voerman, who has been active in both baseball and softball for many decades as either an umpire or contributing in several commissions, passed away on Friday, January 24 at the age of 91. Recently, Mr. Voerman experienced some health problems and was recovering from surgery he underwent late last year.

The memorial service will take place on Friday, January 31 at 11:00 AM in the Dorpskerk at the Hoofdstraat 217 in Sassenheim. After the service, a private funeral will be held at the cemetary of the church. Afterwards, it is possible to offer condolences at Uitvaartcentrum 'De Vliem' at the Jacoba van Beierenlaan 4 in Sassenheim.

Ronald Jan (Ron) Voerman was born on March 30, 1928 in Haarlem. From an early age, Ron Voerman was involved in sports and he remained active into a very high age. At school in Haarlem, he made recaps of baseball-games, stenciled them at school and spread them amongst the other students. Later, Ron Voerman became a baseball- and softball-umpire. He also was a longtime member of several commissions of the Royal Netherlands Baseball and Softball Association (KNBSB).

After finishing school, Ron Voerman became an assistant accountant in September 1945. After serving as 3rd and then 2nd assistant, Mr. Voerman was an accountant for a construction company for four years. Later, he became the head of internal (financial) affairs for the Wilhelmina Gasthuis (hospital) in Amsterdam, a position he held for 22 years through early 1991. From April 1991 on, Ron Voerman concentrated fulltime on his work as an independent accountant, as he already had founded his own Administration and Accountants Office back on September 1, 1949. While starting to work at the hospital in the late sixties, Voerman also was working as the accountant for the then Royal Netherlands Baseball Association (KNHB). As he did many more administrative duties for the KNHB, the workload became busier and heavier.

In 1957, Ron Voerman became the adiministrator of the KNHB, something he did through 1965. The next two years (1966-1967), former (Netherlands Team) pitcher Nico Brands handled the administration, but Voerman kept involved and returned in 1968. In the meantime, the KNHB had opened its own (small) office, which was located on two floors at one of the canals in Amsterdam in May 1966. As administrator, Voerman led the office and regularly traveled from his home in Velsen to Amsterdam to do administrative work at the KNHB-office, besides his work in the hospital. In those years, it frequently happened that Voerman traveled on his moped from his home to a nearby club-secretary to show him that administrative errors had been made and to help them to avoid getting fines in the future. Now that the KNHB had its own office, the paperwork grew, as did the work handling the affairs for not only the Association but also the regional and national competitions. And so, some office-girls were hired to assist during the days. Through 1970 and into 1971, the workload grew even more, as in December 1970, the KNHB merged with the then Netherlands Amateur Softball Association (NASB) to become the Royal Netherlands Baseball and Softball Association (KNBSB). In these two years, there were regular talks with members of the board of both Associations, which included Martin Bremer and Marga de Ruiter, respectively the Secretary of the KNHB and the Secretary of the NASB. Other board-members of the KNHB in 1970 were Lex van der Stek (chairman), Jan Hartog (vice-chairman), John Oosterbroek (treasurer), Anton Pols (2nd treasurer) and Guus van der Heijden (boardmember). Board-members on the NASB in that year included Wim Oosterhof (chairman), Gé Hogenbirk (vice-chairman), Line Klein-Desta (2nd secretary), Herman Kruijt (treasurer), Hans van Daalen (2nd treasurer) and Ab Scholten (member). From January 1, 1971, eight of them became members of the board of the new KNBSB, being Van der Stek (chairman), Van der Heijden (vice-chairman), Oosterhof (vice-chairman), Bremer (secretary), Oosterbroek (treasurer), Hogenbirk, Pols and Mrs. De Ruiter (all as member). The new KNBSB-board was completed with Dick Molenaar.

At the end of 1971, Voerman stepped down as the office-administrator, simply because the workload became too much. Besides his work at the office and his work at the hospital, Voerman also was a baseball- and softball-umpire in those years, as well as a korfball-umpire. He also was the treasurer for baseball- and softball-club De Pino's in IJmuiden and regularly went watching games of soccer-club Telstar. Due to the work at the office in Amsterdam, Ron Voerman didn't want to go on holidays. But in the end, he decided to step down. However, while now having regular working hours from 1972 on at the Amsterdam-based hospital, Voerman would remain not only in contact with the office, but would stay active for the Association for many years to come. Voerman was succeeded as the office administrator in 1972 by Piet Wolffenbuttel, who was succeeded the following year by Henk Dorenbos (1973-1975), then Wim Ascherman led the office thereafter (1976-1978). In 1979, the office moved to Santpoort where Ben de Brouwer became the executive director.

As mentioned, Ron Voerman also was an umpire in both baseball and softball, something he had started in the early fifties. Initially in the Haarlem-region, but in later years, he also was assigned to games on a national level, which included the highest leagues in both baseball and softball. Voerman was a baseball-umpire through 1978, but remained active in softball on a national level through 1985. In the seventies and eighties, he also continued officiating games in the Haarlem-region. Voerman had a distinguished style while calling balls and strike as home plate umpire. When a strike was thrown, he made a step backwards, pumped both fists in the air and loudly called 'strike'.

In the years that Ron Voerman was a baseball-umpire, there were many wellknown umpires, including legends as Co Hetem, Piet Schijvenaar and Hans Schotel. Other wellknown umpires in those years were Cor Blitterswijk, Bertus Caldenhove, Hans Corpeleijn, Piet van Deenen, Paul Goode, Dick van der Klaauw, Gerard van Klingeren, Bert Lauer, Jan Pauwels, Lex Rimini, Henk Ronnenbergh, André Schrijber, Bert Staller, Evert van Tuyl, Aart Wedemeijer and Henk Wolffenbuttel. From the early seventies, Voerman saw new baseball-umpires climb the ladder, including Paul Bokern, Fred van Groningen Schinkel, Ton Hout, Jan Janszen, Fred de Kramer, Chris Pieters, Guus Slauerhoff, Karel van Veen, Franklin Victor, Wim Visser and Piet Vorst.

In his years in softball, there of course also were several wellknown umpires with whom Ron Voerman worked games. Amongst them Teun van den Berg, Bert Brebde, Paul Egner, Cor van Elst-Water, Cor Jonker, Cees Maerten, André Prins, Toon Verzijlberg, Al Vogel, Gré van Wijk and Dries de Zwaan. From halfway the seventies through his last season in 1985, Voerman saw the national debuts of softball-umpires such as John Barrett, Erik Bokern, Anne de Bruijne, Ruud van Houten, Dirk Jong, Jan Lievense, Ton Meijer, Frits Mulder, Rob Oene, Aad Peperkoorn, Pieter van der Ploeg, Jean Rijksen Willem Schutterop, René Sterkenburg, John Stevens, Jan Vlasveld and Co van de Wateringen.

Also in the fifties, Ron Voerman was a member for the first time of a KNHB-commission, as in 1955-1956, he was the secretary of the baseball-commission for protests. He returned in this position in 1965 through 1971, while working at the office in Amsterdam.

From the early seventies on, Voerman did more administrative duties for several commissions. In 1972, he was the secretary of the baseball umpires commission, which also included Henk de Ruiter and Hans Schotel. In 1978-1984, Voerman did the administratio for the softball umpires commission with Teun van den Berg being one of the members. In 1976-1982, Ron Voerman also was active for the umpires-commission in the Haarlem-region as its chairman and secretary.

In 1972-1981, Voerman also is a boardmember of the Bleesing Fonds, which supported baseball- and softball-clubs financially for several projects. In 1980-1981, he is the secretary and treasurer.

His longest affiliation came with the commission that handled suspensions and penalties. In 1973, Voerman became the secretary of this KNBSB-commission and remained active in this position for 36 years! He retired as secretary in 2008 at age 80. Remarkable enough Voerman is not the only longtime member of this commission When Voerman first became secretary of the commission, it was led by Gerard Waanders, who stepped down after 17 years in 1974. Waanders was succeeded by Martin Bremer, who chaired the commission for nine years. After Gerard Voogd had led the commission for four years, it was Leo van den Boomgaard, who would be the chairman for 22 years after already having served six years as commission-member before. Another longtime member was Hans Schotel, who served for more than 35 years. While being members of this commission, Van den Boomgaard, Voerman and Schotel had several other longtime colleagues, including Cor Blitterswijk (18 years), Hans Geesink (12 years), Bert Lauer (13 years), Pieter van der Ploeg (14 years) and Gré van Wijk (18 years). When Ron Voerman retired as the commission's secretary at the end of the 2008 season, he was succeeded by Dennis Duin.

For his many contributions and activities for many years, Ron Voerman was decorated several times by the Netherlands Association. In 1966, he was first decorated by the then Baseball Association. In 1972, he was named Member of Merit by the KNBSB, who promoted him to Honorary Member in 2010. In 1984, Voerman also had gotten a decoration from the then Haarlem Region.

These are very sad days at the moment, as the baseball- and softball-family in the Netherlands has to say farewell to another beloved member in a short period of time. Earlier this month, we also had to say goodbye to Anton Kops, Els Smit-ter Meulen and Hans de Bie.

Ron Voerman continued working until turning 91 years old in March of last year. He then decided to stop later in the year with his work as an accountant after having had his own office for seventy years! Characteristically, Ron Voerman never used computers for his mail to customers or others. Through the years, they always received there notices via letters that were typed by Voerman himself on a typing machine!

Ron Voerman always was positive and was friendly for everyone and through last year, as accountant, he continued giving advice to his customers. Personally, I always have had a warm working relationship with him through the years for which I thank him. Ron had humor, was a driven personality and will be missed by many of us in Dutch baseball and softball.

The webmaster of Grand Slam * Stats & News offers his condolences to Ron's wife Annelies, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and other family and wishes them a lot of strength with this big loss.

(January 29)

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