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Patrick Beljaards

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[edit] Biographical Information

A two-time Olympic performer, Patrick Beljaards was the star of the 2006 Holland Series.

In the 1996 World Junior Championship, Beljaards was a hitter more than a pitcher, leading the Netherlands with a .444 better average and outhitting future major leaguers Michael Cuddyer, Dane Sardinha and Rick Ankiel.

Beljaards first played for the Dutch national team in 1997 as a teenager. He was 1-0 with a 1.00 ERA in the 1997 World Port Tournament and 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in the 1997 European Championship. In the 1998 Baseball World Cup, the southpaw was 1-1 with a 5.94 ERA. In 1999, he was with Kinheim and led Hoofdklasse with 132 strikeouts. During the 1999 World Port Tournament, Patrick was 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA. He was 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 9 strikeouts in four innings in the 1999 European Championship. He allowed two runs in five innings in the 1999 Intercontinental Cup and had no decisions. In 2000, Patrick went 11-2 with a 2.45 ERA. He tied Jeffrey Calderone for the league lead in wins, was 9th in ERA and 7th with 92 strikeouts. He won Pitcher of the Year honors, the 3rd Kinheim pitcher so honored. He was on the Netherlands team in the 2000 Olympics.

PatrickBeljaards in action.jpg

The 23-year-old southpaw helped the Netherlands win the 2001 European Championship, going 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA. In the 2001 Baseball World Cup, he was 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in four games. In the 2001 World Port Tournament, Patrick went 1-0 with a 6.75 ERA and allowed 20 hits and 8 walks in 10 2/3 IP. The next season, Beljaards was 12-4 with a 1.52 ERA for Kinheim. He tied Eelco Jansen for the Hoofdklasse win lead, was third in ERA behind Jansen and Rob Cordemans, was second with 124 1/3 IP, led with 127 strikeouts and was third with four complete games. In the 2002 Intercontinental Cup, Beljaards was 1-1 with a 0.73 ERA and made the All-Star team, joining José Ibar as the pitchers selected. He was the only Dutch player honored.

During the 2003 campaign, Patrick had a 1.63 ERA (4th in Hoofdklasse) and led with 115 2/3 IP but did not finish among the win leaders as Kinheim went just 11-15 on the year. Beljaards led the loop with five complete games and was third with 84 strikeouts. In the 2003 European Championship, he was named the All-Star left-handed pitcher after leading in ERA (no earned runs in 15 IP, striking out 15, allowing 8 hits) for the winning Dutch squad. In the 2003 Baseball World Cup, Patrick was 0-1 with a 9.53 ERA. In the 2003 World Port Tournament, he was 2-0 and threw 14 scoreless innings but did not win the World Port Tournament Best Pitcher award. Beljaards allowed 5 runs in 3 innings in a loss to Canada in the 2004 Olympics.

In 2005, he was 7-6 with a 1.89 ERA for Kinheim and was 4th in Hoofdklasse in ERA once more. His 98 strikeouts were second to Satoru Fujii and he tied for sixth with three complete games. Beljaards was named the All-Star left-handed pitcher in the 2005 European Championship; his two wins tied for second place in the event. In the 2005 Baseball World Cup, he was 1-2 for The Netherlands with a 3.63 ERA; the rest of the Dutch stuff was 7-1 as the country made its first top 4 finish ever. It didn't help that he was the starter in one game against Cuba, the top offensive team.

Beljaards had a 12-2, 1.76 record in 2006. He tied David Bergman and Diegomar Markwell for the win lead and was fourth in ERA. He was third in innings pitched (122 2/3 IP) and was 6th with 62 strikeouts while tying for fifth in complete games (2). In game two of the Holland Series, he allowed one run in nine and then followed with a win in game four, though he allowed 5 runs (all unearned) in 7 1/3 innings of work. Overall, he was 3-0 with a 0.74 ERA in the postseason as Kinheim claimed the title.

Patrick was 7-3 with a 2.89 ERA in the 2007 Hoofdklasse Honkbal season. He walked only 17 in 87 1/3 IP. He was 4th in Hoofdklasse in innings and tied Jos de Jong for fifth in wins. In the 2007 Holland Series, Beljaards started game two and had a no-decision, allowing three runs in 7 innings. Kinheim won its second straight crown.

In the 2007 European Cup, Beljaards was 2-0 with a 1.26 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 14 1/3 IP. He started the finale against the Rouen Huskies and got the win; it was the first European Cup title for Kinheim.

Beljaards went 1-0 with a 0.61 ERA as Kinheim repeated in the 2008 European Cup. He beat the Marlins Puerto Cruz in the round-robin. In the finals, he dueled Linc Mikkelsen until being yanked in the 9th; Kinheim went on to win in extra innings against the Montepaschi Grosseto.

In the 2008 Hoofdklasse season, Patrick went 11-0 with a 2.44 ERA, walking only 13 in 84 2/3 IP. He was 12th in the league in ERA, tied Leon Boyd for 4th in opponent OBP (.299), led in wins and tied for the most shutouts (1). He was named as one of the three finalists for Pitcher of the Year along with Boyd and Rob Cordemans, who wound up getting the nod.

Beljaards pitching in a game in July 2009.

In the 2008 Holland Series, he started game two but allowed 5 runs (3 unearned) in 6 innings in a loss to the L&D Amsterdam Pirates, who upset Kinheim in winning the Series. During the Matino phase of the 2009 European Cup, Patrick again was plagued by bad defense behind him, allowing 6 runs (only 1 earned) in a loss to Fortitudo Bologna. In the Cup's Final Four, Beljaards allowed one run (unearned) in five innings.

He is the brother of Richard Beljaards and uncle of Denny Beljaards.

Primary Sources: Marco Stoovelaar's Dutch baseball site, Honkbalsite.com, 2007 Baseball Almanac, Defunct IBAF site, Harry Wedemeijer's international competitions statistics site, 2008 European Cup in Grosseto, 2009 European Cup in Matino

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