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Brave's Andrew Jones only one of many ‘Dutch' MLB players

Curaçao-born sportsman re-signs

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

ATLANTA, Georgia - The Atlanta Braves have re-signed outfielder Andrew Jones to a six-year contract extension worth $75 million. The young multi-millionaire was born in 1977 in Curaçao. He has been a member of the Braves organization since 1993.

Grand Rapids, Michigan-born John Vander Wal has become one of the newest New York Yankees. The outfielder was acquired from the San Francisco Giants and is part of the Yankees spring 40 man roster. Other Dutch North Americans in MLB 40-man roster teams include Mark Mulder (a native of South Holland, Illinois) with the Oakland A's, Pitcher Todd van Poppe with the Texas Rangers, Kory De Haan of the San Diego Padres and Chris Reitsma who is part of the Cincinnatti Reds line-up.

Jones, Vander Wal and the others are but a sampling of the Dutch and Dutch-connected ballplayers in the American major and minor leagues this season. There are players born in the Netherlands, Curaçao, Aruba, and of course, Canada and the U.S. In many instances in the last category, the connection may only be a Dutch surname. Other players hardly could be identified as Dutch through their surname.

Born on Curaçao, like Jones, are major leaguers Ralph Milliard (Cleveland Indians), and Ralph Simon (Detroit Tigers) and minor leaguers Lorvin Louisa (in the Expos organization), the brothers Chairon (Tampa Devilrays) and Mayron Isenia (Red Sox), Diegomar Markwell (Blue Jays) and and Gregory Milliard (Orioles). Aruba-born players include Calvin Maduro and Sidney Ponson, both in the 40-man roster of Baltimore, and minor leaguers Eugene Kingsdale (Mariners), Radhames Dijkhoff (Cardinals) and Jorge Maduro (Devil Rays).

This season sees only a few Dutch-born players in the line-ups. Vince Rooi plays in the Expos organization and pitcher Ferenc Jongejan plays for a Cubs minor league team. Win Remmerswaal in the 1980s was the first Dutch player to break into the major leagues. Dutch-born Bert Blijleven came to North America as a child, but in a multi-decade career made his mark on American baseball. Current Dutch national team coach Robert Eenhoorn was part of the Yankees organization, some of his players also had North American baseball experience: Rikkert Faneyte with the Giants, Evert-Jan ‘t Hoen with the Angels and some of the earlier-mentioned Aruba and Curaçao-born players who still maintain Dutch citizenship.A list of Dutch American players could include Jason Huisman, Heath Timmerman, Jonathon Rouwenhorst, Trent Oeltjen, Jason van Meetren, Scott Vandermeer, Brett Haring, Mark van Wormer, Dustin Vugteveen, Joseph Winkelsas, Bryce Terveen, Jermaine Van Buren, Justin Huisman, Kenneth Steenstra, Christopher Louwsma, Kirk Saarloos, Rodney van Buizen, Andrew Elskamp, Kris Lammers, John van Benschoten, Blair de Hart, Daniel Gooris, Jeffrey Verplanck, Jesse Foppert and Matt Vriesenga.