The Dutch Hoofdklasse has lost one of its best pitchers, if not the best. The 27-year-old Canadian right-hander with a Dutch passport, Leon Boyd, isn’t returning to Neptunus Rotterdam. He instead will stay at home in British Columbia and will pitch for the Burnaby Bulldogs in an amateur league. He also works as a coach. Neptunus made him a good offer and he thought hard about it during the St. Petersburg International Baseball, where he pitched for the Dutch National Team.
Nonetheless he will remain available to play for the Netherlands at the World Port Tournament in Rotterdam this summer and perhaps at the IBAF Baseball World Cup in Panama this fall. Last season Boyd was 9-0 with an ERA of 0.39 in the Hoofdklasse, striking out 83 batters in 69 1/3 innings. The last time a pitcher had an ERA that low in the Dutch top league was Nol Beenders of the Haarlem Nicols (ERA 0.35) in 1973 according to the report by Honkbalsite.com.
It is another tough loss for Dutch champion Neptunus this offseason. Their longtime sponsor DOOR didn’t renew the sponsorship deal. Head coach Steve Janssen is working fulltime as pitching coach for the Dutch National Team. National team outfielder Danny Rombley transferred to the promoted UVV. And Australian right-hander Dushan Ruzic joined Telemarket Rimini in the Italian Baseball League.