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Updated: October 21, 2013
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Terrasvogels-secretary/team manager Martin de Jonker passed away


...Martin de Jonker...
(1953 - 2013)

HAARLEM (Neth.) - Very sad news from the Dutch softball-world reached us on Friday-evening, October 18, as Martin de Jonker, secretary and team manager of Dutch champion Hotel Ambassador Haarlem Terrasvogels passed away. Martin would have turned 60 next Thursday.

The memorial service will be held on Thursday, October 24 at 3:15 PM at Crematorium Westerveld, Duin en Kruidbergerweg 2-6 at Driehuis. Afterwards, a toast will given to Martin at the clubhouse of Terrasvogels in Santpoort-Zuid.

Martin de Jonker was diagnosed with a severe illness early August, but was able to travel with the team to Montegranaro (Italy) for the Cup Winners Cup-tournament. The team played a strong tournament, remained unbeaten and captured the Cup for the second year in a row. Unfortunately, Martin had to be hospitalized two days before the final, but he followed the game from his hospital-bed via play-by-play.

A week after the team had returned home, Martin also returned home and he was at the Terrasvogels-site in Santpoort om August 31. On that day, the team resumed the regular season and was honored for winning the European Cup. Martin received his medal that day. Unfortunately, it was to be the last time that he was on his beloved field, as he was hospitalized shortly thereafter for surgery.

In September, Terrasvogels clinched the Holland Series and played an excting series against favorite Oolders Omaco Sparks Haarlem, which needed all five games. Like in Italy, the team played passionate and enthusiastic and captured the Dutch championship for the first time since 2007. After the game, the players called Martin in the hospital to celebrate the championship with him.

With the passing of Martin de Jonker, Terrasvogels suffered a major blow, as he was involved in almost anything concerning the club. After having been active for Onze Gezellen, Martin has been with Terrasvogels for more than 10 years and became involved in all kinds of activities very quickly. In 2005, he became the so-called Facility Manager, overseeing all activities on the playing site as well as in the clubhouse of Terrasvogels on 'Sportpark De Elta'. In recent years, Martin helped built the clubhouse, an indoor batting cage, an additional locker room and expansion of the home dug-out.

But he did much, much more. Martin was one of the persons who took care of the playing field, as well as the clubhouse. He looked after the stock and frequently was standing behind the bar himself. It became a tradition that he prepared hamburgers during and after the games.

In December 2009, he became the secretary of the board for the softball-section of Terrasvogels. From that moment on, he also handled the game affairs for all softball-teams within the clubs, including (re)scheduling of games. But he also attended meetings with the Dutch Federation, the main board of the club and with municipal officials. He also was one of the contact persons with the club's sponsors.

Martin was closely involved with the main softball squad since 2005 and became its team manager in 2010. He looked after the uniforms and collected them after the games, to be washed by his wife Nel. He arranged everything for the players, coaches and staff members. With the main squad, Martin traveled to all European Cup-tournaments since being involved with the team.

On October 5, the day before the team captured the championship-title, the clubhouse on Sportpark 'De Elta' was officially named after Martin de Jonker.

Martin was never on the foreground himself, he simply did everything for others. And always with his characteristic smile.

The webmaster of Grand Slam * Stats & News offers his condolences to his wife Nel and his daughters Linda and Michelle and wishes them a lot of strength with this big loss.

(October 19)

(© Photos: Marco Stoovelaar)

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