Willem Kemp

From BR Bullpen

Willem Oostenwald Kemp (Bles)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 209 lb.

Olympics-Reference page

Biographical Information[edit]

Willem Kemp played for the South African national team in several events, including the Olympics and World Baseball Classic.

Kemp went 2 for 22 with a double in the 1998 Baseball World Cup as South Africa's starting catcher, but he showed a great arm, gunning down 7 of 15 attempted base-stealers while playing error-free ball. He went 7 for 9 with a double, homer, 5 RBI and an error in the 1999 All Africa Games, splitting catching with Jason Roos as South Africa cruised to the Gold. He was second on the high-scoring team in average, behind Ian Holness.

In the 2000 Olympics, he was 4 for 19 with a walk, no runs and no RBI. He was not as sharp on defense as in the '98 World Cup, allowing 14 steals in 17 tries and having two passed balls (though no errors).

"Bles" went 4 for 20 with a double in the 2001 Baseball World Cup and threw out 3 of 14 would-be base thieves in his third straight tourney as South Africa's primary backstop. In the 2002 Haarlem Baseball Week, he was just 2 for 19.

Kemp joined Germany's Paderborn Untouchables in 2004 and was 1 for 8 with two walks and two runs; he did throw out 3 runners while allowing just one steal. In '05, he was 3 for 3 with a double, triple, 2 walks, 3 runs and a RBI. He saw more action in the 2005 European Cup, going 2 for 11 as Paderborn's starting catcher instead of the usual Michael Franke or Björn Schonlau.

Willem's last major event was the 2006 World Baseball Classic, in which he was 0 for 10 as South Africa's backstop.