Americans too. Because the way the Dutch shooter threw the ball, it didn’t look like anything of course. Certainly not from the book. Although Urbanus, who died on Friday at the age of 93, thought so. How could he, the best pitcher in the country, know that a mistake in translation or interpretation had crept into the Dutch rulebook?
Urbanus learned during his training that as an archer, you don’t necessarily have to keep your foot on the ground for the ball to leave the throwing hand. These Americans called it a “follow-up.” Note that it is a more logical and natural movement. Plus, you can throw the ball with more force.
Like a rabbit
The new technology was initially at the expense of his control. He described his throws as “as wild as a bunny!” But after two weeks of hard training, he got the balls back where he wanted them.
Urbanus kept his eyes open for six weeks. He eagerly wrote everything he had heard and seen in his diary, while contemplating how to pass on what he later learned to baseball players at home. Armed with loads of pictures and a real educational movie, he returned to the Netherlands, where American pioneers were hailed as a true baseball prophet.
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