Han Urban was born in Rotterdam in 1927, but moved to Amsterdam at the age of seven. When Urbanus was eleven years old, he accompanied his older brother to a training session for OVVO Baseball Club in Amsterdam East. He put on a baseball glove and threw a few balls. A love for baseball was born.
De Urbanus has proven to be an excellent pitcher. He made his debut at the highest level at the age of nineteen and became five-time national champion in a row between 1949 and 1953. OVVO was the first club in the Dutch baseball league to succeed.
Urbanus’ achievements have not gone unnoticed. In 1952, he was the first European baseball player to be invited to professional training camp for the New York Giants in America. “I’m just wondering if I can compete at this level,” Urbanus said at the time. Albarol.
This fear turned out to be unfounded. Urbanos immediately had the headwind after throwing the first ball. According to the American coaches, his technique was not very good.
Urbanus is not held back by cash. The work began with comments on his decision. At first he completely lost control of his throws, but after weeks of training Urbanos put the balls back where he wanted them.
It was felt that other shooters in the Netherlands should do the same. Urbanus therefore kept his eyes open during training camp. He wrote down everything he saw and heard in his diary. In addition, on his return to the Netherlands, he took with him an educational film and a car full of photos.
car with driver
Upon his return to the Netherlands, Urbanus was invited by baseball clubs across the country to share his knowledge. He was happy to do so, as he was treated like a star and even had a chauffeured car.
A year later, he was allowed to return to a training camp in America and also received an offer to turn professional. But Urbanus decided to return to Amsterdam. He had just got married.
His second visit to America produced something beautiful. Dressed as a giant, he traveled with then-famous movie star Jane Wire by train across New York City to raise funds for flood victims in New Zealand. He raised $ 10,000. There was only one minus during the train trip. Wilhelmus was played at every station. “It finally bothered me,” says Urbanus.
Urbanus’ stay in the Netherlands turned out to be good news for the Dutch team. The orange team made its debut in 1956 at the European Championship and immediately became European champion. The next six European titles were also for Orange. Urbanus played for the OVVO for 24 years and was part of the Dutch national team for 12 years. He has been named the league’s top hitter five times, three-time most expensive hitter and one-time best hitter. In 1984, Urbanus was inducted into the Dutch Baseball League Hall of Fame.
Baseball genes belong to the Urbanus family. His son Charles and his grandson Nick also became European baseball champions. Hahn Urbanus is delighted that three generations of his family have achieved this, especially since no other sports family in the Netherlands has been able to play sports.
“I am proud that the family was able to continue the work they have already started,” he said in an interview with NOS a few years ago. “I came to America for a reason.”