Today there was a promotional day at De Glaskoning Twins in Oosterhout. As their star pitcher from Japan, Keiji Uezono pitched his last game in Twins uniform, they decided to call today Japan Day. There was a big lottery with plenty of Japanese baseball prizes and also prizes signed by Dutch pitcher of the Softbank Hawks, Rick van den Hurk.
The grand prize were two flight tickets to Sendai, home town of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. Unfortunately I have to save money and pay for these tickets by myself. 😦
The place was packed with people, a lot of them Japanese expats and some of them even wore uniforms of NPB clubs.
Somebdy of the KNBSB (Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Federation) said that promotions like this should be done by every Dutch hoofdklasse club. In this way you will get people back to the ballpark. And some of them will even be struck by the baseball virus.
A conservative estimation about the number of people in the stands and around the field: 500-600. Perhaps there were more but a lot of people was walking around and it is hard to count them.
Next to the prizes that could be won, there was a lot of Japanese food; sushi, Japanese skewer with rice and string beans or fried chicken balls with rice and string beans. It did not only look delicious it also tasted good.
Just before the game, the Japanese ambassador, mr. Inomata threw out the first pitch.
But lest not forget that there also was a baseball game to be played. Just like De Glaskoning Twins, their opponent, HCAW from Bussum also had clinched a spot in the hoofdklasse for next year. So in fact nothing was at stake in this game. Proof for this was that during the game position players took the mound and pitchers got at bats. Nevertheless it was an attractive game (for Twins fans) in which (perhaps) HCAW never took it all too serious.
At the start of the sixth inning, with Twins leading 8-0, Keiji Uezono was pulled and honored by one of the organizers, Paul Bun.
Eventually the game ended with a 9-0 win for De Glaskoning Twins. (Of course) Keiji Uezono earned the win. In five innings he allowed three hits and struck out seven.
Kaj Timmermans took the loss after spending just 2.1 innings on the mound. In those two innings he was hit hard as he gave up eight runs (five earned) and walked one.
Average wise, Mick Molenaar was the best hitter for De Glaskoning Twins with one hit out of one at bat. The most impact though had Anthony Vrolijk and Nick Peels. Vrolijk went 2 for 5 with two RBI and Peels collected two hits out of three at bats with two RBI as well.
After the game Keiji was honored just a little bit more by ELB president Wim van den Hurk, who handed over, what should have been, Keiji’s jersey for team Amsterdam baseball with the Euro League Baseball.
But let’s not forget that another player played his last hoofdklase game today. Shurty Tremus hung up his spikes. Also Shurty was honered after he was pulled from the game. He received two nice framed jerseys. One of Neptunus, where his career started and one of De Glaskoning Twins, where he finished his career.
Those who did not attend today’s Japan Day, have missed a fantastic event. It was cosy, with the place packed with people and a nice game of baseball. Other hoofdklasse clubs should take this kind of events as an example. It may be the solution to get people back to
This report was brough to you by Score66 Baseball: