Yesterday, Misja Harcksen got a phone call from the new manager of the Dutch national team Evert-Jan ‘t Hoen. In this call, Van ‘t Hoen told Misja he had been selected for the Dutch squad that will participate in the 2018 Baseball Week Haarlem (previously known as Haarlem Baseball Week).
I got a soft spot for this kid when I saw him make a spot start for Neptunus vs Kinheim, about five/six years ago. In seven innings he kept the lineup of Kinheim in check, allowing only two or three hits. Only after he was pulled, Kinheim started to hit and eventually won the game.
At age 23, Misja has quite some experience under his belt. Not only is he pitching in the Dutch hoofdklasse for several years, he also played in the United States for the organization of the Los Angeles Dodgers. With the Dodgers, he never made it higher than Advanced rookie Ogden Raptors. After the last game of the 2016 season, Misja was released. His ERA of that year may justify the move, but those numbers can be blamed on only one bad outing he had with the Raptors. It was never explained but perhaps he had to make room for some kind of bonus baby as baseball is a numbers game.
After his return to the Netherlands, he went on playing for Curaçao Neptunus but he never found his groove in the 2017 season due to various causes. Eventually, after the 2017 season, Misja decided to go a different direction and joined De Glaskoning Twins from Oosterhout.
After joining his new club, he refound the fun. So far Misja is doing rather well. In ten starts, Misja has a 4-4 record with a 3.06 ERA. Only teammate Shogo Nakashima is doing better with 1.57.
Thanks to his fine season with the Glaskoning Twins, Misja has made it to the roster of the Dutch team. It remains to be seen if he will make the team with the upcoming Super 6 tournament that will be played in September, as the professional players from the minor leagues will be available then. This Super 6 tournament will fill the void of the European Championship that has been moved to 2019 as it will serve as a pre-qualifier for the upcoming Olympic Games. But for now, Misja’s selection is a nice recognition for what he is doing.