Netherlands Antilles

From BR Bullpen

A collection of islands in the Caribbean, the Netherlands Antilles formed a country in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. They consisted of Curaçao, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, Saba and Sint Maarten in its final incarnation, while Aruba had also been a member in the past.

Curaçao has produced numerous baseball players who have starred in Hoofdklasse, such as Diegomar Markwell and Johnny Balentina. Others such as Andruw Jones and Randall Simon have played in the major leagues. The country had the winning entry in the Little League World Series in 2004 and has provided a significant portion of the Dutch national teams.

A treaty to disband the Netherlands Antilles was signed on December 15, 2008. After dissolution on October 10, 2010, the islands of Bonaire, Saba, and Saint Eustatius became special municipalities of the Netherlands proper, while Curaçao and Sint Maarten became constituent countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, along the lines of Aruba, which had separated from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986.

The dissolution had sporting consequences, since some athletes from the former Netherlands Antilles did not wish to be part of the Netherlands team at the 2012 London Olympics, and were registered as stateless athletes instead, marching under the Olympic flag. In baseball terms however, the Dutch national team had long used players from all constituent parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the dissolution did not change anything.