Tonight the KNBSB (Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Federation) organized the Star Awards. An evening where several prices were given to softball and baseball players from the Dutch Hoofdklasse. I will focus on the baseball awards. But the night was built around Robert Eenhoorn, former shortstop of the New York Yankees. For years, after his MLB career Eenhoorn was the leading figure in Dutch baseball. His vision brought Dutch baseball where it is now.
The following prices for the 2014 season were awarded:
Most Valuable Player: Bas de Jong (L&D Amsterdam Pirates)
Bas hit .373, scored 28 runs and drove in 42 runs. Bas and his brother Jos will leave L&D Amsterdam Pirates to play for their hometown Quick Amersfoort, which plays two levels below the Hoofdklasse.
Best Pitcher: Kevin Heijstek (L&D Amsterdam Pirates)
Kevin posted an almost microscopic ERA of 1.33. In 101.3 innings he threw 77 strikeouts.
Most Homeruns: Bryan Engelhardt (Corendon Kinheim)
Bryan is the outfielder of Corendon Kinheim and slugged 9 homeruns
Most stolen bases: Roelie Henrique (L&D Amsterdam Pirates)
Roelie stole 22 bases.
MVP Holland Series: Berry van Driel (DOOR Neptunus)
Berry, normally a closer, stepped in for Diegomar Markwell after the latter was suspended because he threw some punches during a bench clearing brawl during the Holland Series. Van Driel pitched two games and was practically unhittable, which earned him the Holland Series MVP title.
Manager of the year: Steve Janssen
Steve Janssen managed the Dutch national team to their twenty-first European
As told above, Robert Eenhoorn was in the center of the attention tonight. After years being involved in Dutch baseball as manager and general manager, he has decided to accept a job as general manager of Duch soccer club AZ from Alkmaar. Eenhoorn who started his career with Neptunus from Rotterdam and made a sidestep to Haarlem Nicols in 1987 and 1988, was the third Dutch player after Win Remmerswaal (Boston Red Sox) and Rikkert Faneyte (San Francisco Giants) who reached the Majors. In 1990 Eenhoorn was named All-American shortstop by Baseball America while playing for Davidson college. After a minor league career that led him to the Gulf Coast Yankees, Prince William Cannons (A Advanced), Fort Lauderdale Yankees (A Advanced), Albany-Colonie Yankees (AA) and the Columbus Clippers, he broke into the Majors on April 27 1994. He was the last player that started at shortstop before Derek Jeter made his debut. After stints with the Angels and a season at AAA with the Norfolk Tides (then a Mets affiliate) he returned to the Netherlands.
After his return from America he became player manager of DOOR Neptunus. He estabilished the very first baseball academy, the Rotterdam Unicorns. Eenhoorn is Dutch for Unicorn. From 2001 though 2008 he managed the Dutch National team. He eventually stepped back to become general manager of the Dutch baseball federation. Thanks to his vision to look beyond the Dutch competition and to interact with the Netherlands Antilles, Dutch baseball is where it is now at the international level. Thanks to him there are now four other baseball academies. He has resigned as GM and will join Dutch soccer club AZ to become their general manager.
The KNBSB announced that Eenhoorn has become member of honour of the baseball federation. The city of Rotterdam gave him the Erasmus pin. This pin is awarded to a person that has done a lot on social, economic or sportive area in the city of Rotterdam.
Hensley Meulens and others tell anecdotes
One of the many gifts that Robert Eenhoorn received
Several Antillian MLB players like Andrelton Simmons, Didi Gregorius, and Jurrickson Profar thanked him for what he tought them and for what he did for Dutch baseball.
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