Dutch right-handed pitcher Rick van den Hurk officially announced his professional retirement today. Through his Instagram account he announced to end his professional career after twenty years.
The thirty-six year old righty, was born in Eindhoven and debuted in professional baseball in 2003 with the Rookie farm team of the Florida Marlins. After spending five years in the minors, he debuted with the MLB club in 2007. That was in a time that even Dutch television paid attention to it.
In the following years, Rick moved up and down between the Major League and the Minors.
In 2010, Rick was traded to the Baltimore Orioles, where he had a cup of tea with the flagship team, but mostly played for their AAA team. In 2012, he was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
After the 2012 season, Rick moved to Korea, to join the Samsung Lions. With that club, he won back-to-back KBO championships. His good numbers earned him a contract with the SoftBank Hawks of the NPB in 2014. During his first season with the Hawks, he won nine games without losing one. In his second season with the team, he won five more before losing his first match. With that streak of fourteen wins, he set a record for an NPB rookie.
With the SoftBank Hawks, Rick won five Japanese championships. In his final season with the club he was plagued by injuries. In 2021, Rick was signed by the Yakult Swallows, but hardly got playing time with the flagship team.
Here is the text, Rick posted on his Instagram account.
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