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The European Connection
SABR UK Examiner - Examiner #4 - August 1994
Written by Guus Mater   

August 29, 1993 was an important day in the history of Dutch baseball. At Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, a young Dutch baseball player stepped up to the plate for the San Francisco Giants. A crowd of 45,278 saw become only the second born-and-bred Dutchman ever to make the Majors. In his first major league game he went one for five, but he earned his place on the roster a few weeks later when first baseman Will Clark was sidelined by an injury.

Faneyte, in a telephone interview with the Dutch press agency ANP, said that he was a little nervous to roam the outfield between big money makers Barry Bonds and Wilhelmus 'Win' Remmerswaal. In 1979 he pitched 55 innings for the Boston Red Sox. In the early days of baseball, players nicknamed 'Dutchman', such as Honus Wagner, were invariably German.

Baseball has been played in the Netherlands since 1910. The KNBSB (Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association) has about 30,000 members. JCG Grasse, a businessman who learned the game in the United States, founded the association in Amsterdam on March 16, 1912.

For more than three decades the Netherlands and Italy (where baseball was only founded after World War II) dominated European baseball. Netherlands grabbed the continental title fourteen times, and Italy seven times. The British National side had its best showing in 1967 in Antwerp, when the British finished second after Belgium.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 June 2009 17:07