Just like earlier this year, the Dutch Baseball Hangout would like to pay attention to the transactions in the Belgian Baseball Gold (BBG) League, next year called the Top League. The transaction period in Belgium ended at December 1, so time to start with the fourth blog post. This one is about the Brussels Kangaroos from the Belgian capital.
The Brussels Kangaroos, the club with arguably the best logo in Belgian baseball, is one of the Eerste Klasse clubs that will play in the newly formed Top League (a merger between the Baseball Gold League and the Eerste Klasse).
Chairman of the club, David Nielsen was so kind to sum up the players that will join the club.
The Kangaroos do have some additions, but almost exclusively players who have played with the club in the past, and wanted to come back. This desire was expressed before the Kangaroos learnt about the new league structure (for most of them) according to Mr. Nielsen.
Kevin Desmedt was back with the Kangaroos in 2020 after spending time playing college ball in the US, and then playing in Australia. He enjoyed the season back with his boyhood club and decided to stay. He remains in the coaching staff and will pitch as well.
Cedric Desmedt, Kevin’s older brother, has a similar background. He already came back to the Kangaroos in 2019, planned to play for the Cologne Cardinals in 2020 but decided not to play in for personal reasons and due to COVID-19 . He is back with the Kangaroos for 2021. Cedric will be playing, and will be part of the coaching staff. Beside playing in Germany (for the Mannheim Tornados), Cedric has more international experience as he pitched for Oosterhout Twins of the Dutch hoofdklasse in 2016.
The third addition will be Elvis Polanco, who pitched and coached the flagship team in 2012 and 2013. In the past seasons, he played for various teams in Belgium. He didn’t play in 2020. He will play and be in the pitching staff. Besides that, Elvis is specialized in conditioning, also very important.
Also Elio Fundora is back after several stints with the club. He played for Deurne in 2020 but has an important attachement to the Kangaroos. He is back to play third base mainly.
Coach Carlos Urquiaga is still at the head of the team, coordinating this mix of experience and younger players who are making themselves respected in Belgian baseball.
These incoming transfers are quite exceptional according to Mr. Nielsen, but the Kangaroos’ senior baseball program will still keep valuing the long-term, every-day players who have helped the team get back tot the top level in Belgian baseball.
On my question if the club will attract some players from abroad, Mr. Nielsen stated the following: “No. We have strong pitching with the Desmedt brothers and Elvis. The idea is that their knowledge and experience helps our current pitchers and younger guys coming through the youth teams.”
There is only one player that left the club for another club: Rigoberto Genao went to the Braine Black Rickers, next year a third-tier league team.
I would like to thank David Nielsen for the time he took to answer my questions. Your help is really appreciated.
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