Ivanon Angelino Coffie
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 192 lb.
Ivanon Coffie was one of the first five major leaguers born in Curaçao, playing 23 games with the Baltimore Orioles in 2000. After nine years in organized baseball, he moved to Hoofdklasse for two seasons and set a league home run record. In 2007, he became the first Dutch national to play in Taiwan.
Signed as a free agent in 1995, Coffie debuted with the GCL Orioles the next year, hitting .218/.307/.301 as the regular shortstop. With the Delmarva Shorebirds in 1997, Coffie batted .275/.328/.384 and stole 19 bases in 29 tries. In 1998, Ivanon produced at a .256/.323/.406 clip for the Frederick Keys with 16 home runs and 75 RBI. He stole 17 bases, but was caught 12 times, and struck out 109 times. He was sixth in the Carolina League in RBI. Returning to Frederick for most of 1999, he hit .283/.354/.496 in 73 games. He also spent 57 games with the Bowie Baysox, batting only .185/.260/.308. In 2000, he hit .267/.341/.425 in 87 games for Bowie and also spent 21 games with the Rochester Red Wings (.218/.244/.269).
Coffie got the big league call in July, playing 23 games with the O's, his lone look. On August 4, 2000, he was king for a day. Playing third base, he batted 3-for-7 with two doubles, a triple and two RBI in an O's victory, 10-9, over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 15 innings at Tropicana Field. It was not that easy otherwis; he only batted .217/.284/.317 in 60 at bats. He was back with Rochester in 2001, hitting .267/.317/.442 in 56 contests, but missed time due to injury and had a rehab stint with the GCL Orioles, hitting .278/.350/.500 in six games there. He was dealt to the Chicago Cubs and spent 2002 with the Iowa Cubs, batting .239/.318/.408 with 32 doubles while playing almost every position.
After the '02 season, Ivanon became a minor league free agent and signed with the St. Louis Cardinals, hitting .206/.363/.412 for the Memphis Redbirds in 12 games before being released. He signed with the independent Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks and went 5-for-16 with two home runs, seeing his contract purchased back by Baltimore. In familiar territory with Bowie, he batted .245/.338/.439 with 14 home runs in 93 games. He also made his debut with the Dutch national team that summer, playing for the club in the 2003 Baseball World Cup, hitting a team-leading .409 (sixth in the tournament) with 2 homers. 2004 was his last year in the organized minors. He played for a Houston Astros farm team, the Round Rock Express, but only hit .206/.280/.407 and fielded just .889. He was on the Dutch team in the Olympics in Athens, Greece and went just 2-for-19 with 3 walks and a double.
Debuting in Hoofdklasse, Coffie played for B.S.C. Almere'90 in 2005 and hit .283/~.474/.585. His eight home runs were a record since the league had returned to wood bats five years earlier, lasting just two years before Fausto Álvarez broke it. He was 6th in the league in runs scored (28) and fifth with 25 RBI. Ivanon also led the league by a wide margin with 41 walks but fielded .898. He played in the 2005 Baseball World Cup for the Netherlands, batting .263/.412/.474 with 12 runs scored in 11 games as the team made the semifinals for the first time ever. Additionally, he played in the 2005 European Championship, winning the MVP Award. Coffie was third in the event in average (.467, behind Danny Rombley and Ian Young), tied Percy Isenia for third in hits (14) and was 5th in OBP (.526). He led in runs scored (14, one ahead of Javier Zabalza) and RBI (17, 6 more than runner-up Zabalza), slugging (1.300, over 500 points ahead of anyone else - Simon Gühring and Alexander Lauterbach were second at .714) and home runs (8, more than the three next players combined - Lauterbach was second with 3).
Ivanon saw action in many international tournaments in 2006. He started at the WBC, batting 2-for-12 with a walk, two runs scored and two RBI in three games at third base. His error helped keep Shairon Martis's no-hitter official in one game. In 2006 Haarlemse Honkbalweek, he hit .176/.391/.412 for the runner-up Dutch team. He hit .266/~.379/.406 for Almere'90 and his four home runs were tied for second in Hoofdklasse. His fielding was better, with a .944 mark at short and third. Coffie even pitched once, retiring the one batter he faced. He hit cleanup for the Dutch team in the 2006 European Baseball Series in which they beat Italy. In the 2006 Intercontinental Cup, Coffie hit .273/.390/.576 and was tied for second in the tournament with two homers. Coffie signed with the Macoto Cobras for 2007 and beat Rob Cordemans in being the first Dutch national in the Chinese Professional Baseball League. Coffie had three hits in his debut on March 20, returning from injury nine days later with two homers to win Player of the Game honors. In the first half, he batted .258 with 10 home runs to help Macoto to the first-half title. He added one more home run and was at .260/.394/.548 when the Cobras released him in July. He returned to the Netherlands to rejoin the national team. His presence meant that René Cremer was removed from the Dutch team after only 3 games on the roster. Coffie did not appear with the Dutch squad in either of the major events of the year, as Raily Legito manned third base in the 2007 European Championship and 2007 Baseball World Cup. He was 3 for 24 with 5 walks and 4 runs in the 2007 World Port Tournament.
Coffie returned to Taiwan in 2008 with the dMedia T-Rex but was quickly released despite a .333/.450/.533 batting line in the five games he played. As Almere had been relegated, he went to DOOR Neptunus and hit .304/.439/.500 with 14 RBI in the first 13 games. He then announced he was leaving for the Lancaster Barnstormers in the United States. At the time, he also told Dutch national team skipper Robert Eenhoorn he would not be available for the 2008 Olympics. In 70 games for Lancaster, Coffie hit .275/.378/.533 with 12 homers. Coffie signed with Rimini in Italy for 2009. He became the first Dutch player to sign with a team in the Netherlands' top European rival since Eddy Tromp and Win Remmerswaal over 20 years earlier. He was soon followed by Johnny Balentina, Ardley Jansen, Randolph Kirindongo and Johnny Gregorius. Coffie debuted in Italy on April 11, batting cleanup and going 0 for 3 with two walks in a win over Grosseto. He batted .254/.384/.513 with 10 home runs in 42 games in 2009, finishing his career with a .245/.374/.324 line in 29 games for Grosseto in 2010.
Sources: Honkbalsite.com, Defunct 2005 Baseball World Cup site, 1997-2006 Baseball Almanacs, Marco Stoovelaar's Dutch baseball stats, World Baseball Classic site, 2005-2006 Dutch baseball stats, Taiwan baseball stats, Atlantic League website, Mister Baseball, Italian Baseball and Softball Federation