After announcing the acquisition of Victor Draijer, a few days ago, Italy’s oldest baseball club, Nettuno BC 1945, announced the acquisition of another player with a link to the Dutch Kingdom. The 32-year old Rudy van Heydoorn returns to Italy to join the club of the Italian Serie A.
Van Heydoorn spent five seasons in the lower minor leagues of which A advanced was the highest he reached. Like many Dutch players, Van Heydoorn debuted with the Seattle Mariners organization in 2007. After his release, he went to the Netherlands and played for ADO Lakers from The Hague in 2012 and Neptunus from Rotterdam in 2013.
After the 2013 season, he went to Italy to join Collecchio and later Verona. Eventually, he went to Japan where he spent time in the Shikoku Island Independent League before being acquired by Nagano of the Baseball Challenge League, one of Japan’s premier independent leagues.
After spending five seasons in Japanese indy baseball, where he won three titles (two with the Pirates in the Shikoku Island League and one in the BC League with Nagano in 2020, the Dominican native decided to return to Europe.
Van Heydoorn is a versatile player who can play the corner infield positions and who can play as a catcher as well.
He is not the classic power hitter, but he has some pop in his bat as he hit thirty-five home runs in Japan. The fact that he was the runner-up in the 2020 MVP voting of the Baseball Challenge League, proves that Rudy is a reliable player.