Dutch baseball icon Han Urbanus dies at age of 93

Dutch baseball icon Han Urbanus dies at age of 93
The Hall of Fame pitcher was the father of Charles Urbanus and the grandfather of Nick Urbanus, starting a baseball dynasty in the Netherlands. Pictured above (from left to right): Charlie, Han and Nick Urbanus - credit: Rob Jelsma Honkbalsite.com

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- Legendary Dutch baseball pioneer Han Urbanus died on 5 February at age 93. The Dutch Hall of Fame pitcher started the Urbanus dynasty. Both his son Charlie (born 1955) and his grandson Nick (1992) played for the Netherlands National Team on the international stage.

Reporting on the passing, Netherlands media giant NOS said Urbanus was "considered as the frontman of Dutch baseball."

Han Urbanus got in touch with baseball in 1935, when his soccer club in Amsterdam (OVVO) created a baseball section. He started playing one year later, at the age of eleven. He made his debut in the top league in 1947.

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His playing career spanned over four decades. He led OVVO to five consecutive pennants (1949-1953). He played for the Dutch National Team from 1949 to 1965 and contributed to seven European titles in a row, the first in 1956. Over his storied career, Han Urbanus threw 11 no-hitters, was named the best pitcher of the Dutch League five times and honoured as the league MVP three times.

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