Thanks to his impressive performance as the closer of the Dutch National Team at the 2009 World Baseball Classic, Leon Boyd apparently received the opportunity to try out with the Toronto Blue Jays organization. Several media outlets in the Netherlands report on Tuesday that the 25-year-old right-hander was supposed to travel to their spring training facilities in Dunedin, Florida. If he receives a contract from the World Series champion of 1992 and 1993, his current Hoofdklasse club DOOR NEPTUNUS would need to find a replacement about three weeks before opening day.
Boyd was born in Vancouver, Canada to a ice-hockey playing Canadian father and his Dutch wife, who he met in the 1970ies, playing in the Netherlands. Boyd received his Dutch passport in December 2005 and came to Europe after his college career ended, dominating in the Belgian Baseball League in 2006, pitching for the HOBOKEN PIONEERS. He made his Dutch National Team debut that summer in the Intercontinental Cup and joined the Hoofdklasse club NEPTUNUS one year later.
In 2008 Boyd had a 10-2 record with an ERA of 1.64 and 86 strikeouts (23 walks) in 93 1/3 innings. He also threw a no-hitter against L&D AMSTERDAM and had an ERA of 2.70 during the Beijing Olympics, picking up their lone victory against the Chinese team. In the World Baseball Classic, Boyd was used as their closer. He appeared in four games, allowing four hits, two runs (1 ER) and three walks in four innings, while striking out three. He picked up a win and a save in the two stunning upsets against the Dominican Republic.
Photo: © Ron Wickert, www.eott.nl