Between March 20 and 22 the Confederation of European Baseball (CEB) held their annual meeting in San Marino. The president, the members of the board and executive committee were elected and the European Baseball federations talked about the future of their sport for three days.
However only a few days after the meeting the newly reelected third vice president Gerard Vaandrager from the Netherlands decided to resign from his position. He mentioned as reasons for this step that he was not satisfied with the disapproval of the proposal to restructure the executive committee and the commissions, and the results of the elections.
During the elections Vaandrager lost the vote 4-27 against the Italian Riccardo Fraccari to become first vice president and also lost 13-17 against the Russian Alexander Ratner for the position as 2nd vice president. After the withdrawal of Mats Fransson, Vaandrager settled as 3rd vice president. Obviously the elections at the meeting didn’t go well for the Royals Netherlands Baseball and Softball Federation (KNBSB).
But instead of taking a lesser role, being still on the board and able to work in the CEB, Vaandrager with support from KNBSB president Ruud van Zetten decided to resign from the executive committee just a few days after the congress. This means that one of the most important Baseball federations in Europe has no vote anymore within the CEB Executive.
Hurt by the lack of support at the congress van Zetten criticized the CEB in a letter, saying that European Baseball isn’t open for change and is not interested in the help by the KNBSB to bring the sport forward. Additionally the executive board of the KNBSB says that current Dutch volunteers and committee members can decide for themselves if they want to stay in the CEB. They further want to intensify relations with other federations in Europe, trying to find assistance.
We ordinary Baseball fans cannot understand this decision by the KNBSB to leave such an important position in the CEB. The timing of this step was very unfortunate, as they could have talked about these things at the congress. Instead, in a year, where seven European countries have to work together, hosting the 38th IBAF Baseball World Cup and trying to get Baseball reinstated into the Olympic program, this could probably create some confusion in the CEB and puts a shadow on European Baseball. However we must also say that we do respect Mr. Vaandrager’s decision who has been one of the most active members of the CEB Board during the last four years and we hope that his efforts and experience will not be lost forever for European Baseball.