by Pim van Nes
This morning at 08.30 hours Brian Farley, his coaches and players arrived at Schiphol, international airport of Amsterdam. Camera crews from national broadcasting system NOS, commercial stations (RTL, SBS) and regional stations ran into the orange capped team, when customs opened the doors to a mass of fans dressed in the same national color.
Eager journalists put their microphone under Rob Cordemans‘ moustache to get his first reactions, but they had to compete with the player’s fans, his wife and his parents. All the other players were being hugged by love ones and baseball fans till KNBSB office manager Hans Meijer invited Farley and three players to attend the press conference.
In that press conference board secretary general Ruurd Koopmans announced that the mass celebration of the latest World Baseball title will take place when all the 24 players will be able to attend: 11 November. Several Dutch national team players traveled from Panama to Curacao and other had to join their pro organisation in USA for fall season competition.
Koopmans reckons to get all of them around and to extend the usual baseball awards for Hoofdklasse players to a mass celebration for the new world champions. He has a pleasant problem in chosing which city may host the biggest baseball party the country ever had. Municipalities in Haarlem, Amsterdam, Utrecht, The Hague and Rotterdam, they have offered their best occasions to organize a spectacular event for the national pride of baseball. Refering to Ty Eriksen’s article: yes, the country is ready for such a parade, even from city to city!
In the press conference questions came from all media: websites, newspapers, radio and television stations. Behind the table from left to right Rob Cordemans, David Bergman, Sidney de Jong, Brian Farley and PR manager Tjerk Smeets. The latter had to pick up his hotel telephone in the middle of the Panama night, because the Netherlands prime minister Mark Rutte could not wait till the Panama morning with his congrats call across the Atlantic. Also Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands had sent a wire with words of appreciation for the national baseball team.
She may remember that her three sons and her late husband played baseball in the palace garden some decades ago. The first cabinet minister to react Sunday morning was sports minister Edith Schippers. All general news programs on Dutch television screens that very same Sunday started with the fresh baseball champions and Monday morning newspapers had the national baseball team photo on front page.
After the game we had only an hour or so to party with all the players together, because several players had to catch their flight to Curacao on Sunday morning, Rob Cordemans explained. Still we have not spoiled the occasion, Sidney de Jong added. He had been televised by NOS camera in Panama with a huge cigar between his lips. Yes, a Cuban one, he confirmed. For me the four hours rain delay before our finale game was not too much a problem, being relief pitcher in the national team, David Bergman answered a question.
In Dutch major league, called Hoofdklasse, he is a regular starting pitcher for his club Kinheim in Haarlem. Can you explain what is so nice in baseball, a lady journalist asked. Yes, becoming world champion! exclaimed Cordemans. Brian Farley told his audience that he had been complimented by most of his opponent coaches for his talented team.
Especially in the press conference after the win over home team Panama, also journalists predicted a medal for the Netherlands. He could not answer yet a question how the foreign press had reacted on the first IBAF title for the Netherlands, but someone in the press room refered to Italian Gazzetta dello Sport having stated that the baseball world is experiencing a revolution.
Photo: © Rob Jelsma