In a press release, the organizing committee of the Haarlem Baseball Week has announced that there will be no 29th edition in 2018. This institution of Dutch Baseball was world renowned. The 2016 appeared to be its swan song.
In a press release the organizing committee explained that the financial buffer was gone after the organization wasn’t able to find enough sponsor for the 2016 edition. Due to the lack of sponsors it wasn’t wise to continue with the bi-annual tournament.
In the early years of the Haarlem Baseball Week, teams from mainly neighboring countries were invited. Mostly army teams with US soldiers who were stationed in the Netherlands, Germany or England. At a later stage, national teams and college teams were invited as well. Since 1998 only national teams were invited to play in Haarlem.
The organization changed the name and the logo of the tournament for the 2016 edition in an attempt to spur attendance. Now it is clear that was in vain.
Due to the economic setback it was harder to organize the tournament according to chairman Frits Mulder. “Partially we could pay our creditors. Now nothing is left. How much we would love to continue, there is no seed capital anymore.”
According to Mulder it will not be possible to skip a year. We ran out of possibilities to start in 2018 and it won’t be any different in 2020. We cannot ask the city of Haarlem for support anymore. The city has supported us in the past years, but the city does not have the money either.
Director of the KNBSB, Bart Volkerijk said it is extremely sad that a tournament like theHaarlem Baseball Week has ceased to exist. Together with the city of Haarlem the KNBSB wants to look for possibilites. “As baseball federation we think it is important to play on a tournament like this every year. Now an institution like this ceases to exist, we have to look for the reasons that caused this problem.”
Through the years several players that have reached the Major League have visited the Haarlem Baseball Week. In the early seventies, Dave Winfield participated with the Alaska Goldpanners. Also Mark Prior, Jose Contreras, Matt Stairs and Bobby Crosby played in the tournament.