Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf posted an article on its website about the selection of team Kingdom of the Netherlands for the upcoming World Port Tournament in Rotterdam. The creation of the 24-man roster can be called remarkable, to put it mildly.
This year the coaching staff will be led by Sydney de Jong. This is an exception. De Jong has been appointed the manager for the U23 team that will participate in the U23 European Championship in the Czech Republic. Steve Janssen, who is the manager of the team normally, announced the selection of the 24-man roster.
The roster contains nine debutants, all players of the preliminary roster of the U23 team, just to give them some experience. The nine debutants are Jeremyh Angela (Arizona Western College (NJCAA)), Max Clarijs (L&D Amsterdam Pirates), Kendrick Delima (Bergschenhoek Orioles), Max Draijer (Hoofddorp Pioniers), Rachid Engelhardt, Rowan van Hoek, Kaj Timmermans (all HCAW), Bram Grooten and Nick Peels (both De Glaskoning Twins).
Other players that made the cut are: Mike Bolsenbroek (Regensburg Legionaere), Rob Cordemans, Kevin Heijstek, Nick Urbanus (all L&D Amsterdam Pirates), Diegomar Markwell, Berry van Driel, Kevin Kelly, Loek van Mil, Gianison Boekhoudt, Dwayne Kemp, Stijn van der Meer (all Curaçao Neptunus), Lars Huijer, Dudley Leonora (both Hoofddorp Pioniers), Jim Ploeger and Kaj Timmermans (both HCAW) and Christopher Garia (currently without a club).
The World Port Tournament will be played from July 1st through July 9th. Team Kingdom of the Netherlands will host the national teams of Cuba, Curaçao, Japan and Taiwan. During this tournament,
Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven, accompanied by former Major Leaguers Brad Pennington, Desi Relaford and Kerry Robinson, will give a couple of clinics to kids. [EDIT] Recently the organizing committee of the WPT announced that Bert Blyleven will not come to Rotterdam due to circumstances.
Desi Relaford played for the Phillies, the Padres, the Mariners, the Mets and the Royals in an eleven-year career. He has a lifetime average of .243.
Brad Pennington played for the Orioles, Reds, Red Sox, Angels and Devil Rays with a 3-6 record and a 7.02 ERA.
In a seven-year MLB career, Kerry Robinson played for the Devil Rays, the Reds, the Cardinals, the Padres and the Royals with a .267 batting average.