by Pim van Nes
One day prior to the Kingdom Team departure from Amsterdam to Premier 12 tournament in Taiwan, KNBSB hosted a press conference at the new Pioniers stadium at Hoofddorp. Before the press conference, television crews were offered the opportunity to shoot images of the workouts by several sections of the 28 men roster, composed by Hensley Meulens and Steve Janssen. MLB ten times All Star Andruw Jones was tested as first base man fielding ground balls in front of NOS and Fox cameras and signed baseballs on request of Dutch boys.
In the crowded press room of the stadium, KNBSB press officer Ronald van Dam welcomed the journalists, representing radio and television stations, newspapers and specialized magazines and websites. Among the press also Japanese and Taiwanese journalists eager to speak with former players from their own leagues, such as Markwell, Jones and Meulens. The San Francisco Giants hitting coach was asked his opinion about present World Series between New York Mets and 2014 finalists Kansas City Royals, defeated by Meulens’s Giants last year. http://nos.nl/artikel/2065651-als-meulens-zit-te-te-kijken-denkt-hij-wow.html
As Netherlands Kingdom Team manager, Meulens said to be very happy with the preparation on his Island Curacao earlier this month. The previous World Cup was ours, he refered to the latest IBAF version in Panama 2011, and there is no reason why we shouldn’t go for another win. Our players are our best possible choice, considering several are still competing in foreign leagues, such as Wladimir Balentien and Rick van den Hurk in Japan. We are proud of the new outfit for players and coaches, showing the seven flags of each element of our Kingdom, where baseball is a main sport.
The only flag missing on the outfit is the Belgian flag, Antwerp resident Steve Janssen opened his speech in the press conference, but what counts is the excellent cooperation with Hensley Meulens in Curacao and here in Hoofddorp. We work together for a strong mix from emerging talents to former Major League players like Jair Jurrjens and Hoofdklasse players like Rob Cordemans. According to LHP Diegomar Markwell the mission is successfull if the team qualifies among the top four of the final ranking. For Andruw Jones representing your country on global events like Premier 12 and World Baseball Classic is the greatest experience: If all players remain healthy, we can try to win this new Premier 12 tournament.
Photo by KNBSB