by Pim van Nes
With diplomatic ties in hosting countries attending their games in both Seoul and Tokyo, Netherlands Kingdom Team struggled its way to a 2-1 result in each World Baseball Classic round. In Seoul, Netherlands ambassador Lody Embrechts got the mound for the ceremonial first pitch before the game versus South-Korea. Also in Tokyo, Netherlands ambassador to Japan Aart Jacobi was VIP guest for the game between home team Samurai and Netherlands Kingdom Team.
The Netherlands delegation in Seoul was completed by KNBSB board president Ron Schel and board member commercial affairs Paddy Roomer. When they arrived back in Amsterdam, KNBSB managing director Bart Volkerijk took the plane heading for Tokyo. After the Netherlands qualified for the last World Baseball Classic stage in Los Angeles, Volkerijk joined the team during the private flight across the Pacific Ocean in a Boeing 747-400 operated by Miami based Atlas Air.
On board of this Jumbo, all seats and services were available for the Dutch baseball players and coaches, accompanied by about 25 family members. Back in USA, the team was welcomed again in San Francisco Giants camp in Scottsdale, east of Phoenix, Arizona. At European time 02.00 CET Tuesday morning, Meulens’ men will face undefeated Puertorico in Dodgers Stadium, Los Angeles. The winning team earns a spot in the finale game versus the winner of Japan Samurai – Team USA.
The press in the Netherlands is closely following their national baseball team performing at both sides of Pacific Ocean. The games are televised live by Fox Sports, but nation wide public broadcaster NOS has updated sport fans in the country about history and presence of Dutch baseball in every sport program on TV, radio and internet. Main newspapers De Telegraaf and Algemeen Dagblad have iconic reporters Jaap de Groot and Theo Reitsma with the team in Seoul, Tokyo and now in USA.