DREAMS DO COME TRUE
During the 2008 and 2009 season, MLB-player Rick van den Hurk wanted to turn his dream into reality: organizing free baseball clinics with All-Stars from Major League Baseball for kids in his home country of The Netherlands and the rest of Europe. With these clinics, the resident from Eindhoven want to promote the game of baseball in Europe and give something back to the beautiful game of baseball, which brought him to the highest level of the Major League. Next to that, kids could make their dream come true: practice next to players from MLB but also support the return of baseball to the Olympics.
In 2010, Van den Hurks dream became reality. In collaboration and with the support of Major League Baseball, the MLB Players Association and a couple of helpful sponsors, the European Big League Tour was born. From across the Atlantic, American All-Stars and coaches came over to show of their skills and experience to the wildly enthusiastic kids. Clinics were held in Eindhoven, Rotterdam, Haarlem and the Belgian Antwerp. They all turned out to be a huge success.
John Baker (C Florida Marlins), Adam Jones (OF Baltimore Orioles), Jeremy Guthrie (RHP Baltimore Orioles), Roger Bernadina (OF Washington Nationals), Gregory Halman (OF Seattle Mariners), Brady Anderson en Kyle Barbour (Strength and Conditioning trainer Arizona Diamondbacks) were the first who helped the EBLT during the clinics in The Netherlands and Belgium.
In its first year, over 1200 kids attended the clinics. In 2011 the second edition of the European Big League Tour came to the Netherlands with clinics in Utrecht and Amsterdam. Afterward, the tour went on to Prague (capital Czech Republic) and the Italian Parma. Once again, over 1200 young baseball fanatics participated during the clinics. Mike Stanton (OF Florida Marlins), Dexter Fowler ( OF Colorado Rockies), Adam Jones (OF Baltimore Orioles), Prince Fielder (1B Detroit Tigers), Roger Bernadina (OF Washington Nationals), Greg Halman (OF Seattle Mariners) en Bobby Bonilla (six time All-Star) were the big names who supported the EBLT during the 2011 clinics.
In Rotterdam (The Netherlands) and London (United Kingdom) the 2012 EBLT clinics took place. This time the Major League players who gave their enthusiastic support were Jeremy Guthrie (RHP Kansas City Royals), Alex Liddi (3B/1B Seattle Mariners), Roger Bernadina (OF Washington Nationals) and Chris Dickerson (OF New York Yankees). Over 1000 kids had an awesome experience.
This year the fourth edition of the European Big League Tour will be organised from November 16-23. Once again, the EBLT will have the support of MLB, MLBPA and many sponsors.
In November, Rick will show up with great players from the USA to give free clinics for kids who love the game of baseball. We will publish the names of the players as soon as possible.
Program European Big League Tour 2013
- November 15: Arrival players + special event Rotterdam
- November 16 +17: Clinics Rotterdam
- November 18-19: Sightseeing Netherlands
- November 20: Travel to Paris, France
- November 21-22: Sightseeing Paris
- November 23: Clinics Paris
FOUNDER OF THE EBLT
This November, Dutch professional baseball player Rick van den Hurk and his European Big League Tour (EBLT) return to The Netherlands.The fourth edition of the EBLT is not only providing free clinics in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, but also in Paris, France. Under the guidance of Rick and the Major League players, young baseball fanatics will learn more about the 'art of fielding, pitching, catching and hitting'. All participants will also have the opportunity to ask all of their questions during a 'Question and Answer' session. At each clinic-station the Big Leaguers will receive help from players of the National Team. Therefore the best entourage is created to learn more about baseball.
Van den Hurk's initiative is supported by Major League Baseball (MLB) and Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA).