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Dutch fans give the WBC its 'Driemteam'

By Danny Knobler | Baseball Insider

SAN FRANCISCO -- There's no Dream Team at the World Baseball Classic.

There is a Driemteam. They're hard to miss.

They're 12 guys from the Netherlands, all dressed in orange shirts with "Driemteam" on the front. They're sitting right behind home plate.

And the best part is, when they bought their tickets, they had no idea the Dutch team would make it to the WBC's championship round.

"It's amazing," Michel Lub said.

Lub comes from Haarlem, home of the Haarlem Baseball Week. He and the rest of the Driemteam grew up playing baseball. Most of them have played together for more than a decade. The name is a play on drie, the Dutch word for three (pronounced dree), because they're the third team at their club.

And they love the WBC. Always have. They went to the WBC championship round in 2006, the first time it was held, and also in 2009.

They treated it as a fun week's vacation. And they never expected to have their own Dutch team here to support.

"It's pretty cool," Lub said.

Most of the Netherlands team is from Curacao, but many of the pitchers come from the European homeland, and several pitch in the Hoofdklasse, the top Dutch league.

The dual dreams for Dutch baseball are to win the WBC, and to see some major-league games played in the Netherlands.

If it happens, the Driemteam will be there.

And when the next WBC is held in 2017, count on them being there, too.

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