Richard Klijn

From BR Bullpen

Richard Klijn

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 140-165 lb.

Biographical Information[edit]

Richard Klijn has been a frequent member of the British national team.

He played for Britain's junior national team in 2006 and 2008. He was involved in the 2008 MLB European Academy. In 2008, he was 2 for 11 with 5 strikeouts for Germany's Regensburg Legionäre; in 2009, he went 1 for 2 with two runs. Both years, he saw regularly action for their second-tier club. He was then put on Britain's roster for the 2009 Baseball World Cup. Used primarily as a pinch-runner, he struck out in his lone at-bat, against Eiichi Hirai. He also scored one run. He even pitched in a mop-up role, taking over for Gary Tongue in the 8th against South Korea and giving up a triple to Ho-sin Lee and a single to Jong-wook Ko to cap a mercy rule loss.

Klijn hit .291/.367/.372 for Regensburg in 2010, fielding .969. He was second in the southern Bundesliga-1 in fielding at 2B, behind Sam Whitehead. He was Britain's starting second baseman in the 2010 European Championship, producing at a .238/.333/.286 clip with one run and no RBI in five games, fielding .935. He had 3 hits against Croatia but two hits in the other four games combined. In 2011, he hit .313/.427/.413 for Regensburg, fielding .966. His 9 steals tied Evan LeBlanc for 6th.

Richard hit .171/.284/.214 and fielded .952 for the 2012 Legionäre. In the 2012 European Championship, he hit .250/.286/.250 and fielded .973 as the starting second sacker for Britain. By 2013, he was splitting second base for Regensburg with Lukas Jahn. He hit .284/.351/.418 and fielded .923. He was 1 for 9 for Britain in the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers. He began 2014 2 for 8 with two walks for Regensburg then retired, citing personal and professional reasons. The retirement did not last long as he was back at second for the British Lions in the 2014 European Championship, batting .154/.241/.154, fielding .970 and stealing two bases in two tries.

He signed with the München-Haar Disciples for 2015 and had his best Bundesliga season in four years, hitting .327/.391/.404 with 20 runs in 25 games while fielding .935 as a 2B/SS. His 81 assists were second in the southern Bundesliga-1. He fell to .248/.326/.289 for Haar in 2016, fielding .960 at second base and scoring 23 runs in 28 games. He was second in fielding percentage at 2B.

Klijn did very well in the 2016 European Championship, hitting .364/.400/.515 and fielding .958, scoring four and driving in three in seven games. He had 4 hits against Greece. He led Britain in average (.016 over Brett Rosen and Nateshon Thomas) and tied Curt Smith and Kruno Gojković for 6th in the Euros in hits that year (12). He tied Glen Buckley for the third-most hits by a British player in a European Championship, trailing only AAA player Brant Ust and major leaguer Mike Nickeas, who each had more in 2007. He thus had the most hits by a British-born team member. He also was now up to 27 career hits for Britain, tying Ust for 9th in team annals.

In the 2017 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, he wound up on the bench behind Albert Cartwright as Britain went with a 3/4 Bahamaian infield. He got into one game, taking over for Cartwright in a romp of Pakistan and being retired twice by Muhammad Asif. He slumped to .187/.282/.299 for Haar in 2017, though he fielded .988. He led second basemen in fielding by .017. In 2018, he rebounded to .241/.300/.349 for the Disciples, but his fielding fell to .959. His final season with the team was 2019, when he hit .367/.387/.500 in limited time.

His final stint for Britain was in the 2019 European Championship. Still starting at second for them, he hit .217/.250/.261 with four runs in seven games entering the 9th/10th place game, fielding .938. He scored the winner against the Czech national team in the 10th inning. In the 9th/10th place game, he was 1 for 5 with a steal, run and two RBI as Britain beat Austria; his 7th-inning single off Alex Seidl broke a 7-7 tie, scoring Ben Andrews and Alex Crosby. He was part of the British Baseball Hall of Fame class of 2022 alongside Ryan Trask, Frank Parker Jr., Stephan Rapaglia, Doreen Megson and Brian Holland.

Sources include German Baseball and Softball Federation, European Baseball Confederation, World Baseball Classic, BaseballSoftballUK