Netherlands national baseball team
|Netherlands national baseball team|
|Country||Kingdom of the Netherlands|
|World Baseball Classic|
|Appearances||4 (First in 2006)|
|Best result||4th (2 times, in 2013 and 2017)|
|Appearances||4 (First in 1996)|
|Best result||5th (2 times, most recent in 2000)|
|Appearances||17 (First in 1970)|
|Best result||1st (1 time, in 2011)|
|Appearances||5 (First in 1983)|
|Best result||2nd (2 times, most recent in 2010)|
|Appearances||32 (First in 1956)|
|Best result||1st (23 times, most recent in 2019)|
The Netherlands national baseball team is the national baseball team of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, representing the country in international men's baseball. They are currently ranked as the best team in the Confederation of European Baseball, and the team is also ranked ninth in the WBSC World Rankings.
The Netherlands participated in the Summer Olympic Games in 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008. The team has also participated in both of the other major international baseball tournaments recognised by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF): the World Baseball Classic (WBC) and the Baseball World Cup. In 2011, the team won the World Cup after beating 25-time champion Cuba in the finals. The team is controlled by the Koninklijke Nederlandse Baseball en Softball Bond, which is represented in the Confederation of European Baseball.
The team is made up primarily of players from the Netherlands in Europe, and from Dutch territories and islands in the Caribbean that are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, such as Aruba and Curaçao (which is part of the former Netherlands Antilles, which have since been dissolved), where baseball is extremely popular. Some foreigners of Dutch descent have also been members of the team. While baseball only maintains a niche following throughout Europe, the Netherlands, along with Italy, are the two European countries where the sport's popularity is strongest; the team has finished in either first or second place in each of the 31 European Baseball Championships in which it has appeared.
The team played in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, and finished in 4th place. It won the 2019 European Baseball Championship, winning a gold medal. It then competed at the Africa/Europe 2020 Olympic Qualification tournament, in Italy in September 2019, taking second place behind Team Israel. The team will next try to qualify for the 2020 Olympics at the six-team Final Qualifying Tournament.
|2017 World Baseball Classic roster|
World Baseball Classic
World Baseball Classic
|Puerto Rico 2006||11th|
|Puerto Rico / United States 2009||7th|
|Taiwan / Japan / United States 2013||4th|
|South Korea / Japan / United States 2017||4th|
The Netherlands has competed in all four of the World Baseball Classic tournaments held. All 16 teams that played in the 2006 edition were invited to compete in the second in 2009. The team was an automatic qualifier for the 2013 and 2017 tournaments.
The Netherlands has progressed to the second round of competition in 2009, and achieved its highest finish, 4th, in both the 2013 and 2017 tournaments. Unusual for international competition in baseball, the squads selected in the World Baseball Classic tournaments featured players active in Major League Baseball in addition to Minor League, Nippon Professional Baseball, and local players. Generally players in the Major Leagues are unavailable due to their contracts with the respective clubs.
The Netherlands team in the World Baseball Classic has featured several Major Leaguers: Andruw Jones, Sidney Ponson, Randall Simon, Roger Bernadina, Shairon Martis, Jonathan Schoop, Xander Bogaerts, Andrelton Simmons, Didi Gregorius, Jurickson Profar, and Kenley Jansen, all born in the Caribbean in either Aruba or Curaçao.
|World Baseball Classic record||Qualification record|
|2006||Round 1||11th||1||2||15||19||No qualifiers held|
|2009||Round 2||7th||2||4||10||23||No qualifiers held|
|Largest victory||Largest defeat||Current|
|Overall||4||11–13||Against CUB||Against JPN||L1|
|14–1 (F/7)||2017||4–16 (F/7)||2013|
Prior to the 2006 World Baseball Classic, the Netherlands played four exhibition games. They lost two games, against a college team from the University of Tampa and an Atlanta Braves squad, at Cracker Jack Stadium in Kissimmee, Florida.
Having failed to win against Cuba and Puerto Rico in their round-robin pool games, they finished third in their pool, and were eliminated along with Panama.
Prior to the 2009 World Baseball Classic, the Netherlands played seven exhibition games, including three games against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, and Minnesota Twins. The Netherlands team lost all three games against these MLB opponents.
The Netherlands competed in Pool D, along with 2006 WBC semi-finalist Dominican Republic, Panama, and Puerto Rico, in the first round at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The team won both games against the strong Dominican Republic team. As result, the team made it through the first double-elimination round along with Puerto Rico.
The Netherlands competed in Pool B against Chinese Taipei, South Korea, and Australia at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium in Taichung, Taiwan. The Dutch team won their first game against South Korea 5-0, but lost to the Chinese Taipei 8-3. However, the Netherlands won against Australia 4-1, thus securing their position for Round 1 in Tokyo Dome to face off against Japan and Cuba.
The Dutch team defeated the Cuban team 6-2 before facing two-time defending champion Japan and earned a humiliating loss 16-4 at the end of 7th inning due to mercy rule and faced off against Cuba once again. They narrowly clinched their win against the Cuban team 7-6 to secure their position in the semi-finals where they lost against the Japanese team again 10-6. They faced off against the Dominican Republic where they lost 4-1. The Netherlands finished 4th overall.
Team Netherlands, ranked 9th in the world, included major league stars, many of whom were raised in islands in the Caribbean that are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The players included All Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts (Boston Red Sox; from Aruba), 20-home-run-hitter shortstop Didi Gregorius (New York Yankees; raised in Curaçao, which is part of the former Netherland Antilles which have since been dissolved), 20-home-run-hitter second baseman Jonathan Schoop (Baltimore Orioles; born in Curaçao), Gold-Glover shortstop Andrelton Simmons (Los Angeles Angels; born in Curaçao), and infielder/outfielder Jurickson Profar (Texas Rangers; born in Curaçao). Sports Illustrated opined that the Dutch team "boasts arguably the most talented infield in the entire tournament."
The Netherlands was defeated by Team Israel (4-2). It then beat South Korea (5-0) and Taiwan (6-5), in the first round of the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Along with Israel, which came in ahead of it in the pool, it qualified for the next round, in Japan.
In what NBC reported was thought to be the tallest batter-pitcher matchup in baseball history, the Dutch team’s 7-foot-1-inch (2.16 m) pitcher Loek van Mil walked Israel's 6-foot-8-inch (2.03 m) first baseman Nate Freiman.
In the second round an extra innings loss against Japan was followed by two mercy rule wins against Israel and Cuba. Together with Japan which had finished top of the pool the Netherlands advanced to the championship round. 2016 All star and NL reliever of the year Kenley Jansen joined the Dutch team for the championship round.
The Netherlands semifinal match against Puerto Rico ended with an 11th inning walk-off sac fly by Eddie Rosario. The final score was 3-4. Dutch outfielder Wladimir Balentien was chosen in the All-WBC team.
Baseball at the Olympics
|Summer Olympics record||Qualification|
|1988||South Korea||Preliminary||5th (tied) [a]||1||2||11||14||1987 European Baseball Championship|
|1992||Spain||Did not qualify||1991 European Baseball Championship|
|1996||United States||Preliminary||5th||2||5||32||76||1995 European Baseball Championship|
|2000||Australia||Preliminary||5th||3||4||18||30||1999 European Baseball Championship|
|2004||Greece||Preliminary||6th||2||5||29||55||2003 European Baseball Championship|
|2008||China||Preliminary||7th||1||6||9||50||2007 European Baseball Championship|
- No medals awarded; baseball was a demonstration sport in 1988
- Totals only include years 1992 to 2008, during which baseball was an official medal sport.
The Dutch best finish in an Olympics is fifth place, which they did in both 1996 & 2000. The first time the Netherlands participated in the baseball tournament at the Summer Olympics was in 1988. Netherlands finished with a 1-2 record, with its only victory coming against Chinese Taipei. There was no official placing as Baseball at the 1988 Summer Olympics was a demonstration sport.
It competed at the Africa/Europe 2020 Olympic Qualification tournament, in Italy in September 2019, taking second place behind Israel.
|Largest victory||Largest defeat||Current|
|Australia||3||2–1||16–6 (F/8)||United States 1996||22–2 (F/7)||Greece 2004||L1|
|Chinese Taipei||3||1–2||6–1||Korea 1988||16–0||China 2008||L2|
|Cuba||4||1–3||4–2||Australia 2000||18–2 (F/7)||United States 1996||L2|
|Japan||5||0–5||–||12–2 (F/7)||United States 1996||L5|
|Nicaragua||1||0–1||–||5–0||United States 1996||L1|
|Puerto Rico||1||0–1||–||7–4||Korea 1988||L1|
|South Africa||1||0–1||–||3–2||Australia 2000||L1|
|South Korea||3||0–3||–||10–0||China 2008||L3|
|United States||3||0–3||–||17–1 (F/7)||United States 1996||L3|
|Overall||5||9–22||Against AUS||Against AUS||L3|
|16–6 (F/8)||United States 1996||22–2 (F/7)||Greece 2004|
Baseball World Cup
Their best finish in the International Baseball Federation's (IBAF) World Cup was first place, which they achieved in 2011. Netherlands also hosted the games twice, in 1986 and in 2005. In 2009, the Netherlands was one of the 8 European nations to host the 2009 Baseball World Cup. It marked the first time in history that the World Cup was not hosted by a specific country, but rather by a whole continent.
Baseball World Cup
|Amateur World Series|
|South Korea, 1982||6th|
|Largest victory||Largest defeat||Current|
|Australia||5||2–4||6–0||Taiwan 2001||4–1||Italy 2009||W1|
|Brazil||2||1–1||7–0||Netherlands 2005||2–1||Cuba 2003||W1|
|Canada||6||3–3||7–3||Netherlands 2005||11–5||Italy 2009||L3|
|China||2||2–0||13–3 (F/8)||Netherlands 2005||–||W2|
|Chinese Taipei||5||3–2||11–2||Italy 2009||12–6||Italy 1998||W3|
|Cuba||6||3–4||4–1 (F/7)||Panama 2011||12–1 (F/7)||Italy 1998||W2|
|Dominican Republic||2||2–0||7–3||Taiwan 2001||–||W2|
|Germany||1||1–0||15–5 (F/8)||Taiwan 2007||–||W1|
|Great Britain||1||1–0||6–0||Netherlands 2009||–||W1|
|Greece||1||1–0||19–0 (F/5)||Panama 2011||–||W1|
|France||1||1–0||12–0 (F/7)||Cuba 2003||–||W1|
|Japan||5||1–4||5–2||Panama 2011||12–2 (F/7)||Cuba 2003||W1|
|Nicaragua||2||1–1||8–4||Netherlands 2009||13–2||Italy 1998||W1|
|Panama||4||2–4||9–5||Netherlands 2005||5–0||Taiwan 2001||W1|
|Puerto Rico||3||3–0||10–0 (F/8)||Netherlands 2005||–||W3|
|Russia||2||2–0||18–0 (F/7)||Taiwan 2001||–||W2|
|South Africa||1||1–0||20–2 (F/7)||Netherlands 2005||–||W1|
|South Korea||5||4–2||6–2||Netherlands 2005||7–0||Netherlands 2005||W3|
|Sweden||1||1–0||18–0 (F/8)||Netherlands 2005||–||W1|
|Thailand||1||1–0||16–0 (F/7)||Taiwan 2007||–||W1|
|United States||4||2–2||7–5||Panama 2011||8–2||Italy 2009||W1|
|Venezuela||3||3–0||12–2 (F/7)||Panama 2011||–||W3|
|Overall||7||44 – 27||Against GRE||Against CUB||W6|
|19 – 0 (F/5)||Panama 2011||12 – 1 (F/7)||Italy 1998|
European Baseball Championship
Team Netherlands won the 2019 European Baseball Championship, winning a gold medal. Among the players competing for it were Roger Bernadina, Mike Bolsenbroek, Donny Breek, Rob Cordemans, Tom de Blok, Yurendell DeCaster, Lars Huijer, Kevin Kelly, Dwayne Kemp, Diego Markwell, Randolph Oduber, Dashenko Ricardo, Shairon Martis, Kalian Sams, Sharlon Schoop, Curt Smith, Tom Stuifbergen, JC Sulbaran, and Orlando Yntema.
Other tournament results
The Dutch Caribbean has very strong baseball traditions. A team from Willemstad, Curaçao "Liga Pabou" won the 2004 Little League World Series and was runner-up in 2005. Each territory has its own baseball federation and in the past, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba have fielded its own team in international competitions. In recent years, however, players from the Dutch Caribbean have played on the national team of the Netherlands itself, alongside players from continental Europe and a handful of Americans of Dutch descent, resulting in a team with a stronger concentration of talent. Since the 2013 World Baseball Classic, the Netherlands participates as the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the formal name of the sovereign state that includes both the Dutch Caribbean and the Netherlands proper.
The following was the Netherlands 2013 World Baseball Classic squad.
2013 World Baseball Classic
- Hensley Meulens
- Bert Blyleven, Brian Farley, Steve Janssen, Wim Martinus, Tjerk Smeets, Ben Thijssen
Team members are mostly from the Netherlands or overseas territories with a few non-Dutch players:
Coaches Farley (USA) and Janssen (Belgium) have some involvement with baseball teams in the Netherlands.
2011 Baseball World Cup
In January 2009 the International Baseball Federation created a ranking system so that the nations involved in international competition could be compared independently. Teams receive points based on the position they finish at the end of tournaments. The system takes into account results not only of the senior men's teams but also of junior teams. Weightings that emphasise the importance of certain tournaments are based on the number of teams competing, the number of continents represented (or eligible to be represented), and in the case of continental tournaments such as the European Baseball Championship the relative strength of teams eligible. Only results within the previous four years are used, so points are added and removed over time. Since the system began, the rankings have been adjusted after the completion of tournaments qualifying for the ranking process.
Since September 18, 2012, the Netherlands are listed at 6th position.