Eelco Jansen (Psycho)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
Jansen debuted in Hoofdklasse in 1993 with Haarlem Nicols and also made his debut that year with the Dutch national team. He helped the Dutch take Gold in the 1993 European Championship, pitching 11 shutout innings (6 H, 2 BB, 1 HB, 9 K). He led the event in ERA (.82 ahead of Rubén Garcia), was 5th in opponent average (.162), ranked second in opponent OBP (.225, .034 behind Patrick Klerx) and pitched the only shutout, blanking rival Italy in the last game of the Gold Medal round. Jansen moved to Kinheim in 1994 when Haarlem Nicols folded. He was 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA in the 1994 Baseball World Cup, striking out 12 in 11 2/3 IP to lead the Dutch team in strikeouts in the event.
In 1995, Jansen won Pitcher of the Year honors in Hoofdklasse. He was not as good in international competition, going 0-2 with a 12.96 ERA for the Netherlands in the 1995 Intercontinental Cup, though he again led the team in strikeouts (10). He was 2-0 in the 1995 European Championship but had a hefty 7.16 ERA, highest on the Dutch team. He led the team in hits allowed (23) and strikeouts (17) in 16 1/3 innings and surprisingly had more wild pitches (3) and hit batsmen (3) than walks (2), a statistical fluke. He was voted as the top pitcher in the 1995 World Port Tournament, with a 2-0, 0.60 record and 17 strikeouts in 15 innings.
Jansen was 1-2 with a 11.35 ERA in the 1996 Haarlem Baseball Week, throwing six wild pitches and allowing five homers in 10 1/3 IP. He was also roughed up badly in the 1996 Olympics, with a 34.71 ERA, allowing 10 hits (4 for extra bases) and 9 runs in just 2 1/3 innings of work.
Jansen made history on July 27, 1997, when he became the first Dutch pitcher to throw a perfect game in the regular Hoofdklasse season, doing so against ADO. It was only the second perfecto in Hoofdklasse annals, following American Craig McGinnis by 8 years. It would be 22 years before Misja Harcksen threw the third one. He was 2-0 with a 6.30 ERA in the 1997 World Port Tournament and did not allow an earned run in four innings in the round-robin phase of the 1997 European Championship. He walked 6 in 6 1/3 IP in the 1998 Baseball World Cup and was 1-1 with a 11.37 ERA in the competition. He had a 1.42 ERA in the 1998 Haarlem Baseball Week.
In 1999, Jansen went 11-2 to finish third in Hoofdklasse in victories. He pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings in the 1999 Intercontinental Cup for his first good performance for the Netherlands in a major international competition in five years. In the 1999 European Championship, Eelco was 1-0 and allowed no runs in four innings of work.
Jansen had a 10-4, 2.14 record in Hoofdklasse in 2000. He finished among the league leaders in ERA (4th), innings pitched (96 2/3, 6th), third in wins (one behind Jeffrey Calderone and Patrick Beljaards) and fifth in strikeouts (93). He allowed one run in three innings in the 2000 Olympics, managing to hit two batters in his short work. He pitched 3 1/3 scoreless frames in 2000 Haarlem Baseball Week. He allowed 15 baserunners but only 3 runs in 6 1/3 IP, with a 1-1 record and one save. In the 2001 European Championship, he was 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA, allowing 6 hits in 14 innings for the Gold Medalists.
In 2002, Jansen moved to Neptunus and threw a no-hitter against ADO in June. He was 12-2 with a 1.12 ERA for the season. He finished second in Hoofdklasse in ERA, trailing only teammate Rob Cordemans. He was 5th in the league in strikeouts (91) and tied Patrick Beljaards for the win lead that season. Jansen was 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA in the 2002 Haarlem Baseball Week tournament.
Jansen was 11-2 with a 2.40 ERA in 2003 and Neptunus won its second straight title. "Psycho" was third in the league in ERA (after Cordemans and Richard Orman), 8th in innings pitched (90, 2/3 behind another Jansen, Duko Jansen), second in wins (one behind Cordemans) and second in strikeouts (98, trailing Cordemans). He went 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in the 2003 European Championship to help the Netherlands clinch a spot in the 2004 Olympics. Against Sweden, he threw a 7-inning perfect game. Jansen made the tournament All-Star team as the top right-handed pitcher. He had a 3.18 ERA in the 2003 Baseball World Cup, getting no decisions. In the 2003 World Port Tournament, Jansen was 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA.
In 2004, the right-hander was 11-2 with a 1.79 ERA. On May 23, he became the 10th pitcher in Hoofdklasse history to win 100 games. He was second in ERA behind Manny Olivera, led in wins, tied Duko Jansen for second in innings (105 1/3, trailing Olivera) and second in strikeouts (100, trailing Olivera by 42). Despite trailing Olivera in most categories, Jansen was picked as the Pitcher of the Year for the second time. Jansen tied a record with six straight seasons of double digit wins, tying Bart Volkerijk. It was his 8th season of 10+ wins, the all-time record, breaking the mark of 7 held by Craig McGinnis, Douglas Morton and Volkerijk. He threw 8 1/3 innings of one-hit ball in game two of the 2004 Holland Series to give Neptunus its third straight win. It would be Jansen's final game in Hoofdklasse, leaving on a high note.
Jansen made a couple more international appearances in 2004. He was 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in the 2004 Haarlem Baseball Week. In the 2004 Olympics, he allowed five runs in six innings despite striking out seven, the most on the Netherlands staff.
Jansen retired as a baseball player in October of 2004. In 12 seasons in Hoofdklasse, he had gone 105-44 in 205 games. He had 1,121 strikeouts.
Jansen became a pitching coach after retiring as a player. In 2005, he coached for the Amsterdam Pirates. He moved to Kinheim in 2006 and helped them win the 2006 and 2007 Holland Series. Eelco came out of retirement to pitch four scoreless innings and get a win against Tornado Balashi in the 2008 European Cup in Grosseto; Kinheim went on to win the Cup, its second straight European Cup title.