Orange Team begins second American Tour
The Netherlands National Softball Team traveled to the State of Illinois on Tuesday, July 1 for their second American Tour of the year.
In March, the Orange squad traveled to Florida, where 20 games were played.
In Illinois, the team has 22 games scheduled in 18 days, including a game against a Minor League Baseball Team.
The tour in the Chicago-area is part of the preparations of the team for the upcoming ISF World Championship in Haarlem (Netherlands) in August.
It was an early day for players and staff-members, as everyone had to be at Schiphol International Airport near Amsterdam at 5:30 in the morning!
The Boeing-777 of Delta Air Lines left the gate at 7:51 AM, then took off 8:15 for the flight to Detroit (Michigan).
The plane touched down at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport at 9:54 AM local time and was at gate A46 at 9:59 to complete the journey, which lasted eight hours and three minutes.
In Detroit, the team had to wait for the connecting flight to Chicago.
That didn't take that long, as the Airbus A319 of Delta Air Lines took off at 12:43 PM and arrived at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago at 12:29 PM (yes, Chicago is one hour ahead of Detroit).
The plane was at gate E6 at 12:47 PM and then the waiting for the luggage could began.
From the airport is was off to Schaumburg, northwest of Chicago, where the team stays the first days of the trip.
The team was welcomed at O'Hare by Joanne and Peter Schuler, who, together with Cathy and Joe Core already had been active for a few days with the preparations for the trip.
Luckily, the weather in Chicago was back to normal after an intense storm the day before.
It was then with our transport vans, as well as a completely loaded cargo van en route to the hotel in Schaumburg, ome 15 miles from the airport.
There, everyone checked in and it was time to refresh.
For some, the attention then turned to the soccer game between the USA and Belgium on the World Soccer Cup in Brazil.
Unfortunately, we couldn't see the finish, but we learned in the restaurant that the Belgians had won in overtime.
It is unbelievable how much coverage the World Championship gets here in the USA.
For example, Soldier Field was loaded with fans who watched the game there.
After dinner, back to the hotel, then a short briefing and time to check out the neighborhood of the hotel.
This is located next to the Woodfield Mall and so, there is enough to do in the area.
The team is off on Wednesday to rest from the journey.
There will be a team-meeting and then, everyone can relax and recover from the jetlag.
Some have made plans to watch a game of the Chicago White Sox.
Thursday will begin with a 3-hour practice at the field of the Chicago Bandits, probably at their roof-covered, airconditioned field.
In the evening, we will visit a game and that includes a picknick at the stadium.
On Friday, we will visit Chicago (Fourth of July) to enjoy the festivities at Navy Pier.
Saturday will then be a full day of games at a tournament in Elgin, some 30 minutes to the east of Chicago.
On the day, the Netherlands National Softball Team arrived in Illinois, there was an article in the Daily Herald.
The largest daily newspaper in suburban Chicago focused on the participation of the Orange squad coming weekend in the 10th annual John Radtke Memorial Women's Fastpitch Classic in Elgin.
Go here for the complete article in the Daily Herald
(above photos made by Fred Versluis)
The team is welcomed by Cathy and Joe Core
The team arrives at the hotel
(above photos made by Joanne Schuler)