Grand Slam
Baseball & Softball Headlines
February 2002
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2002 by Marco Stoovelaar

Index News Archive FEBRUARY 2002

Dutch Baseball
Marlins to support Almere. (February 20)
Drawings for European Cup Tournaments. (February 3)
HCAW add Orman to staff. (February 3)

International Baseball
Major League
USA: Padres Outfielder dies in accident. (February 15)
USA: Spring Training started. (February 14)
USA: Two former Yankees passed away. (February 14)
USA/Canada: Major League names Expos management. (February 14)
Italy: Liverziani, Sheldon to Bologna. (February 27)
Italy: Name change for Grosseto. February 17)
Italy: Season opens April 20. (February 15)
Italy: Romano suspended. (February 8)
Sweden: Schöön named Head Coach. (February 3)
Central America
Cuba: Linares hits 400th homerun. (February 15)
Cuba: Season update. (February 3-10-20)
Nicaragua: Season update. (February 3-10-20)
Caribbean World Series
Culiacán captures Caribbean title! (February 8)
Australia: Victoria wins Claxton Shield! (February 9)

Dutch Softball Women
HCAW names assistant coach. (February 28)
Japan wins series vs. Australia. (February 27)
European Championships to Italy. (February 3)

Dutch Softball Men
Thamen celebrates 40th anniversary. (February 17)

News Archives
January 2002
March 2002
April 2002
May 2002

Dutch Baseball
Marlins to support Almere
ALMERE (Neth.) - Baseball and Softball Club Almere '90 announced an affiliation with the Florida Marlins Major League-organisation on Wednesday. Originally, since last November, the club had a working agreement with the Montreal Expos, but due to the contraction situation in the Major League things changed.
The Expos recently were purchased by Major League Baseball, while the owner of the Canadian club last week obtained the Florida Marlins. Also moving southward was Senior Vice President and Director International Operations Fred Ferreira. The international scout informed Almere that the working agreement also moved from the Expos to the Marlins-organization.
Ubink en Co Almere is preparing for its second season in the Dutch Major League and will be managed by Pete Yarasavich, who started last season as the head coach of NTNT ADO. Yarasavich will be assisted by Rob van Buuren, while Chicho Jesurun will serve at the club's Technical Director. Both coached at the Amsterdam Pirates last season, which was affiliated with the Expos the last four seasons.
Florida Marlins, which won the World Series in 1997, will provide Almere with equipment and baseball knowledge, while the junior team of Almere changed its name to Marlins Almere.
(February 20)

Nederlandse tekst

Drawings for European Cup Tournaments
SOFIA (Bulgaria) - During its Congress, which took place in Sofia, the European Baseball Federation did the drawings for this years European Cup Tournaments.

The A-Pool for the European Cup Tournament will be played June 19-23 at Viladecans (Spain). Dutch Cupholder and national champion Door Neptunus will play in Group A, meeting Viladecans (Spain), Balashikha - VVIA (Russia) and Paderborn Untouchables (Germany). In Group B, Dutch team Mr. Cocker HCAW will play against Draci Brno (Czech Republic), San Marino (San Marino) and Nettuno (Italy).

Dutch Cupholder DPA Kinheim will defend the CupWinners Cup in Regensburg (Germany), which was awarded the organization. Kinheim plays in Group A and meets Regensburg (Germany), Arga Burlada (Spain) and Barracudas Montpellier (France). NTNT ADO, the second Dutch participant, is playing in Group B together with Brasschaat Braves (Belgium) and Technika Brno (Czech Republic). No Italian club registered for participation.

Also, this years European B-Championships for Seniors will not be played in Greece, but will be organized by Alby in Sweden in July-August. Initially, Greece was scheduled to organize the event, but facilities will not be completed in time.
(February 3)

Nederlandse tekst

HCAW add Orman to staff
BUSSUM (Neth.) - HCAW announced it has added former player Nelson Orman as an Assistant Coach to the staff of Head Coach Frank Koene.
In 1990, Orman played for HCAW. He also played for Amsterdam Pirates and Quick Amersfoort.
(February 3)

International Baseball
Italy: Liverziani, Sheldon to Bologna
BOLOGNA (Italy) - Less then two months before Opening Day, Italeri Fortitudo Bologna acquired two major players: Claudio Liverziani and Dave Sheldon, who both played for Semenzato Rimini last year.

Outfielder/first baseman Claudio Liverziani (pictured right), 27, a member of the Italian national team during the Sydney Olympics and last year at both the European and World Championships, started his career in Novara and went on to play professionally in 1997-1998 in the single-A team of the Seattle Mariners-organization, which coincidentally has a working agreement with Bologna. Field Manager Mauro Mazzotti is Seattle's European Scout. Liverziani, who was elected to the IBAF Athletes Commission during the World Championships in November in Taiwan, is widely considered the best active Italian player at the moment. In his last three season after coming back from the USA, he hit 19 homeruns. Last season, he hit .311 with 3 homers and 33 RBI's.

Third baseman/pitcher Dave Sheldon (pictured left), 38, was born in California (USA), but became an Italian citizen in 1998, making him eligible for the national team. Last year Sheldon, who recently played for the Italian squad, hit .282 with 7 homeruns and 36 RBI's.
Sheldon is playing since 1987 in the Italian league, where he started his career with Fiorentina, playing there for four seasons. He also played for Novara, Bollate, Grosseto and Milano, before moving to Rimini for the 1999 season. In 1992, Sheldon already played one season for Bologna.

(February 27)

USA: Padres Outfielder dies in accident
SAN DIEGO (USA) - The San Diego Padres announced that 25-year old outfielder Mike Darr died in an automobile accident on a Highway early Friday morning close to its Spring Training site in Peoria, Arizona. Another passenger also died in the accident, while minor league pitcher Ben Howard was injured.
Last season, Mike Darr played in 105 games for the Padres, his first full Major League season, hitting .277 with two homeruns and 34 RBI's. In 1999 and 2000 he played briefly for the big league Padres.
(February 15)

USA: Spring Training started
The new season is on its way! Twelve Major League-teams opened Spring Training on Thursday, February 14, with pitchers and catchers reporting to training camps in Florida and Arizona on Valentine's Day. On Friday, most other teams open their Spring Training Camps. Next week, Spring Training will be in full swing, when position players will also report.
(February 14)

USA: Two former Yankees passed away
NEW YORK (USA) - Frank Crosetti, who played 17 seasons for the New York Yankees and played with Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio, passed away on Monday at the age of 91. Crosetti, whon retired in 1948, won eight World Series with the Yankees and served as their third base coach for 20 years.

Jim Spencer, who was a member of the 1978 World Series champion New York Yankees, passed away on Sunday at the age of 54 after an apparent heart attack. The night before he played first base in a benefit game. Spencer also played for California Angels, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox and Oakland A's.
(February 14)

USA/Canada: Major League names Expos management

NEW YORK (USA) / MONTREAL (Canada) - Major League Baseball on Tuesday acquired the Montreal Expos on Tuesday and named Hall of Famer Frank Robinson for the upcoming season. Robinson served the last two years as MLB Vice President of on-field affairs and became the first minority manager in 1975 when he was named manager of the Cleveland Indians. Later, he also managed the San Francisco Giants and Baltimore Orioles.
MLB also named Tony Tavares Club President and Omar Minaya Vice President and General Manager. Minaya is seventeen years involved with the Expos as scout and assistant GM.
Major League owners approved the sale of the Expos to Major League Baseball. Last year, MLB announced that at least two teams will be eliminated to correct the economic inbalance. The Montreal Expos and Minnesota Twins are the two teams most mentioned to disappear after the 2002 season. Recently, MLB postponed the contraction until after this season.
(February 14)

MELBOURNE - The six-team 69th edition of the Claxton Shield tournament for the Australian national championship opened on Saturday, February 2. The final is scheduled for next Saturday.
Participating are five teams representing Australian states: Victoria Aces, New South Wales Patriots, Queensland Rams, Western Australia Heelers and Southern Australia. Completing the field of participants is the Australia Provincial All Stars.

DAY EIGHT: Saturday, February 9
Victorian Aces won the Claxton Shield after beating defending champions Western Australia Heelers, 6-5 on Saturday-evening. Victoria scored twice in the first, but the Heelers took the lead in a three-run second, then added a run in the seventh. Victoria re-took the lead in its seventh with a three-run rally, but in the top of the ninth, Western Australia came alongside. In the home ninth, with one out, Victoria scored the winning run on an RBI-double by Brett Tamburrino, making a winner of closer David White.

Previous Games

Caribbean World Series
On Saturday, February 2, the Caribbean World Series opened in Caracas (Venezuela) with participation of the professional champions from the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and host country Venezuela.


DAY SEVEN: Friday, February 8
Tomateros de Culiacán shutout Vaqueros de Bayamón, 3-0 to claim the title in the 44th Caribbean World Series. It is the first Mexican title since 1996.
Winning pitcher Rodrigo López dominated the game. He went the distance, striking out eight, walking only one batter and giving up only three hits. The first was a lead-off infield single in the first inning, the second an infield-hit in the eighth, the last a hit in the ninth. In the second, Culiacán scored its first run when Kit Pellow scored on a double play grounder. In the third, Jacob Cruz singled in Roberto Vizcarra, who had doubled. Finally, in the seventh, Ray Martinez homered, before the Mexican team got runners on all bases, but Jacob Cruz then lined into a double play, which stopped a potential Mexican rally.
Venezuelans close with victory
The Caribbean Series ended as host Navegantes de Magallanes beat Tigres del Licey, 3-1. Licey's Vladimir Guerrero homered in the sixth, but in the eighth, Venezuela scored three runs. Ramón Hernández scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly by César Istúriz, followed by a two-run homerun by Robert Pérez.
Mexico's Adán Amezcua was voted the Series MVP. He hit .455 with 3 homeruns and a Series-leading nine RBI's.

Previous Games

Italy: Name change for Grosseto
GROSSETO (Italy) - Serie A/1 team Grosseto is adding the nickname Orioles to its clubname, it was announced by the club management, as part of its affiliation with the Major League Baltimore Orioles.
Last season Grosseto, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, finished in third place. Team manager and former national team player Marco Mazzieri and coach Luca Moretti will attend the Orioles Spring Training in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, while third baseman Gabriele Ermini will practice 15 days in the Orioles camp.
(February 17)

Italy: Season opens April 20
NETTUNO (Italy) - Italian champion Caffè Danesi Nettuno will open the ten-team Italian regular season in the Serie A/1 at home on Saturday, April 20, hosting Auriga Caserta.
A week later, on April 26, the other teams will start their season in the first complete game day of the year. All teams will play 54 games in the regular season. The Italian Play-Offs (best-of-seven) will open on Friday, September 20, followed by the Championship Final (best-of-seven).
Teams will play a three-game series each week with an evening game on Friday and a double-header (afternoon and night) on Saturday, but can agree to switch the Saturday-afternoon to Wednesday-evening. Foreign pitchers have to start the Friday games. Italian teams are allowed three foreign players each this season.
(February 15)

Italy: Romano suspended
RIMINI (Italy) - Mike Romano, the Head Coach of Serie A/1 vice-champion Semenzato Rimini is suspended by the Executive Committee of the European Baseball Federation (CEB) for one year for international competitions. Romano is suspended for the way he harrassed umpires after his team lost to San Marino during last years European Cup-tournament in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Romano is a longtime coach after completing a succesfull playing career, being a veteran member of the Italian national team.
Last week, it was also announced that Rimini withdrew from participation in this years CupWinners Cup, due to high financial costs.
(February 8)

Sweden: Schöön named Head Coach
STOCKHOLM (Sweden) - The Swedish Baseball and Softball Federation named veteran and former national team player Peter Schöön its new Head Coach for the national baseball-team. Schöön will be assisted by Jim Sasko.
(February 3)

Cuba: Linares hits 400th homerun
PINAR DEL RIO (Cuba) - Veteran Cuban player Omar 'El Nino' Linares Izquierdo hit his 400th career homerun last Sunday, February 10 and helped his team Pinar del Rio beat Granma, 13-3, to move into first place of Group A of the Zona Occidental.
With his fourth homerun of the season, Linares became only the third player in Cuban history with 400 or more 'quadrangulars'. Another veteran, Orestes Kindelan leads with 475 and is followed by retired player Lázaro Junco, who hit 405. The 34-year old Linares plays international baseball since his fourteenth, when he played in a World Youth Championship in Venezuela. In the years after, he won the world title six times and participated in three Olympic Games, winning the gold medal twice.
Michel Fors Ortiz of Metropolitanos leads the Cuban League with nine homeruns.
(February 15)

Cuba: Season update
In the four division Cuban baseball season, the sixteen teams have played 30 games so far.
Pinar del Rio moved into a tie for first place in Pool A of the Zona Occidental together with Isla de Juventud. Both teams have a 18-12 record. Still leading in Pool B is Sancti Spíritus with 19 victories and 11 losses.
In the Zona Oriental, Villa Clara remains in first place in Pool A, also with a 19-11 record, while Santiago de Cuba has the winningest record so far with 21 wins and 10 losses in Pool B.
Yesterdag, in a great match-up of national team players, Pinar del Rio shutout Santiago de Cuba, 2-0. Antonio Pacheco (2B), Rey Isaac (OF), Pedro Poll (1B), Frank Tamayo (C) and Manuel Benavides (OF) played for Santiago de Cuba, while Yobal Dueñas played second for Pinar del Rio. Not playing was 3B Omar Linares. Playing at third was Donal Duarte, who singled Lázaro Castro into scoring position into the sixth. Castro scored on a grounder by Onel Olivera. In the fifth, Yobal Dueñas singled in Alexei Ramírez, who walked, stole second and advanced to third on an error.
National team outfielder Osmani Urrutia Ramirez from Las Tunas is now leading the Serie Nacional de Beísbol in batting with a .469 (45-for-96) average. Catcher Juan Manrique García from Matanzas, who was the best hitter so far, still leads in Runs Scored with 30, but also lost his leadership in Homeruns. His teammate Michel Abreu Martínez now leads with 10. Rolando Meriño Betancourt, catcher of Santiago de Cuba, leads with 29 RBI's, while pitcher Maels Rodríguez Corrales of Sancti Spíritus tops with 79 strikeouts.
(February 20)

In the four division Cuban baseball season, the sixteen teams have played 23 games so far.
Leading in Pool A of the Zona Occidental is Isla de Juventud with a 14-9 record, leading in Pool B is Sancti Spíritus with 17 victories and 6 losses.
In the Zona Oriental, Villa Clara is in first place in Pool A, also with a 17-6 record, while Santiago de Cuba moved into first place in Pool B with a 14-10 record, closely followed by last weeks leader Holguín with a 13-10 record.
In the weekend, the teams played high-hit, high-runs interleague games, including 20 homeruns, led by Camagüey's 22-hit 18-6 win vs. Cienfuegos. La Habana beat Ciego de Avila 14-12, as both teams collected 19 hits in an eight-homerun game, five by La Habana, including two by Oscar Macias Hernández. Yoelvis Fiss Morales homered twice for Avila.
Still leading the Serie Nacional de Beísbol in batting is veteran Juan Manrique García from Matanzas with a .476 (30-for-63) average. He also leads in Runs Scored (24) and Homeruns (7). Roberquis Videaux Martínez of Guantánamo also has seven homers, while pitcher Maels Rodríguez Corrales of Sancti Spíritus tops with 66 strikeouts.
(February 10)

In the four division Cuban baseball season, the sixteen teams have played eighteen games so far.
Leading in Pool A of the Zona Occidental is still Isla de Juventud with a 12-6 record, leading in Pool B is Sancti Spíritus with 13 victories and 5 losses. In the weekend, Sancti Spíritus won its ninth consective game.
In the Zona Oriental, Villa Clara is in first place in Pool A with a 13-5 record, while Holguín leads in Pool B with a 11-7 record, closely followed by favorite Santiago de Cuba with a 11-8 record.
Leading the Serie Nacional de Beísbol is veteran Juan Manrique from Matanzas with a .524 (22-for-42) average. Manrique also leads in Runs Scored (19) and Homeruns (6).
(February 3)

Nicaragua: Season update
Chinandega moved back into first place, after beating Estellí, 2-1 in eleven innings. It was Estellí's first home loss after ten wins, but player Ariel Delgado Rojas extended his hitting streak to twelve games. With the win, Chinandega completed the first round (28 games) and earned six points, which will count for the Play-Off qualifications. León tied for third place, after shutting out second place Granada, 1-0 on a seventh inning RBI-single by José Benito González. Winning pitcher Alvaro López struckout nine and went the distance. Bóer, also in third place, beat San Fernando, 4-1.
Offensively, Henry Roa (León) is still the leading batter with a .372 batting average, while Nemesio Porras (Bóer) leads with five homeruns. William Juárez (Chinandega) struckout the most with 36, while Cairo Murillo (Granada) has the best record with 6-1.
(February 20)

Granada leads the Nicaraguan League with a 13-8 record and is still closely followed by Chinandega (12-8). In the weekend, Granada was crushed by San Fernando, 11-1, collecting only four hits off of Victor Rivera, who leads the league with an O.38 ERA, having allowed only two runs in 28 2/3 innings. Jairo Mendoza and Yáder Hodgson homered to lead San Fernando's 15-hit attack.
Chinandega beat León, 12-2 on 17 hits, scoring eight in the first inning. William Juárez won his fourth game and leads the league with 29 strikouts.
Offensively, Henry Roa (León) leads with a .382 batting average, while Nemesio Porras (Bóer) leads with five homeruns and 20 RBI's.
(February 10)

Granada is leading the Nicaraguan Professional Baseball League with a 10-6 record, followed by Chinandega (9-6), Boér (9-7) and León (8-7).
On Friday, Granada lost an important contest vs. León in a five-hour, sixteen inning game when Luis Pestana hit a two-run single. Boér moved up after beating San Fernando, 8-0, as pitchers Mario Peña and 17-year old José Luis Sáenz combined on the shutout.
The day before, veteran Nemesio Porras hit his league-leading fifth homerun. He also leads with 17 RBI's.
(February 3)

Dutch Softball Women
HCAW names assistant coach
BUSSUM (Neth.) - HCAW named Alfons Godet as the Assistant Coach of Lloyd Todman for the club's women big league softball team for upcoming season, succeeding Bas Langezaal, who resigned. Last season, Langezaal coached at third base and was assisted by Herman Thomas.
Alfons Godet, who played in the Dutch big league baseball, also will serve as the Assistant Coach of Arthur Mari with the Dutch national men softball team.
(February 28)

Japan wins series vs. Australia
WAVERLY / NORTH ALBURY / KEILOR PARK (Australia) - The national women teams of Australia and Japan met in a six-game test series last week in three different cities in the state of Victoria.
The Japanese team won the series, 5-1, winning the first four games in a row. Japan opened the first double-header, played at Jells Park in Waverly, with a 5-2 win, which was followed by two shutouts, 10-0 and 4-0. Next, Japan won a close game, 4-3, concluding the second DH, played at North Albury Sports Club in North Albury. The test series concluded on Keilor Park Recreation Reserve at Keilor Park, with Australia taking the opener with a shutout win of their own, 3-0, before losing the final game 3-1.
(February 27)

European Championships to Italy
SOFIA (Bulgaria) - During the annual Congress of the European Softball Federation, this weekend in Sofia (Bulgaria), the 2003 European Championships for Seniors were awarded to Italy. The Championships are to be played at Caronno and Saronno. Italy outvoted The Netherlands for the organisation, 13-6.
The European Cup-tournament will be played also in Italy, to be organized by Macerata.
(February 3)

Nederlandse tekst

Dutch Softball Men
Thamen celebrates 40th anniversary
UITHOORN (Neth.) - On Saturday, Thamen celebrated its 40th anniversary. The Dutch club from Uithoorn was founded February 16, 1962 and became one of the biggest and succesfull clubs in the Amsterdam-area.
The club started ambitious in the third division and moved within five years to the first division, which was then one league under the highest Dutch division. It was former national team player Gerrit Nanne, who passed away in 2000, who coached the team to its early successes. One of his players back then was Frans Mäkel, who later went on to play men softball, coach that team and became the club's Chairman of the Board. On Saturday, Mäkel was honored by the Dutch Association.
Over the years, Thamen had good youthplayers, including later national team-players Bill Groot, Hans van Renselaar, Paul Moerman and Frans Groot, who also played professional in the Los Angeles Dodgers-organisation. Another talented young pitcher, Fred Mäkel, went on to become a coach of the national youth team, but passed away to early at a young age.
The late Tod Scheel played an important part in the development of softball within the club. Later, men softball was added and became succesfull. In 2000, Thamen won the Dutch title and participated in last years European Cup-tournament, reaching the final, but lost to a Czech team.
(February 17)

Nederlandse tekst

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Last Update: March 14, 2002
Copyright © 1997-2002 Marco Stoovelaar.