Halman Jones go Dutch
Greg Halman always had the dream, always wanted to play big-time baseball, always wanted to take his game as far as he possibly could.So when given the chance to pass his passion on to other Dutch kids during the recent European Big League Tour in the Netherlands and Belgium, the young Seattle Mariners outfield prospect didn’t hesitate.Along with four other Major League players, Halman helped earlier this month with a series of baseball clinics organized by Baltimore Orioles pitcher Rick VandenHurk, another native of the Netherlands.Halman, 23, played Little League ball against VandenHurk and has known him since he was 9 years old. The two natives of Holland were joined on the tour by Florida Marlins catcher John Baker, Orioles pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones and former big leaguer Brady Anderson.
One of the clinics was in Haarlem, the city where Halman grew up and his parents still live. Another was in Rotterdam, where he’s currently living this offseason. So for Halman, the effort to bring big league baseball to Holland truly hit home.
“I remember when I was that small, I jumped at every opportunity I got to learn about baseball,” said Halman, who made his big league debut with the Mariners last September. “I told those kids, hopefully in a couple years, a lot more Dutch players will be in this position.