Baseball in the Netherlands: Not always a story about heroics

The baseball world knows the story of how Dutch baseball is doing internationally. All the players from the Netherlands Antilles and from the European mainland are well known.

But what the world doesn’t know is the hard times that some clubs have. Through the years, I have seen clubs disappear:

– Amstel Tijgers, three time  Dutch champion, got into financial trouble. Wasn’t able to field a team that was worthy to play in the Hoofdklasse and officially merged with HCAW from Bussum.
– Unique Giants. A part of this club moved to Almere, to become Polemerians (and later Almere 90) and a part stayed in Diemen to establish TIW Survivors.
-Haarlem Nicols: This merger club of EHS and EDO was founded in 1964. The club has been one of the strongest in Dutch baseball. Somehow the club always managed to get the best players. They did this by paying them. Eventually this costed the club dearly. In 1994 the club was declared bankrupt because it couldn’t fulfill its payments to the players and debtors.

The three clubs mentioned above were Hoofdklasse clubs, who got all the attention in the Dutch baseball world.

But the following example is about a tiny club in the Eindhoven region (in the South of the Netherlands). This tiny is club called DVS, which stands for Door Vriendschap Samengebracht (brought together through friendship). This club played in the  community of Waalre. It never was a big club. The club colours were yellow and blue. Due to the financial crisis, our national government decided that local authorities would get less money (this is the simple version). Due to this policy of our national governement, the local authorities had to cut costs too. In Waalre they chose to shut down the baseball site of DVS. Last weekend, the very final tournament was played on their field. Next year the club won’t have a baseball field anymore, since it will be dismantled. Sure the club was very small; during their last season, the club had only one baseball team. But still it ticks me off that in a country where soccer is king, pro soccer clubs are staying afloat due to the money given by local authorities. Sure Waalre doesn’t have a pro soccer team, so this is a bit like comparing apples and oranges, but why can a soccer club survive, even if it is in debt, and a small club that was financially sound can’t?

I understand that a town must make ends meet, but does that need to happen by taking away the sport facility of a club? Does that need to happen by taking away the means of fun of a lot of people?

The members of this club always played for fun. They had never the intention to go for the national championship. Friendship and fun, that was what DVS was about. And that is what the municipality of Waalre is killing.

I feel sorry for the members of DVS. I hope that somehow they will find a new home. Maybe as DVS or else as memebers of another club.

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