Wladimir Balentien Calls it Quits

Curaçao-born baseball player Wladimir Balentien has announced his retirement. Last year, you could read here that Balentien already hinted at his retirement. Now the word is out. Always known as a hitter with a powerful bat, Balentien broke into the Majors in 2007 with the Seattle Mariners. In that season, he played only three games …

Two Milestones For Wladimir Balentien

In an inter league game vs the Yakult Swallows, Curaçoa's own Wladimir Balentien set two milestones in the NPB. Two dingers from his bat could not prevent the SoftBank Hawks from falling to the "other" team from Tokyo. In a 6-4 loss, Balentien reached two milestones. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Wladimir put …

SoftBank Hawks add Wladimir Balentien to NPB Roster

It has been announced that Curaçao-born Wladimir Balentien will be added to the NPB roster of the SoftBank Hawks. This will happen on May 18. The other day, Wladimir Balentien came up with a somewhat vague Tweet, saying that God's timing is perfect. https://twitter.com/cocobalentien/status/1393884698359721986 The only thing that yours truly could think of, was his …

Rick van den Hurk is warming up, Wladimir Balentien not so much

Still with the Ni-Gun team of the Yakult Swallows, Rick van den Hurk is slowly warming up. With Wladimir Balentien, it is quite the opposite. Until today, Rick had pitched in three games, allowed six earned runs and struck out seven. Today, against the DeNa BayStars, Rick pitched four innings in relief. He was very …

Rick van den Hurk gets no decision in second Ni-Gun start, Balentien makes his presence felt.

For the second time after being presented by the Yakult Swallows, last Monday, Rick van den Hurk took the mound in a Ni-Gun (minor league) game. The Tokyo Yakult Swallows lost to Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 5-4. Two of these runs were given up by Dutch Rick van den Hurk. After pitching three scoreless innings, …

Wladimir Balentien Hits Dinger in First At-Bat of Season

Wladimir Balentien is back in Japanese baseball. Not at the highest level yet. In today's Ni-Gun (Minor League) game vs the Chunichi Dragons, he made his presence felt. Wladimir Balentien in his first at-bat of 2021 After arriving in Japan in the end of March, Wladimir Balentien had to pass two weeks in quarintine. He …

SoftBank Hawks call up youngster that preferred Japan over the USA.

The SoftBank Hawks have called up Carter Stewart Jr, the pitcher that did not sign with the Atlanta Braves after the 2018 draft, but decided to head to Japan to join the SoftBank Hawks. Stewart was considered one of the top prospects for the 2018 Major League Baseball draft, and was drafted by the Atlanta Braves with the …

Watch Game Four of the 2020 Nippon Series here

With the SoftBank Hawks having a comfortable 3-0 lead in games, it is a must win situation for the Yomiuri Giants today. But it will be hard as they play at the Pay Pay Dome, the home field of the Hawks. Today's game will start at 18:30 local time (10:30 CET and 04:30 AM Eastern …

Nippon Series 2020: Game 1

The 2020 Nippon Series, the championship series of Nippon Professional Baseball, started today. The Yomiuri Giants from Tokyo took on the SoftBank Hawks from Fukuoka. The Giants are the first team to reappear in the Nippon Series after being swept in the previous year. The Hawks have been dominating Japanese baseball in the past decade. …

Watch Game One of 2020 Nippon Series here

Today the 2020 Nippon Series between the Yomiuri Giants and the SoftBank Hawks comences. The Hawks try to four-peat, the Giants try to win it all since 2012. If you are interested in Japanese baseball or if you don't want to call it quits yet regarding the 2020 season, here is the link to the …

Dutchies in Japan thread

As all the baseball fans of the Dutch Kingdom (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St. Eustace, St. Martin and The Netherlands) will know, there are two players (Wladimir Balentien and Rick van den Hurk) from the Dutch Kingdom playing in Japan for a couple of years now. For the first time, they are playing on one …

Rick van den Hurk’s take on Minor League Baseball

Most of you will know by now that I would regret the contraction of 42 minor league teams by Major League Baseball, especially for the (IMO) made-up reasons. So I thought "What's better to have a former minor leaguer have his say about the minors to (perhaps) cast some new light on the issue?" And …

Rick van den Hurk donates for charity

In a tweet and on his own website, Rick van den Hurk announced that he will have a weekly auction, to raise money for the Ronald McDonald Foundation. https://twitter.com/rickvandenhurk/status/1263451862633549824 The Dutch-born pitcher from Eindhoven will donate game-used baseball items and equipment from teams he played for. Since his MLB debut with the Florida Marlins in …

NPB cancels practice games

After three players of the Hanshin Tigers have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, the NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) has decided to cancel all practice games of the Japanese major league clubs. At least, according to a Tweet by Dutch pitcher Rick van den Hurk, all practice games are cancelled but the Ni-Gun (minor league) games …

Softbank Hawks about to make Balentien a two-year offer

According to several Japanese news outlets, the Softbank Hawks from Fukuoka will make Curaçaoan slugger Wladimir Balentien an offer for a two-year deal worth about $9 million. One of the demands/wishes Balentien has is to play with number four, the number he has worn during his NPB career with the Yakult Swallows. The Softbank Hawks …

Rick van den Hurk stays loyal to Hawks

The Softbank Hawks and Dutchie Rick van den Hurk agreed on a one-year contract extension. It was rumored Rick was looking for opportunities in the MLB but he decided to stay with the Japanese champion. Van den Hurk's contract expired after the 2019 season, which was rather injury-riddled. Rick appeared in only three games of …

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