My baseball top five of the decade

In the past decade, a lot of baseball took place. This is my top five of the best baseball moments in the past decade.

5. Cubs win World Series
After 108 years, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series in 2016. In a nailbiter of a World Series that went seven games, the Cubbies bested the Cleveland Indians. Before the start of the season, the Cubs contracted free agents Ben Zobrist, Jason Heyward and John Lackey and added Adam Warren, Brendan Ryan and Aroldis Chapman in trades.
With the World Series tied at three games each, the Cubs needed ten innings after blowing a 6-3 lead to beat the Indians 8-7. Perhaps this was the most exciting World Series in years.

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The Cubs win the 2016 Word Series (photo: New York Times)

4. L&D Amsterdam Pirates 2016 European Champion
For the first time in its existence, L&D Amsterdam Pirates won the European Champions Cup. After finishing in first place in its group it had to take on the other Dutch participant, Curaçao Neptunus. Even though Neptunus scored seven runs, they were outscored by Pirates by four runs. In the other semi-final between Rimini and Bologna, Rimini stayed at the right side of the score.
After nine innings, the score was tied at three so extra innings were needed. Pirates scored two runs in the tenth, Rimini just one. Tom de Blok closed out the game and Pirates wrote history.

3. L&D Amsterdam Pirates wins Dutch title in 2019
Celebrating its 60th anniversary, L&D Amsterdam Pirates really wanted to mark the anniversary with a Dutch title. As Neptunus was the team to beat and took a 3-0 lead in the Holland Series, Pirates fought back. Slowly they inched closer by winning a game at the time. In game six, Pirates started the bottom of the ninth trailing 3-2 but the team managed to turn the tables and walked off as a victor. The team had the momentum going as they went to Rotterdam to the decisive game seven. Neptunus didn’t stand a chance as Pirates beat them 6-0 to win their fifth overall Dutch title.
L&D Amsterdam wint Holland Series 2019

2. Dutch reach semi-finals in 2013 World Baseball Classic
With a team loaded with MLB players from Curaçao and Aruba, the Dutch team headed to Korea to face the host nation, Australia and Taiwan. Korea was shoved aside 5-0, Taiwan was too strong as it beat the Dutch 8-3 and the Aussies fell to the Dutch 1-4. For the second round, the Dutch headed to Tokyo where it beat Cuba twice to advance to the semi-finals in San Francisco. Unfortunately, the Dutch fell to the Dominican Republic 4-1 but with hardly MLB pitching, the Dutch played a good tournament.

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Roger Bernadina at bat for team Netherlands during the 2013 WBC (photo: Dutch Baseball Hangout)

1. Dutch win 2011 World Championship
With a team with future MLB stars like Didi Gregorius, Sharlon Schoop and Xander Bogaerts the Dutch went to Panama for the 2011 World Cup. In the round-robin, the Dutch won all games but one. The one game that was lost was vs Canada that finished with the same record but as the Canadians had beaten the Dutch, they finished in first place. In the second round, the Dutch won all their games, also the one vs Cuba (4-1 victory). With Cuba and the Netherlands finishing second and first, both team faced each other in the final.
On the day of the final, it was pouring with rain. The game was postponed several times but eventually, after three/four hours after the original starting time, “play ball” was called.
Cuba took a 1-0 lead in the fourth but in the bottom of the same inning, the Dutch scored twice and never looked back. With fine some fine defensive plays and good pitching, the Dutch kept Cuba at bay. David Bergman threw the final pitch to Olivera who hit a soft line drive that ended in the glove of third baseman Jonathan Schoop for the final out. The final out was made around 7:30 AM Dutch time. The unthinkable had happened and it was sure worth to stay up that late.

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