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by Brandon Yano

Honkbal = Dutch Baseball!

July 10-16, 2022: Haarlem Baseball Week

Baseball…béisbol…yakyu…honkbal??

Honkbal is the Dutch word for baseball, and you’ll get plenty of it on our trip to the Netherlands to watch the annual Honkbalweek Haarlem (Haarlem Baseball Week).

Haarlem Baseball Week celebrates its 30th year in 2022 and will be the best one yet, featuring six stacked teams in a new format. National teams from Holland, USA, Cuba, Japan, Curaçao, and Italy will play three games per day during round-robin play, leading to a climactic championship on July 15. Games will be played at historic Pim Mulier Stadium in Haarlem, home to not just the local professional team (Kinheim Haarlem), but also the Dutch Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. 

Japan and USA will send their best collegiate players, while the other countries will send professionals from their domestic leagues. On top of seeing future stars and established veteran pros, the Italian squad is managed by Hall-of-Famer Mike Piazza!

You’ll get a taste of European culture and history, seen through a baseball lens! Haarlem, referred to as “Little Amsterdam,” is one of Europe’s best-kept secrets. It has the culture and history of Amsterdam, but with more charm and less tourists. But let’s not kid ourselves – Amsterdam is one of the world’s greatest cities, and you will have plenty of opportunity to spend time there via an easy 10-15 minute light rail train! 

Holland is an underrated baseball country too! Their professional league – Honkbal Hoofdklasse – is the strongest in Europe. The Netherlands has a strong tradition of players from the mainland, including Hall-of-Famer Bert Blyleven, and their pro league and the national team are fortified with studs from the Dutch Indies (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao). Notable Netherlands national team alumni include Kenley Jansen, NPB home run champ Wladimir Balentien, Andrelton Simmons, Xander Bogaerts, and Andruw Jones. This will be a great opportunity to experience a rich, niche baseball culture!

In order to enter the Netherlands, all travelers must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Visit the website of the US Embassy in the Netherlands for current information.

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