Grand Slam

Baseball & Softball Headlines
March 2007

Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2007 by Marco Stoovelaar

Index News Archive MARCH 2007

KNBSB-President Jan Rijpstra to step down. (March 22)
Ruud van Zetten Acting Chairman. (March 31)

Dutch Baseball
No exhibition-starters announced yet. (March 2)
Exhibition Update: 'Go' in Amsterdam; 'No Go' in Rotterdam. (March 3)
Pirates opens exhibition season with win. (March 4)
Walsma, Nooij open American season. (March 5)
Exhibition-starters announced. (March 9)
Comfortable wins Pirates, Pioniers, Sparta/Feyenoord. (March 10)
Five more exhibition games being played. (March 11)
Kinheim to meet Russians in Turkey. (March 14)
Exhibition Starters announced; Changes in schedule. (March 15)
Alexander Smit to Single-A. (March 15)
Exhibition Update. (March 16)
Almere ends streak Pirates; big win Kinheim. (March 17)
Kinheim wins big again; First win HCAW. (March 18)
Baseball Academy Amsterdam officially founded. (March 21)
Exhibition Update: Starters & Rosters. (March 22)
Fantasy Baseball opens second season. (March 22)
Australian pitcher for Kinheim. (March 22)
RCH-Pingu´ns and Guus van Dee separate. (March 23)
American pitcher for Neptunus. (March 23)
Aruban infielder Pioniers arrives. (March 23)
Ramses Meering interim-coach RCH. (March 23)
Neptunus, Pioniers remain unbeaten. (March 24)
First exhibition win RCH-Pingu´ns. (March 25)
Kinheim arrives in Turkey. (March 26)
Kinheim opens trainingcamp in Turkey. (March 27)
Rick van den Hurk starts for Florida. (March 27)
Rogearvin Bernadina plays for Washington. (March 27)
Kinheim continues trainingcamp. (March 28)
Kinheim-players give clinic; games changed. (March 29)
Starting Pitchers; Another blow for ADO. (March 29)
Kinheim to meet Russians. (March 30)
Kinheim-opener rains out in Turkey. (March 31)
First exhibition loss Pioniers. (March 31)

Dutch Softball Women
Pirates welcomes new pitcher. (March 4)
Comeback-win Terrasvogels vs. Pirates. (March 10)

International Baseball
American Harvey Schiller elected IBAF-President. (March 2)
Former Commissioner Bowie Kuhn passed away. (March 15)
First game played in Turkey. (March 30)

International Softball
ISF 'Strategic Task Force' to meet again. (March 22)

News Archive 2007

KNBSB-President Jan Rijpstra to step down

...Jan Rijpstra...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar
NIEUWEGEIN / TYNAARLO (Neth.) - Jan Rijpstra, president of the Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association (KNBSB), has informed his colleagues of the executive council and the member clubs that he will step down as Chairman of the Board on March 31, when the annual council meeting is being held in Nieuwegein.
Rijpstra was named interim-chairman in July 2004 after Henk van Hoof had to step down after only two weeks, as he was named Undersecretary of Social Affairs in the Dutch Parliament. Later, Rijpstra, who like Van Hoof was a member of Parliament, was officially elected Chairman of the Board. In March 2005, Rijpstra left the Parliament and was installed as Mayor of the Municipality of Tynaarlo.

In a statement released by the KNBSB on Thursday-afternoon Rijpstra is saying: ,,The most important reason is the distance between my residence Tynaarlo and the center and western parts of the country where the executive activities of the KNBSB primarily take part.''
As said, Rijpstra is Mayor of Tynaarlo, which is located in the province of Drenthe in the northeastern part of the country, while the Head Office of the KNBSB is situated in the center. ,,A board meeting in Nieuwegein, takes some eight hours, including five hours travel time'', Rijpstra states. Because of the great distance, Rijpstra cannot combine his work of his fulltime job as Mayor anymore with his duties as chairman of the KNBSB.

Rijpstra: ,,The problems within the board of more than a year ago led to a new approach and resulted in a good and quiet down situation within the federation. Of course, there are always things that can be renewed, but in the last year a lot of persons within the KNBSB, the board and the head office have done a lot of work, which bare fruit and will continue do so in the future.''

The executive board respects Rijpstra's decision and will discuss his succession with the council during the meeting on March 31.
(March 22)

Ruud van Zetten Acting Chairman
NIEUWEGEIN (Neth.) - Ruud van Zetten has been named as Acting Chairman of the Board of the Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association (KNBSB) during the annual Council Meeting in Nieuwegein on Saturday.
Van Zetten succeeds Jan Rijpstra, who announced ten days ago he would step down today, because he couldn't combine the presidency anymore with his regular job as Mayor of Tynaarlo.

Van Zetten will remain Acting Chairman until May 21 when an election is scheduled to choose a new chairman. At the moment, Van Zetten is the only candidate to fill the vacant postion.
(March 31)

Dutch Baseball
No exhibition starters announced yet
AMSTERDAM / ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - For coming Sunday, two exhibition games are still on schedule to be played. On Saturday, a planned game between DOOR Neptunus and Sparta/Feyenoord was canceled early in the week, as the two Head Coaches decided against playing, because no outdoor training session wasn't conducted yet.

Neptunus held an outdoor session last Sunday, both teams plan to have practices on Saturday, but a lot of rain is expected then. Therefore, there are some doubts, the second planned game between Neptunus and Sparta/Feyenoord, to be played in the Neptunus Familystadium, will continue on Sunday. But rookie Head Coaches Eric de Bruin (Neptunus) and Adonis Kemp (Sparta/Feyenoord) are both optimistic that some innings will be played on Sunday.
Also scheduled for Sunday is the exhibition opener for Amsterdam Pirates, which will meet its First Division-team. Pirates-Head Coach Louis Hofer already had conducted some outdoor practices with his squad and also is optimistic that a game can be played on Sunday, when the weather is more favorable.
De Bruin, Kemp and Hofer plan to use a number of pitchers when the games are being played, but didn't designate a starter yet.
(March 2)

Exhibition Update: 'Go' in Amsterdam; 'No Go' in Rotterdam
AMSTERDAM / ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - On saturday-evening, there was a 'go' for 'Play Ball' in Amsterdam, but a 'no go' for Rotterdam to play an exhibition game on Sunday.

On Saturday, it was decided to cancel the game between DOOR Neptunus and Sparta/Feyenoord, scheduled to be played on Sunday in the Neptunus Familystadium in Rotterdam. Reason for the cancelation was the sometimes heavy rain of the last few days, which made the field in the stadium unplayable. Earlier in the week, the first game between the two teams, which was to be played on Saturday, also was scrubbed.

But there still is a chance that a game will be played in the first exhibition weekend of the season, as the opening game of Amsterdam Pirates against its First Division-team was still on schedule to be played on Sportpark Ookmeer in the Dutch capital. It did rain in Amsterdam also, but not as much as in other parts of the country. On Saturday-evening, it was decided that when the weather and the field conditions are favorable, the game would be played. When that will be the case, the pitchers of the big league and first division-teams of Pirates will throw for the opposing squad. Starters has not yet been named.
(March 3)

Pirates opens exhibition season with win
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Amsterdam Pirates opened its exhibition season on Sunday with a 7-1 victory against its First Division-team Amsterdam Pirates 2. For the first time in years, a game could be played in the first scheduled exhibition weekend. In previous years, games had to be canceled due to weather conditions (cold, rain, snow, wind). Last year, 22 of the first 26 games had to be scrubbed, in 2005 five games in the first two weekends were canceled. The opening game lasted seven-and-a-half inning, which were completed in under only two hours. Earlier, the second game between DOOR Neptunus and Sparta/Feyenoord was canceled, because of field conditions due to heavy rain in the last few days.
(March 4)

Complete Game Recap, Line Score & Box Score

Walsma, Nooij open American season
LONGVIEW, Washington (USA) - RHP Pim Walsma and Catcher Bas Nooij, who both play for Amsterdam Pirates, have started their American college-season last weekend with four victories as the Red Devils, the baseball team of Lower Columbia Community College won twice on Saturday and on Sunday. Walsma and Nooij will return to the Netherlands after completion of their American trip.

...Pim Walsma (left) and Bas Nooij...
(Photos: Marco Stoovelaar)
Playing on David Storey Field, their home field, the Red Devils won the opener on Saturday vs. Linfield, 4-3, then followed with an 8-1 win. On Sunday, Chemeketa Community College was beaten 11-3 and 7-2.

Pim Walsma started the second game on Saturday and did a great job, as he pitched five no-hit innings, before being relieved. The team even took a No-Hitter into the ninth inning, but then the team's closer gave up two hits and a run. Just before the inning started, someone in the dug-out spoke about the No-Hitter, but the unwritten rule in baseball states that you don't do that. Moments later, the No-Hitter was broken. ,,Pim pitched fine'', Head Coach Kelly Smith said. ,,He has a pitcher's body and improved a lot. He had a good control and threw strikes.''

Bas Nooij also played in the opening weekend and caught three innings on Saturday. Bas is the back-up catcher on the team, as he has two sophomores in front of him. ,,Bas is cathing really well and is a good blocker. His hitting also improved. Both Pim and Bas gained strenghth since being here'', Coach Smith said. ,,They had a good start. This will be a good experience for them.''

Recently, Walsma and Nooij had the chance of meeting Bud Black, the Manager of the San Diego Padres. Black and Smith, who himself played in the San Francisco Giants-organization, gave a lecture for the baseball-team about their playing days and talked about baseball. Before becoming the Manager of the Padres, Black was the Pitching Coach of the Anaheim Angels and himself pitched for the Kansas City Royals, with whom he won the World Series. Last year, Kelly Smith was the Head Coach of the NWAACC All Stars, the team that represented the USA in the Haarlem Baseball Week in the Netherlands.
(March 5)

Exhibition-starters announced
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - This weekend, eight of the nine big league-teams will play at least one exhibition game, weather permitting. The lone team not to play is reigning champion Corendon Kinheim, which opens its exhibition season next week. Coaches will look closely at the performances of their players to make decisions for the upcoming season, such as designating who will be the starting pitchers. For this weekend, some coaches named their starting pitchers, but that doesn't necessarily means that they will be starters in the regular season, as most pitchers will see action in different roles during exhibition games.

Vice-champion Konica Minolta Pioniers is meeting Mr. Cocker HCAW twice. The games in Hoofddorp (Saturday) and Bussum (Sunday) both will start at 1:00 PM. Three members of Pioniers' new coaching staff will face their former team, for whom they played several seasons: Manager Frank Koene, Head Pitching Coach Maurice DeConge and 3B Coach Lars Koehorst. The game on Saturday will be played on Field # 2 on the Pioniers-site, as the main field is currently being renewed. The outfield-fences will be brought in and a new warning track will be added.

DOOR Neptunus and ADO will open their season on Sunday at Rotterdam. Initially, the teams were scheduled to meet on Saturday in Rotterdam, but this game was moved to Sunday with the game in The Hague being dropped.

Amsterdam Pirates, the only team to already have played an exhibition game last weekend, will meet First Divisionist Alcmaria Victrix twice. On Saturday at Alkmaar, on Sunday at home.

Sparta/Feyenoord also meets a team from First Division: Storks. The teams will play on the site of The Hawks in Dordrecht on Saturday. Sunday's game at Rotterdam was scrubbed from the schedule, as Sparta/Feyenoord's home field currently is worked on.

MediaMonks RCH-Pingu´ns is playing against Blue Birds from the First Division, playing in Delft on Saturday and at home on Sunday.

Almere '90 will play against its First Division-team Almere '90 2 on Sunday, starting at 1:00 PM.
(March 9)

Comfortable wins Pirates, Pioniers, Sparta/Feyenoord
ALKMAAR / HOOFDDORP / DORDRECHT (Neth.) - Saturday, three exhibition games were played, resulting in comfortable victories for Amsterdam Pirates, Konica Minolta Pioniers and Sparta/Feyenoord.
Pirates shutout First Divisionist Alcmaria Victrix, 11-0, while Pioniers registered a 7-0 shutout vs. Mr. Cocker HCAW. Sparta/Feyenoord won 7-1 vs. First Divisionist Storks.

The exhibition opener of MediaMonks RCH-Pingu´ns, which would have played against First Divisionist Blue Birds, was canceled because the site in Delft was unplayable due to rain in the last days.
The game between DOOR Neptunus and ADO and that of Almere '90 against its second team were moved to Sunday.
(March 10)

Complete Game Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores
Complete Baseball Exhibition Schedule, Scores & Standings

Five more exhibition games being played
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Five more exhibition games are in the books, as very acceptable weather enabled the teams to play. Eight of the nine big league-teams now have played at least once. The lone team without a game is champion Corendon Kinheim, which opens its season coming weekend.

At Bussum, Konica Minolta Pioniers scored five unearned runs in a small 6-3 win vs. Mr. Cocker HCAW.
At Almere, Almere '90 opened with a big, 2-hit, 12-0 shutout against its First Division second team.
At Rotterdam, DOOR Neptunus started its exhibition season with an 8-4 win vs. ADO, which has pitching problems.
At Amsterdam, Amsterdam Pirates registered its second shutout in two days, defeating First Divisionist Alcmaria Victrix, 10-0.
At Santpoort, MediaMonks RCH-Pingu´ns opened with a surprise 5-0 shutout-loss vs. First Divisionist Blue Birds.
At Rotterdam, the game between Sparta/Feyenoord and First Divisionist Storks was canceled.
(March 11)

Complete Game Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores
Complete Baseball Exhibition Schedule, Scores & Standings

Kinheim to meet Russians in Turkey
HAARLEM (Neth.) - Coming weekend, Dutch champion Corendon Kinheim will become the last big league-team to open its exhibition season. Kinheim will play twice against MediaMonks RCH-Pingu´ns, which Sunday opened with a 5-0 loss.

A week later, Kinheim will play two games against DOOR Neptunus, before leaving for Antalya in Turkey. In this coastal city, the Haarlem-squad will have a weeklong trainingcamp as part of its preparations for the upcoming season, which opens Saturday, April 14. Besides daily training sessions, Kinheim will play two games against Russian champion Tornados Balashikha. The second game will be the official opening game of a newly build stadium in Antalya. In 2001, the Turkish national federation was founded, last year the Turkish national team participated for the first time in the European Championship Qualifier, which was being held in Moscow (Russia).

The trip to Turkey has been made possible thanks to Kinheim's main sponsor Corendon, a Turkish company, which specializes in holidays and golftrips to Turkey. Last year, Corendon signed a 3-year sponsor agreement with Kinheim, which captured the Dutch title for the first time in 12 year.
(March 14)

Alexander Smit to Single-A
FT. MYERS, Florida (USA) - Dutch lefthanded pitcher Alexander Smit has been optioned to the Single-A team of the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers.
On Saturday, March 3, Smit made his debut in the big league team of the Twins during a game in the Grapefruit League (Spring Training). Smit was the sixth of nine pitchers used in a game against the Cincinnati Reds and threw 1 1/3 inning in which he walked one batter and gave up two basehits and one (earned) run. Cincinnati won the game, 14-1. This was to be his only appearance with the team.

Late November, Smit was added to to 40-man Major League-roster of the Twins and reported in Florida for Spring Training in February. The 21-year old lefthander and three other players were added to the big league-roster to protect them for the Rule 5 Draft in December during the Winter Meetings. Minor League-players with four years of professional experience or five when they were 18 or younger at the moment of signing are eligible for the draft, unless they are put on the 40-man roster. A player selected in the Rule 5 Draft have to be on the Major League-roster of their new club the entire next season. The Rule 5 Draft was made to prevend teams to stock too much talented players in the minor league-system, without giving them a fair chance of promoting to the Major League, while they could get that chance with another club. By adding eligible players to the 40-man rosters, teams not only protect their talents, but also give them a chance to make their own big league-team during Spring Training. Players who are eligible and not on the roster, are free agent and can be signed by other teams.

Last season, Alexander Smit played for the Beloit Snappers (single-A), where he appeared in 34 games. Smit, who signed a professional contract with the Minnesota Twins in July 2002, had a 7-2 record and a 2.99 ERA. In 108 1/3 inning, he struckout 141 batters and walked 53, while giving up 77 hits.
In 2001 and 2002, Smit played in the Dutch big league for PSV. In 2002, he made his debut in the Dutch National Team during the Haarlem Baseball Week. Smit also participated in the Intercontinental Cup (Cuba, 2002), European Championships (Netherlands, 2003), Olympic Qualifying Tournament (Netherlands, 2003), Olympic Games (Greece, 2004), World Cup (Netherlands, 2005) and World Baseball Classic (Puerto Rico, 2006). Since 2002, Smit appeared in 14 games for the national squad.
(March 15)

Exhibition Starters announced; Changes in schedule
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Coming weekend, 12 exhibition games were initially scheduled involving big league-teams, but three of them have been scrubbed. The question, however, is the remaining nine games can be played, as rain and colder temperatures are being forcasted.

Konica Minolta Pioniers was to play twice against its First Division-team Omron Pioniers, but both games were canceled due to the current field-situation in Hoofddorp. Because of construction work on the main field, only one other senior baseball-field is available on Sportpark Toolenburg. That will be used on Saturday by the Pioniers-team, which instead of playing will have a training session and play an intersquad game with addition of some players from its second team. Because of expected rain, Sunday's game has been canceled. Due to the work on the main field, Pioniers is having its weekly training session on Monday and Wednesday on the site of Amsterdam Pirates in Amsterdam.

ADO was to play two games against Sparta/Feyenoord, but the teams only will meet on Saturday in The Hague. Sunday's game at Rotterdam was scrubbed, because of ADO's pitching situation, as the team has only three pitchers on its roster. On Saturday, non-roster righthander Quinn Tramm is scheduled to start for ADO. This pitcher from Curašao arrived in the Netherlands last September, practiced some with the main squad, but played the remainder of the season for ADO-3.

On Sunday, Mr. Cocker HCAW will meet new First Divisionist Euro Stars (promoted last season form Second Division) in Nieuwegein. That game is being played on the site of Nieuwegein Diamonds on Sportpark Galecop as part of that club's celebrations of its 25th anniversary.

On Saturday, Dutch champion Corendon Kinheim is scheduled to play its first game, facing MediaMonks RCH-Pingu´ns. It is sending veteran lefthander Patrick Beljaards to the mount for that match-up, while Sunday's starter for the home game will be decided after completion of Saturday's game. Except for DOOR Neptunus, eight big league-teams initially had a game scheduled for Saturday. On Sunday, all nine big league-teams were to have an exhibition game scheduled for the first time on the same day, but that changed due to the adjustments to the schedule.

Some probable starting pitchers have been announced already, while others will be named either on Friday or on the game-day.
(March 15)

Exhibition Update
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - All starting pitchers have now been announced for the scheduled nine exhibition games involving big league-teams, to be played on Saturday (five) and Sunday (four).

The starters for Amsterdam Pirates, Almere '90, DOOR Neptunus and MediaMonks RCH-Pingu´ns were all announced on Friday, completing the list of probables who already were known on Thursday-evening.
The only open spot left is that of Sunday's starter for Corendon Kinheim against MediaMonks RCH-Pingu´ns, but that probably will he RHP David Bergman. It was announced on Friday, that Kinheim's first exhibition game of the season vs. RCH-Pingu´ns, scheduled for Saturday, was moved to its home site in the Pim Mulier Stadium in Haarlem, instead of RCH's home site in Heemstede, as that field is not available.
(March 16)

Almere ends streak Pirates; big win Kinheim
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - On Saturday, the baseball exhibition season continued with five games, including seven of the nine Dutch big league-teams. Konica Minolta Pioniers and DOOR Neptunus didn't see action.

At Almere, three teams played a triple-header. In the morning, host Almere '90 played an 1-1 tie vs. Mr. Cocker HCAW, which last week opened its exhibition season with two losses. Two pitchers threw a 5-inning No-Hitter. In the afternoon, Amsterdam Pirates won its fourth game in a row by defeating HCAW, 6-4. The day ended with a 6-2 victory for Almere against Pirates, ending the 4-game winning streak of the Amsterdam-squad.
At Haarlem, Dutch champion Corendon Kinheim opened its exhibition season with a huge 21-2 victory vs. MediaMonks RCH-Pingu´ns on 18 basehits.
At The Hague, ADO came back from a 3-0 deficit to win 4-3 vs. Sparta/Feyenoord.
At Hoofddorp, the 2-game series of Konica Minolta Pioniers against its First Division-team Omron Pioniers was removed from the schedule, because of the field-situation in Hoofddorp. Instead of playing, Pioniers conducted a training session and played an intersquad game.
DOOR Neptunus had no game scheduled today and held a training session. The Rotterdam-squad will play against Belgian champion Royal Greys tomorrow, weather permitting.
(March 17)

Complete Game Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores
Complete Baseball Exhibition Schedule, Scores & Standings

Kinheim wins big again; First win HCAW
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - The weather forecasts for Sunday were unfavorable with expected rain, snow, hail, thunder, cold winds and storm. While it did rain in the night and morning before, their was an almost clear blue sky in the afternoon, but stormy winds and cold remained.
The weather conditions resulted in unplayable fields in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, meaning the games of Amsterdam Pirates vs. Almere '90 and that of DOOR Neptunus vs. Belgian champion Royal Greys were canceled. But despite the cold, two games were being played.

At Haarlem, Dutch champion Corendon Kinheim again won big today, as it shutout MediaMonks RCH-Pingu´ns, 12-0, after winning 21-2 yesterday.
At Nieuwegein, Mr. Cocker HCAW won its first exhibition game of the season. HCAW defeated First Divisionist Euro Stars, 11-10, in a game that was played at the site of Nieuwegein Diamonds, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
(March 18)

Complete Game Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores
Complete Baseball Exhibition Schedule, Scores & Standings

Baseball Academy Amsterdam officially founded

...It's official...
...Chairman Frans Delemarre (left)...
...and Robert Eenhoorn seal the... of the Diamonds...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - On Wednesday, documents were formally signed in the clubhouse of Amsterdam Pirates, resulting in the official foundation of the Amsterdam Diamonds, the third Baseball Academy in the Netherlands. Earlier, similar academies were realized in Rotterdam and Eindhoven.

...Robert Eenhoorn signs for...
...the foundation of the third Academy...
...Frans Delemarre looks on...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Baseball Academy Rotterdam Unicorns was the first Baseball Academy founded a few years ago, last year followed by Bixie Baseball, which is located in the southern part of the country. While the academy in Amsterdam already existed, tonight it was officially founded and a board installed. The academies are set up by the Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association (KNBSB), which plans to add at least two more in the near future.

The academies are an initiative of former Major Leaguer and current Dutch national team manager Robert Eenhoorn, who signed the documents on behalf of the KNBSB.
Also signing were Frans Delemarre, who became the chairman of Baseball Academy Amsterdam Diamonds, Marlon Frolijk (Secretary) and Alexander van Aken (Treasurer). The three are also involved with the three clubs that support the Diamonds with youth players. Delemarre is the former chairman of Amsterdam Pirates, while Frolijk and Van Aken are active with Thamen and De Volewijckers respectively. The majority of players comes from Pirates, while Thamen and De Volewijckers both have one player in the team. Amsterdam Diamonds is not only a new 'team', it also is a new club, which will participate in national competitions, just like Unicorns and Bixie. The documents were also signed by Notary Saskia van Wechem.

...Head Instructor Kevin van Hagen (far right) cuts...
...the cake with the players of Amsterdam Diamonds...
...and Dutch Manager Robert Eenhoorn (on the left)...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
,,The vision of the KNBSB to create these clusters and academies is to have baseball schools which not only are attractive and learnful for talented youth players, but that they also will be profitable for Dutch baseball in general in the future'', Robert Eenhoorn stated. ,,Compliments for this have to go to local and regional cooperation. This kind of initiatives are impossible without their support. Together they can have a good future.''

,,The realization of a fourth academy is expected soon'', said Gijs Selderijk, who is responsible for youth player development at the KNBSB. ,,Clubs in the Amsterdam-area, as well as in Hoofddorp, can all inform our instructors or the federation of talented players, who might be candidates for this new academy. There also will be regular try-outs, as is the case for the other two academies. Players remain also available to play for their own club, but as they will practice four times in a week and play in the weekend for the Academy, there will not be much time left over. But in the future, these players can become valuable players for senior-teams and national teams.''

Amsterdam Pirates is an important participant in this project. The club, which is the biggest in the capital, is playing with its senior teams in the Dutch big league and First Division, as well on national levels with their youth teams and have built a good name through the years for their youth development and education. The Diamonds will have weekly practices and play their home games on the site of Pirates on Sportpark Ookmeer. Kevin van Hagen is heading the instructors staff, which includes Michel Aussems and big league and national team-players Michael Duursma (Konica Minolta Pioniers) and Michiel van Kampen (Corendon Kinheim).

Besides the KNBSB and Amsterdam Pirates, other participants are LOOTschool Calandlyceum, an Amsterdam-based school on which most of the players are studying and support the project with flexible learning hours for their students amongst other things; Major League Baseball, which provides the academy (as well as the other two) with equipment, Topsport Amsterdam, which is a sponsor, and Albatros Hengelsport, which sponsors the uniforms of the Diamonds.
(March 21)

...The signing of the documents is conducted by (left to right)...
...Michel Aussems, Robert Eenhoorn, Frans Delemarre...
...Notary Saskia van Wechem, Marlon Frolijk and Alexander van Aken...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)

Exhibition Update: Starters & Rosters

...Leon Boyd...
(Photo: Ron Wicklert
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Coming weekend, there are ten exhibition games scheduled, including eight of the nine big league-teams. The only team which have no games scheduled for Saturday and Sunday is ADO, which is staging a training weekend on its home site in The Hague. Most starting pitchers for these exhibition games have been named.

Canadian-born righthander Leon Boyd arrived in Rotterdam on Wednesday and will make his debut in a Neptunus-uniform coming weekend, as he is scheduled to start on Sunday at home when DOOR Neptunus meets Dutch champion Corendon Kinheim. In November last year, Boyd, who then played in Belgium and has a Dutch passport, made his debut for the Dutch National Team during an exhibition game in China and later participated in the Intercontinental Cup in Taiwan. Neptunus probably will add another pitcher soon, as a replacement for lefthander Diegomar Markwell, who currently is in Taiwan and got a contract extension through early May. Kinheim announced is also added a new pitcher in Australian righthander Vaughan Harris.
Konica Minolta Pioniers, which is playing twice vs. Amsterdam Pirates, will name its starters on Friday. Both games will be played on the site of Pirates, as the field of Pioniers will not be available for the scheduled home game on Saturday, due to the current renovation work that's going on.
The probable starting pitchers for MediaMonks RCH-Pingu´ns also are not known yet. The team is scheduled to play against Mortsel Stars from Belgium on Saturday and will meet First Divisionist Euro Stars on Sunday on the site of the latter in Capelle a/d IJssel. The game initially was scheduled to be played in Heemstede, but RCH's home field is not available. It's not known at the moment wether the game against the Belgians will be played in Heemstede. A press release regarding other news of the RCH-squad is expected on Friday, as the team has separated with Head Coach Guus van Dee.

The rosters of the nine teams are added to this site. In the coming weeks, some changes on the different rosters are expected, as players might be returned to lower teams, or players, including foreigners, will be added. Starting next Monday, Grand Slam * Stats & News will present its annual preview-series.
(March 22)

Fantasy Baseball opens second season
LEIDEN / AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - After its successful inaugural season, Baseball Manager of the Year, the Dutch Fantasy League, is now open for its second season!

In Fantasy Baseball everyone can become a Team Manager him or herself, compiling your own team and then hoping that your selected players have a good season. The better these players perform, the more points a Fantasy-Manager can gain. And of course, the manager with the most points at the end of the season is the champion and the winner of the season and the game.

In Honkbalmanager van het Jaar (Baseball Manager of the Year), you can select players, who currently are on the Dutch big league-rosters for this season. Just as in other Fantasy Leagues you have to form your own team and make a choice out of the available players. As last year, every player has been awarded a (fictive) value. Every Baseball Manager has a maximun to 'buy' players for his or her team. For every game in the regular season, players will receive points for different categories, such as basehits and RBI's for the hitters and strikeouts for the pitchers. The Baseball Manager of the Year is that person whose team collected the most points at the end of the season.

Registering as a Baseball Manager is free. The registration can be completed through the website More information of the exciting game Baseball Manager of the Year can be found on its website. For questions you can mail to
(March 22)

Australian pitcher for Kinheim

...Vaughan Harris...
(Photo: New South Wales
HAARLEM (Neth.) - Corendon Kinheim has expanded its pitching staff with Australian pitcher Vaughan Harris, the club confirmed on Thursday-evening.
The 25-year old righthander will arrive on Friday-morning and will be with the team in the weekend when it is playing two exhibition games against DOOR Neptunus, which will be the first between the former and current Dutch champion. Last season, Neptunus was dethroned as champion in the Play-Offs after seven consecutive titles, while Kinheim won its first title in 12 years. Kinheim's Pitching Coach Eelco Jansen on Thursday-evening said he's not planning to use Harris in the upcoming two games. On Monday, Harris will travel with Kinheim to Turkey, where the team will have a weeklong spring training and meets Russian champion Tornados Balashikha in two games.

The last three years, Vaughan Harris was a member of the New South Wales Patriots in the Australian Baseball League, with whom he participated in the annual Claxton Shield, the final tournament for the Australian title. In 2005, New South Wales captured the title. In January of this year, Harris started in two games for the Patriots in the Claxton Shield and was the winning pitcher once. In 9 2/3 inning, he struckout six batters, walked three and gave up eight hits and three unearned runs. This will not be the first that Harris is playing in Europe. From 2003-2005, he pitched for the Kiel Seahawks in the German Regionalliga, which is two divisions under the highest league.

,,The last years he had good statistics in the Australian League'', Eelco Jansen said about Harris, who played in the same team as current or former Australian national team-players like Ryan Rowland-Smith, Glenn Williams, Trent Oeltjen, Brendan Kingman, Gavin Fingleson and Rodney Van Buizen.
(March 22)

RCH-Pingu´ns and Guus van Dee separate

...Guus van Dee...
(Photo: MS)
HEEMSTEDE (Neth.) - MediaMonks RCH-Pingu´ns, which will make its return on the highest level in three weeks, has separated with its Head Coach Guus van Dee. A successor for Van Dee, who was to make his debut as a big league-coach, has not been named yet.
In October last year, the experienced Van Dee was named Head Coach of the team as the successor of Ramses Meering, who guided RCH-Pingu´ns to the First Division-title, but stepped down as he couldn't combine the coaching any longer with his regular job.
Last weekend, RCH was beaten 21-2 and 12-0 by Corendon Kinheim after being shutout 5-0 by First Divisionist Blue Birds the week before in its exhibition opener.

The club confirmed the separtion on Friday in a press release, stating ,,that MediaMonks RCH and coach Guus van Dee decided not to continue their working agreement together. MediaMonks RCH has a lot of respect for what Van Dee has done in the past period, but that the real 'click' with the player group wasn't there, which let Van Dee to decide that continuation wouldn't bear fruit. MediaMonks RCH respected his decision and has started the search for a new Head Coach.''

Guus van Dee is active in coaching for more than 20 years and led teams in the First Division, as well as managing the Dutch National Cadets Team. He also supervised national youth camps for the Dutch Federation, coached softball, was chairman of the Haarlem Softball Week and more recently was a member of the Board for the Dutch Federation (KNBSB). ,,The click between the team and myself wasn't there'', Van Dee reacted. ,,They didn't got what they expected and I didn't got the attitude or response which is necesssary to play on the highest level. This resulted in a different view of insights.''
(March 23)

American pitcher for Neptunus
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - DOOR Neptunus has reached an agreement with 23-year old lefthanded pitcher Chris Ryan, who will turn 24 on April 4, ten days before the regular season begins.

Chris Ryan will arrive next Thursday and will be with the team the weekend thereafter, when Neptunus is meeting vice-champion Konica Minolta Pioniers and Amsterdam Pirates. On Saturday Neptunus hosts Pioniers, which dethroned them last season. On Sunday, Neptunus will play at Hoofddorp and will also meet Pirates there in a triple-header.

Lefthander Ryan will take the spot on the Neptunus-roster of Diegomar Markwell, also a lefthander. As mentioned before Markwell is in Taiwan, where he is playing professionally and has a contract-extension through early May.
Until last season, Chris Ryan pitched for the Bison, the baseball-team of Oklahoma Baptist University in the USA. In the last two seasons, he had similar statistics. Ryan appeared in 15 games (14 as a starter) in both seasons and seems to be a control pitcher.
In 2005, he was 7-4, threw 76 innings in which he struckout 70 batters, walked 22 and gave up 84 hits and 45 runs (41 earned).
In 2006, he was 9-6, threw 83 innings in which he struckout 65 batters, walked 20 and gave up 89 hits and 42 runs (34 earned).
He ended his career with the Bison on May 11, when he was the losing pitcher (5.2 innings, 11 hits) vs. Oklahoma City University.
(March 23)

Aruban infielder Pioniers arrives

...Jourick Blanco...
(Photo: Pioniers)
HOOFDDORP (Neth.) - Aruban infielder Joudrick Blanco arrived in the Netherlands on Friday-morning and will join his new teammates of Konica Minolta Pioniers for a 2-game exhibition series this weekend vs. Amsterdam Pirates. The teams will play on both Saturday and Sunday in Amsterdam.

The 21-year old Blanco has played four seasons professionally in the organization of the Baltimore Orioles. He played in the Venezuelan Summer League for Venoco, which has a working agreement with both the Orioles and the Chicago White Sox and is provided with players from both clubs.

Last season, Blanco, who mostly played at first base, appeared in 53 games, hitting .262 (45-for-172) with 13 doubles, four homeruns and 28 runs batted in. His On Base Percentage was .339 and he committed only four errors. At Pioniers, he is scheduled to become the team's new second baseman to take over the position which was left vacant after Lars Koehorst retired after last season. Koehorst became a member of the coaching staff for this season.

Pioniers also plans to add a foreign pitcher to its staff in the coming weeks. It initially acquired Japanese righthander Akira Okamoto, who last season played for ADO and had the league's best ERA with 1.11 and won six games. However, Okamoto is not coming, as he is working in Japan this year.
On Friday, Pioniers named its starting pitchers for the upcoming two exhibition games against Pirates: RHP Roger Kops and LHP Richard Orman.
(March 23)

Ramses Meering interim-coach RCH
HEEMSTEDE (Neth.) - Ramses Meering, who guided the team last year, has been named interim-Head Coach for MediaMonks RCH-Pingu´ns. Meering will be at the helm on Saturday when RCH is playing against Mortsel Stars from Belgium and on Sunday when they meet First Divisionist Euro Stars. Saturday's game is to be played at home in Heemstede, while Sunday's game will be played in Capelle a/d IJssel. Saturday's site is unsure, as there are reports that RCH's home site might not be available. That's also the reason for Sunday's game to be moved to the site of Euro Stars.

Meering will be in charge of the team until a successor has been found for Guus van Dee, with whom the club separated on Thursday. The group of players was informed of the change on Thursday-evening, while the club confirmed the move on Friday. In the upcoming games, Meering will be assisted by Jeroen Roozen, who already was the Assistant Coach, but also by Pitching Coach Dave Dusseau, who combined coaching with pitching last season. Both Meering and Dusseau stopped as coach after last season when the team captured the title in First Division and promoted to the Major League. ,,Coming weekend we're back together again'', said Meering, who played for RCH himself for ten seasons and assisted during the indoor-practices the last weeks. ,,We discussed the current situation and as I am a RCH-member, I offered to help in the coming weeks.''

Meering propably will not be the next Head Coach of the team himself. ,,No, I will handle the coming weeks, but for the big league we need someone else to do that'', he said to Grand Slam * Stats & News on Friday-evening. For the upcoming games, Meering named RHP Martin Kuipers and RHP Bobbie van Duuren as his starting pitchers.
(March 23)

Neptunus, Pioniers remain unbeaten
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - DOOR Neptunus and Konica Minolta Pioniers remained unbeaten in the exhibition season as both teams added a victory on Saturday.

At Haarlem, DOOR Neptunus and Dutch champion Corendon Kinheim played an quick and attractive game, which remained scoreless for six innings. Neptunus eventually won, 2-0, and handed Kinheim its first loss.
At Amsterdam, Konica Minolta Pioniers won comfortably, 9-1, vs. Amsterdam Pirates, which had an off-day defensively.
At Almere, Sparta/Feyenoord registered its second exhibition victory and needed only one run to do that, as they beat Almere '90, 1-0. Just as their fellow-Rotterdam-squad Neptunus, Sparta/Feyenoord, broke the scoreless tie in the seventh inning. This was Almere's first loss.
At Capelle a/d IJssel, MediaMonks RCH-Pingu´ns, which was led for the first time by interim-coach Ramses Meering, lost its fourth game in a row. RCH held a 5-2 lead in the sixth against First Divisionist Euro Stars, but eventually lost 9-7. Initially, RCH was to play against Mortsel Stars from Belgium at its home field in Heemstede, but that site is currently unavailable. Instead, RCH returned to its original schedule and played at Euro Stars. Sunday's home game is also played on the site of Euro Stars in Capelle a/d IJssel.
At Bussum, Mr. Cocker HCAW moved into a tie for third place in the exhibition standings after winning 7-2 against its First Division-team Mr. Cocker HCAW 2.
(March 24)

Complete Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores
Complete Baseball Exhibition Schedule, Scores & Standings

First exhibition win RCH-Pingu´ns
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - MediaMonks RCH-Pingu´ns on Sunday registered its first exhibition win by beating First Divisionist Euro Stars. Would have been a regular game, the final score would have been 1-0, but RCH added two runs in an additional ninth at bat to make it 3-0. DOOR Neptunus and Konica Minolta Pioniers remained unbeaten by winning again on Sunday.

At Rotterdam, DOOR Neptunus trailed 1-0, but won 4-1 vs. Corendon Kinheim, which will travel to Turkey on Monday for a weeklong spring training.
At Amsterdam, Konica Minolta Pioniers again hit the ball well and today won 8-4 vs. Amsterdam Pirates, which has now lost three in a row.
At Rotterdam, Almere '90 was hitting better than yesterday, resulting in a 10-4 win vs. Sparta/Feyenoord.
At Capelle a/d IJssel, MediaMonks RCH-Pingu´ns shutout First Divisionist Euro Stars, 3-0, and scored its first run in the seventh inning. With the win, RCH broke a 4-game losing streak.
At Bussum, Mr. Cocker HCAW shutout its First Division-team Mr. Cocker HCAW 2, 8-0.
(March 25)

Complete Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores
Complete Baseball Exhibition Schedule, Scores & Standings

Kinheim arrives in Turkey

...Kinheim's Team Manager Frans Bergman (left)...
...checks details in the hotel in Belek...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
BELEK (Turkey) - Dutch champion Corendon Kinheim arrived in Turkey on Monday-afternoon for a weeklong spring training. The team will practice daily on Tuesday through Thursday, then will meet Russian champion Tornados Balashikha on Friday-evening and late Saturday-afternoon.

The practices and games will take place in the newly build baseball field in the city of Antalya. On Friday, a 2-day youth tournament also will open on the site with participation of the national youth teams from Bulgaria, Germany and host Turkey.

The trip to Turkey has been made possible thanks to Kinheim's main sponsor Corendon, a Turkish company, which specializes in holidays and golftrips to Turkey. Last year, Corendon signed a 3-year sponsor agreement with Kinheim, which captured the Dutch title for the first time in 12 year.

In the exhibition season, Kinheim so far is 2-2. The team from Haarlem opened with two big victories vs. MediaMonks RCH-Pingu´ns, but lost twice last weekend against DOOR Neptunus.
Newly added Australian pitcher Vaughan Harris joined the team to Turkey after just arriving in the Netherlands on Friday. In the weekend, he didn't pitch against Neptunus, but he is expected to throw in one of the game against the Russians later this week.
(March 26)

Rick van den Hurk starts for Florida
FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (USA) - Dutch pitcher Rick van den Hurk started today (Tuesday) for the Florida Marlins-Major League-team, which completes its spring training later this week.

Van den Hurk, who is labeled as a Minor League-prospect, did not take part in the Major League-camp, but was brought in from the Minor League-complex and named as starter by Manager Fredi Gonzalez for the today's game against the Baltimore Orioles.
In January 2005, Van den Hurk participated with the Dutch National Team in a spring training on Curašao and was considered a candidate for the Olympic team the year before, but became unavailable due to an arm-injury, from which he appears to have recovered fine.

On Tuesday-afternoon, Van den Hurk pitched four complete innings and left the game, while the Marlins were trailing 3-2. The Dutch righthander was supported with a 2-run lead in the first inning and two double plays turned by second baseman Dan Uggla, short stop Hanley Ramirez and first baseman Mike Jacobs. But in the home of the third inning, Van den Hurk gave up three runs with two outs. In that at bat, Baltimore-centerfielder Corey Patterson doubled in a run, followed by a 2-run single by third baseman Melvin Mota. In his four innings, Van den Hurk faced 15 batters. He struckout one, walked two and gave up only four basehits. The three runs he gave up were all earned. In the fifth inning, Minor League-pitcher Matt Lindstrom took over from Van den Hurk.
In the seventh inning, Dan Uggla put Florida back on top with a 2-run homerun. Florida eventually won, 5-3.
(March 27)

Kinheim opens trainingcamp in Turkey
ANTALYA (Turkey) - Dutch champion Corendon Kinheim opened its 7-day trainingcamp in Turkey on Tuesday-morning with a first session on the new baseball field in Antalya.
On Friday-evening and Saturday-afternoon, Kinheim will play two games against Russian champion Tornados Balashikha.

...Pitchers Patrick Beljaards, Vaughan Harris,...
...Michiel van Kampen, David Bergman and...
...Jimmy van der Veldt wait their turn...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Initially, it was thought that the practices and scheduled games later this week would be played in a stadium. But the new baseballfield in Turkey, one of only a few at the moment in the country, is laid out on two former soccer fields, which are remodeled into a baseball field, complete with light towers. Only the mound is covered with dirt.

...while Pitchers Duko Jansen and Jean-Paul Gulinck...
...practice their pick-off moves...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
While the accomodation was not what was expected, the team practiced on it for three hours under a sunny, blue sky with sometimes cold winds. ,,We had to adjust at first, but we practiced very well. The field was OK'', Head Coach Ben Thijssen said afterwards. The team has at least two more practices scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, before playing games on Friday and Saturday. The schedule for Sunday and Monday has not been made yet.

For the young Turkish baseball federation, which was founded only in 2001, the new baseballfield is an enormous step forward. Starting on Friday-morning, a 2-day youth tournament is held with participation of the national teams of Bulgaria, Germany and Turkey, while Kinheim will play twice against Russian champion Tornados Balashikha. The new field will be officially opened during the event. The baseball field is part of a goodlooking sports complex in Antalya, which also has soccer fields and a golf course.
(March 27)

Rogearvin Bernadina plays for Washington
LAKELAND, Florida (USA) - The day before Dutch righthander Rick van den Hurk threw for the Florida Marlins, another Dutch player played in a Major League-team, as Rogearvin Bernadina started in centerfield in a Spring Training-game for the Washington Nationals.

Bernadina, who is a non-roster player of DOOR Neptunus, played the entire game on Monday against the Detroit Tigers in centerfield.
Trailing 2-0, Washington rallied for five runs in the fifth inning and Bernadina was one of the players who scored in this at bat. It was the only inning in which the Nationals scored and it wasn't enough. Detroit added a run in the eighth to narrow the deficit to 5-3, then scored three runs in the home of the ninth to win 6-5.
Bernadina went 1-for-3, including a strikeout. In 2004, Bernadina participated in a trainingcamp of the Dutch National Team on Curašao.

Both Rogearvin Bernadina and Rick van den Hurk were signed by Dutch Antillian Chicho Jesurun, when he was scout for the Montreal Expos (which became the Washington Nationals) and Florida Marlins. Sadly enough, Chicho couldn't see the Major League-debut of his players, as he passed away on December 16 at the age of 59.
(March 27)

Kinheim continues trainingcamp

...Signed shirt of Heerenveen...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
ANTALYA (Turkey) - Dutch champion Corendon Kinheim on Wednesday completed the second day of its spring trainingcamp in Turkey. The team will pratice again on Thursday, before two games are scheduled against Tornados Balashikha from Russia.

With some magnificent glacier mountaintops of the Taurus Mountains in the background and a sunny blue skyed day, Kinheim on Wednesday again practiced for more than three hours on the baseball field of the Arcadia Golf & Sport Complex. Besides the baseball field, the nice complex in Antalya, bordered by the Acisu River, holds a basketball courts, running track, a closeby golf course and has a lot of soccer pitches, which are used frequently by foreign teams. At the moment, some (professional) teams from Russia are practicing there, including Torpedo Moscow and Baltika Kaliningrad. In the business lounge of the Arcadia Complex, shirts with signatures show what soccer teams practiced or played there in the past, including Aston Villa (England), NŘrnberg (Germany), CSKA Sofia (Bulgaria) and Dutch teams Heerenveen, Heracles, Vitesse and Sparta Rotterdam.

...Vince Rooi takes batting practice...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Today, Head Coach Ben Thijssen and his assistant Marcel Joost practiced the bunt-defense, amongst other things and concluded the day with another round of batting practice. Marcel Joost, the recordholder for games played in the Dutch National Team, also took part again and showed he still can hit the ball.

On Thursday-evening, some of the Kinheim-players will conduct a clinic for the players of the Turkish national cadets team, who arrived in Belek on Wednesday-evening. The Turkish team will participate in a 2-day tournament with Bulgaria and Germany, which starts on Friday-morning.

On Wednesday, it was also decided to change the schedule of the games Kinheim will play against the Russians. Due to the low lighttowers on the baseballfield, it was decided not to play in the evening, meaning Friday's evening game was scrubbed and moved to Sunday-afternoon, while Saturday's game was moved forward. As of now, Kinheim will play in the afternoon on both Saturday and Sunday, with proposed starting times of 1:30 PM and 12:00 PM. Kinheim's Head Coach Ben Thijssen will announce his starting pitchers for the two games after completion of Thursday's practice.
(March 28)

...Coach Marcel Joost hits a ball... the outfielders...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Kinheim-players give clinic; games changed
ANTALYA (Turkey) - Six players and two coaches of Corendon Kinheim on Thursday-evening gave a two-hour clinic to the players of the Turkish National Cadets Team, while the squad earlier in the day completed its third practice session in Antalya, Turkey. The team will have a day off on Friday, before playing its first of two games on Saturday.

On the third full day of its trainingcamp in Turkey, there was a surprise when the team entered the baseballfield on the Arcadia Complex in Antalya. As mentioned earlier, initially there only was dirt covering the mount, but today, there suddenly was dirt placed in the home plate area. This was added overnight and more adjustments were made to the field, which is starting to look better and better. Complex-officials said that the field had been used for soccer games about two months ago and that it therefore wasn't in a proper condition yet. Today (Thursday), more maintenance was done and new pieces of grass were added, while it was to be taken over during the night in order to prepare it for the start of the youth tournament on Friday-morning and the two games scheduled to be played by Kinheim against Tornados Balashikha, which better can be called the Russian National Team, as most players also play for the national squad. As mentioned yesterday, the games have now officially been changed to Saturday and Sunday, while the proposed starting times of 1:30 PM (Saturday) and 12:00 PM (Sunday) have been confirmed. Kinheim's Head Coach Ben Thijssen designated LHP Patrick Beljaards and RHP David Bergman, the two pitchers with the best records (12-1) of last season, as his starters for the two games against the Russians.

...The eight Kinheim-instructors pose with...
...the Turkish National Cadets Team after the clinic...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
On Thursday, it was another fine and sunny day in southern Turkey and therefore also in Antalya. Kinheim completed another day of practices, which included bunt-defense, double play- and outfield-situations and more and was finished again with batting practice session.

On Thursday-evening, Head Coach Ben Thijssen and Hitting Coach Marcel Joost were joined by Pitchers David Bergman and Michiel van Kampen, Infielders RenÚ Cremer and Roel Koolen and Outfielders Quincy Bernardus and Dirk van 't Klooster to give a clinic to the players of the Turkish National Cadets Team. The team's Head Coach Alper Bozkurt and his Assistant Mehmet S÷nmez helped with the translations. The enthousiastic players, who were given a Kinheim-hat afterwards, were divided into four groups and got detailed instructions in hitting, pitching, playing the infield and outfield. Starting On Friday, the Turkish youthteam will participate in a tournament, which also includes Bulgaria and Germany. When the event is successful, more baseball tournaments and games will be scheduled and also will result in improving the accomodation in Antalya.
(March 29)

Starting Pitchers; Another blow for ADO
ANTALYA (Turkey) - OK, your Grand Slam-webmaster might be in Antalya at the moment, but keeps in contact with the teams. For the upcoming weekend, 15 exhibition games are scheduled involving Dutch big league-teams, including two by Corendon Kinheim in Antalya (Turkey), where they will face Russian champion Tornados Balashikha.
Not all starters are known yet, but some have been announced already and more were added on Friday.

ADO, which still has only three pitchers on its rosters, sustained another blow on Thursday. The team hoped that LHP Manny Olivera, who pitched for the team before, but played professionally the last two seasons, would come back to The Hague to pitch again for them this season. When that would be the case, he would also bring RHP Andy Torres, who also plays professionally. On Thursday, ADO learned that Olivera, who was used as a reliever in spring training by an Independent League-team, was put on the roster as a starter, meaning he will not come to the Netherlands. That also meant that Torres isn't coming. ADO therefore continues its search for other candidates and hopes to add one or more pitchers soon.
(March 29)

Kinheim to meet Russians; First game played in Turkey

...Turkish pitcher Ismail Kilinc throws...
...the first pitch in the very first...
...official baseball game in Turkey...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
ANTALYA (Turkey) - History was written on Friday, March 30, as the first official baseball game was played in Turkey. Dutch champion Corendon Kinheim on Friday had the day off during their trainingcamp in Antalya and will meet Tornados Balashikha from Russia on Saturday and Sunday on the baseballfield on the Arcadia Sports Complex in Antalya.

On Friday, the national cadet teams of Bulgaria, Germany and host Turkey opened a 2-day tournament, the first of its kind to be held in Turkey. The event is attended by RenÚ Laforce from Belgium, who is the Treasurer of the European Baseball Federation and is in Turkey on behalf of the CEB. ,,This is a very good development for European baseball'', Laforce said. ,,I'm impressed with the field. It looks good. Many countries have started this way.'' At the moment, 38 countries are member of the European body.

The national team of Turkey opened the tournament with the game against Bulgaria, which then played against Germany. The first day closed with the meeting of Turkey against Germany, which won both games. Turkey lost twice, but the young players left a good impression and had some fine plays. A lot of runs were scored in the games, which lasted almost two hours per game, but the level was very acceptable.
But there was more, as these were the first official baseball games being played in Turkey and thus also the first played by a Turkish national team in its own country. The players who form the national team all go to private schools in Istanbul and nearby Eskisehir and have practiced four times a week the last few months. ,,We're watching history today'', Head Coach Alper Bozkurt said. ,,This is the very first baseballgame being played in this country.''
The tournament will continue on Saturday with the games surrounding the first meeting of Kinheim vs. Tornados, which will start at 1:30 PM. The Turkish organization added a concession stand to the field, where drinks and hamburgers can be obtained.
(March 30)

...The national cadet teams of Bulgaria, Germany and Turkey...
...pose together for the first baseball tournament in Turkey...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)

...Kinheim-players look to the dark clouds...
...approaching the baseballfield...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Kinheim-opener rains out in Turkey
ANTALYA (Turkey) - After months of dry periods with lots of sun, it finally rained today (Saturday) in Antalya. But it came at the wrong moment, two hours before the first game Dutch champion Corendon Kinheim was to play against Russian champion Tornados Balashikha. A double-header is now scheduled for Sunday.

...Despite the heavy rain, Kinheim's...
...librarian Cor keeps smiling...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
The day already started cloudy and it started to rain a little when the team left the hotel in Belek for the busride to the baseball field of the Arcadia Sports Complex in Antalya. Moments after the players had arrived on the field and were watching the ongoing tournament-game between the national cadet-teams of Germany and Bulgaria, it started to rain harder. A few minutes later, the rain was heavy, forcing German umpires Tim Meyer and Dirk Glassner to stop the cadet-game.

...Kinheim-catcher Tjerk Smeets...
...has good feelings before the game...
..,,Place this one on the site'', he said...
...Moments later, the game was canceled...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
The players of Kinheim took shelter in several soccer dug-outs on the complex and in the concession stand, combining the waiting with drinking coffee or eating some hamburgers. In the meantime, it looked like the heavy rain, which was sometimes accompanied by an occassional thunder and lightning once, never would stop.

After a brief waiting period, while it was still raining, the two youth teams and Kinheim jointly boarded a bus back to the hotel. Both the youth game and the Kinheim-game were canceled, as it was expected to rain the entire day, which it indeed did. Kinheim now plans to play a double-header on Sunday with the first game to start at 10:00 AM. After a lunch break, the second game will be played.

It was a wet first day on the field for Kinheim's catcher Tjerk Smeets, who arrived Friday-morning arrived in Antalya. Because of commitments of his regular job, Smeets was unable to travel earlier to Turkey. Catcher/infielder Wouter Heemskerk (circumstances) and Pitching Coach Eelco Jansen (work) are unable to make the trip.

Kinheim's Head Coach Ben Thijssen probably will keep his pitching rotation intact for the double-header, meaning lefthander Patrick Beljaards will throw the morning game and righthander David Bergman will follow in the afternoon.

Moving the game to Monday-afternoon was no option. Kinheim still has a full day in Turkey then, but the Russian opponent and the two Germany umpires, who will work the game, will then return home. Kinheim will return back to the Netherlands late Monday-evening. Starting next Saturday, Kinheim will be one of three participating teams in the annual In Memoriam Charles Urbanus Sr. Tournament in Bussum. Also participating there are Konica Minolta Pioniers and organizer Mr. Cocker HCAW.
(March 31)

First exhibition loss Pioniers
ANTALYA (Turkey) - The first game of Corendon Kinheim vs. Tornados Balashikha (Russia) in Turkey rained out, but back home six exhibition games involving big league teams were played on Saturday.

At Rotterdam, DOOR Neptunus handed Konica Minolta Pioniers its first exhibition loss of the season and won 4-3. In the last inning, veteran Marc Steenhof came out of retirement and pitched for Pioniers. Before today, Pioniers had won all four games played. With the win, Neptunus remains unbeaten and now moved into fourth place in the exhibition rankings.
At Almere, Almere '90 won 4-2 vs. ADO, which had added some players from its second team. Because of its pitching problems, ADO might consider withdrawing from the Hudson John Tournament, which is being held in the Easter Weekend, but will decide on that early next week.
At Amsterdam, Amsterdam Pirates won 5-2 against First Divisionist Alcmaria Victrix. In the original schedule, Pirates was to play twice this weekend vs. Corendon Kinheim, but the Haarlem-squad currently is in Turkey for its spring training camp, which moved to this period after an initial earlier planned date. With the win, Pirates ended a 3-game losing streak.
At Nijmegen, the first three games were played on the annual Jan van de Vegte Memorial Tournament. In the morning, MediaMonks RCH-Pingu´ns won 10-2 vs. host De Hazenkamp, which plays in the Second Division. In the afternoon, Mr. Cocker HCAW won twice. First, they beat First Divisionst Sparks Haarlem, 5-1, then shutout the organizing club, 1-0. HCAW now has won five games in a row, which is the longest winning streak this exhibition season. With its young and on some places inexperienced team, HCAW moved into first place of the exhibition rankings.
(March 31)

Complete Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores

Dutch Softball Women
Pirates welcomes new pitcher

...Pitcher Laura Chomokos (right) with...
...Pirates Head Coach Marjan de Groot...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - American pitcher Laura Chomokos arrived in Amsterdam on Sunday-morning and a few hours later was visiting the complex of Amsterdam Pirates, where she will pitch for this season. The 23-year old righthander met with Head Coach Marjan de Groot, some of her new teammates and board members and watched the exhibition opener of the Pirates-baseball team. Next Saturday-afternoon, Pirates will play an exhibition game against A4 Terrasvogels and Chomokos is scheduled to make her Dutch debut then.

Last year, Laura Chomokos completed her college-career with her Senior-season for the Golden Grizzlies, the softball-team of Oakland University in Rochester (Michigan), which plays in the Mid-Continent Conference (Mid-Con). In her final season, she appeared in 52 games and batted .253 (39-for-154). As a pitcher, she threw in 34 games, 30 as a starter (28 complete), and won 20 games, setting a school-record. Her 217 strikeouts in 221 2/3 inning also were a record. She only walked 30 batters and led the league with an 1.58 ERA and was named Mid-Con Pitcher of the Year after the season.

Before coming to Oakland, she pitched two years for Mesa Community College in Mesa (Arizona), where she also was born. There, she set a school-record by winning 35 games in these two seasons, while striking out 172 batters. In her two years at Mesa, she had an 0.82 ERA and was named Mesa's Female Athlete of the Year. From 1999-2002, Laura pitched for Gilbert High School in her home town of Gilbert (Arizona). In four seasons, she won 22 games, struckout 192 and had an 0.42 ERA.
(March 4)

Comeback-win Terrasvogels vs. Pirates
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - On Saturday, vice-champion A4 Terrasvogels made six defensive errors, but nevertheless was able to come back and turn a 3-1 deficit into a 7-3 victory vs. Amsterdam Pirates in the first outdoor-exhibition game for both squads. The two teams already had played against each other two weeks ago in the indoor-facility of Pirates, which then lost 4-1.
(March 10)

Complete Game Recap, Line Score & Box Score

International Baseball
American Harvey Schiller elected IBAF-President

...Harvey W. Schiller... IBAF President...
(Photo: IBAF)
BEIJING (China) - Dr. Harvey Wallace Schiller has been elected new President of the International BAseball Federation (IBAF) on Friday during the Congress of the global baseball body, which currently is underway in the Chinese capital Beijing. Schiller succeeds Italian Aldo Notari, who passed away on July 25 last year. In between, Tom Chang of Chinese Taipei acted as Interim-President. Also candidate for the Presidency was Cuban IOC Member Reynaldo Gonzßlez Lˇpez. Initially, former Dutch Association President Theo Reitsma also was nominated officially on February 2, but he withdraw two weeks ago. At the Extra-Ordinary Congress on Friday, held before the regular Congress this weekend, 93 member countries attended with 88 eligible to vote. 58 of them voted for Harvey Schiller, 29 for Reynaldo Gonzßlez and one non-valid vote.

When he passed away, Aldo Notari was in his 14th year as IBAF-President (13 years, one month), which was the second longest tenure in history, passing American Robert E. Smith, who was in office 12 years and eight months. Only Carlos M. Zecca of Nicaragua was longer President of the then-called FIBA, as he led the body for sixteen years (1953-1968). As stated during the announcement of the nominees, one of the prime goals for the new IBAF President will be the reinstatement of baseball on the Olympic Games. The earliest that can happen will be in 2009 when the sports will be determined for the 2016 Olympics. Baseball and softball were dropped as Olympic sport for the 2012 Olympics in London (Great Britain), meaning next years Olympics in Beijing will be the last (at this moment) where baseball and softball are on the Games schedule.

IBAF Presidents
IBFLeslie Mann (USA)1938
IBFJaime MarinÚ (Cuba)1939-1943
FIBAJorge Reyes (Mexico)1944-1945
FIBAPablo Morales (Venezuela)1946-1947
FIBAChale Pereira (Nicaragua)1948-1950
FIBAPablo Morales (Venezuela)1951-1952
FIBACarlos M. Zecca (Costa Rica)1953-1968
FIBAJuan Isa (Neth. Antilles)1969-1975
FEMBAWilliam P. Fehring (USA)1973-1974
FEMBACarlos J. GarcÝa (Nicaragua)1975
AINBAManuel Gonzßlez Guerra (Cuba)1976-1979
AINBACarlos J. GarcÝa (Nicaragua)1980
AINBA / IBARobert E. Smith (USA)1981-1993
IBA / IBAFAldo Notari (Italy)1993-2006
IBAFHarvey W. Schiller (USA)2007-....
Harvey Schiller is the fourth American to become President of the World Federation. In August 1938, when the first Baseball World Cup was held in Great Britain (with only two participating teams), the International Baseball Federation (the abbreviated as IBF) was formed with American Leslie Mann as its first leader, then-called General Secretary. The name of the world federation have a few times since then. In 1944, it was renamed in Federaciˇn Internacional de BÚisbol Amateur (FIBA). According to the rules at that time, the new president was elected from the country hosting the World Cup. In 1973, differences of opinion within the FIBA caused divisions and led to the creation of a second body, the Federaciˇn Mundial de BÚisbol Amateur (FEMBA), which held its own World Cup. American William P. 'Dutch' Fehring was named FEMBA's President. In 1976, the leaders of FIBA and FEMBA met, leading to the creation of a single body, the Asociaciˇn Internacional de BÚisbol (AINBA). In 1981, American Robert E. Smith became the President and during his leadership, the name changed to International Baseball Assocation (IBA) in 1984. In June 1993, Aldo Notari was elected President and under his leadership, the name returned to its original name of 1938: International BAseball Federation to be abbreviated IBAF.

Harvey Schiller served in the Executive Committee of the NCAA, before becoming the Executive Director and Secretary General of the United States Olympic Committee in 1990. In 1994, he was awarded the prestigious Olympic Order by the International Olympic Committee and became the President of Sports for Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta, where he was responsible for the television broadcasts of the Atlanta Braves. In 2000, he became the Chairman and CEO of YankeeNets, which owns the New York Yankees (Major League Baseball), New Jersey Nets (National Basketball Association) and New Jersey Devils (National Hockey League). Most recently, he was the Chairman of the Management Committee of New York's Olympic bid for the 2012 Olympic Games, but these were awarded to London.
(March 2)

Former Commissioner Bowie Kuhn passed away
JACKSONVILLE, Florida (USA) - Former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn passed away on Thursday, March 15, at the age of 80 years old in St. Luke's Hospital in Jacksonville (Florida), following a short bout with pneumonia which led to respiratory failure.

In 1969, the then 42-year old Bowie Kuhn was the youngest elected Commissioner. As the fifth Commissioner, he remained in office until 1984 for the second-longest tenure in history. Mr. Kuhn was Commissioner in a turbulent time between the owners and the Major League Player Association. The discussions concerning a new bargaining agreement led in 1981 to a 50-day strike during the season. But in his period as Commissioner, the Major League expanded to more clubs, a Play-Off was introduced before the World Series, as well as night games of the World Series and the Designated Hitter was adopted in the American League in 1971. Also, there was a growth in greater national television exposure.
Bowie Kuhn also had good contacts internationally. In 1973, he made an European tour and also made a brief visit to Haarlem in The Netherlands, where he attended the European Championships, which was won by the host country.
(March 15)

International Softball
ISF 'Strategic Task Force' to meet again
PLANT CITY, Florida (USA) - The so-called 'Strategic Task Force' of the International Softball Federation (ISF) will meet again next month for a 2-day session at the ISF-Headquarters in Plant City, Florida (USA).
The group is assembled with the aim of getting women's fast pitch softball reinstated to the programme of the Summer Olympics. Currently, there are 128 countries affiliated in the ISF. With millions of people participating in softball worldwide, the sport not only is one of the most played, but also one of the most popular with teams and competitions on all continents.
Softball made its Olympic debut on the 1996 Games in Atlanta (USA), followed by those of 2000 in Sydney (Australia) and 2004 in Athens (Greece). Next year, softball, as well as baseball, will be on the Olympic calender for the Games in Beijing (China). As of now, that will be last time for both sports, as the IOC voted in July 2005 in Singapore to drop the two sports for the 2012 Games, which will be held in London (Great Britain). In 2009, the IOC will vote for the sports to be included in the Games of 2016, meaning both baseball and softball can be reinstated again.

On January 24, the group met for the first time in Lausanne (Switzerland), led by former International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Juan Antonio Samaranch, the Honorary Chairman of the Task Force. The ISF now has planned a follow-up meeting on the group's initial input for April 14 and 15 in Florida. The Strategic Task Force has representatives from the IOC, National Olympic Committees and the ISF, as well as athletes, individuals from the corporate sector, the government, members of the media, and others.

In a press release ISF-President Don Porter stated: ,,We gained an initial direction at that first meeting in Lausanne, but as part of our continued pursuits from then, we've established the need to reconvene the Task Force. The overall development and growth of our sport and, certainly, regaining our rightful place in the Olympic Games, is going to be largely shaped by this group, so we're anticipating a productive two days in Plant City with those in attendance.''
Mr. Porter continued: ,,We're still working hard for Beijing since women's softball will be on the programma there. However, when those Games end next year, we need to already have been building toward the 2009 IOC vote for the 2016 Olympic programme, which means we need to be working now. That's precisely why we have the Task Force in place and taking action.''
(March 22)

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