Kiwi attending Pittsburgh Pirates’ Spring Training

This post isn’t about Dutch baseball, but I thought it was worth writing about it.

I bumped into an article about a pitcher from New Zealand that debuted with the Pittsburgh Pirates last year.
My first reaction was: Wow, I  wasn’t aware that baseball in New Zealand had developed this far that a pitcher from that country debuted with the Pirates last season.

But when I checked his stats, I saw that he was born in Pasadena, California but since he has a father from New Zealand, he could represent that country during the 2012 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers.

Last year John Holdzkom came out of nowhere (sort of). He was drafted by the New York Mets in 2006. After a journey through several minor leagues (affiliated and independent) he ended up with the Pirates’ organization, who picked up his contract from the independent Amarillo Sox (American Association). After only four games with the Altoona Curve (AA Eastern League) he was promoted to the Indianapolis Indians of the AAA International League. Eventually he was called up to Pittsburgh on September 2nd 2014.

During the remainder of the regular season he appeared in nine games (an inning each) and kept his opponents at a batting average of .133. He posted an ERA of 2.00. His numbers in the Wild Card game were not as impressive when he pitched one inning and allowed one run on two hits.

I hope that he has a major impact on baseball in New Zealand. Recently a young catcher signed a contract with the Milwaukee Brewers.

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