THE NETHERLANDS – Loek Van Mil, a Dutch pitcher who pitched 10 seasons in the U.S. minor leagues and represented the Netherlands in numerous international tournaments died suddenly on Sunday, July 28.
Van Mil’s family, through the Dutch Baseball and Softball Federation (KNBSB), announced the death of Loek on Monday as a “fatal accident”. KNBSB Technical Director Tjerk Smeets told the Dutch daily newspaper De Telegraaf that he can’t provide a further explanation “at the request of the family”.
Ludovicus Jacobus Maria Van Mil was born in 1984 in Oss, The Netherlands. He stood 7 ft. 1 in. and was one of the tallest pitchers to ever play the game.
Van Mil signed as an amateur free agent for the MLB Minnesota Twins in 2005. At the time he was on the roster of the HCAW Mr Cocker, a team of the Dutch Hoofdsklasse.
Van Mil played affiliated baseball in the USA until 2016. He appeared in 241 Minor League games, mostly as a relief pitcher, for the Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Angels, Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds.
The right-hander also played in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league for the Rakuten Golden Eagles and for the Adelaide Bite and the Brisbane Bandits of the Australian Baseball League.
He had lately returned to the Dutch Hoofdsklasse and represented Neptunus Rotterdam. In 2016, he was on the Dutch National Team that won the European Championship on home turf.
In December 2018, while under contract with Brisbane, Van Mil suffered a severe head injury during a hiking trip in the Australian Outback.
Source: World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC)