Wim Kerstens

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Biographical Information[edit]

Wim Kerstens played in the Belgian First Division and for the Belgian national team.

He debuted in 1991, with a 11.57 ERA and going 0 for 2 for the champion Brasschaat Braves. Brasschaat began a run of six straight titles in 1992; he didn't contribute much yet (0 for 1; 0-1, 13.50). In '93, he improved to 1-0, 4.08 and hit .271/.354/.329. He made Belgium's team for the 1993 European Championship, going 1-1 with a 9.45 ERA and going 1 for 3 with a triple and a run. He beat José Becerra and Spain but lost to Leonid Korneev and Russia. He tied for 8th with 3 games pitched.

In 1994, he batted .375/.440/.594 for the Braves, fielding .917 and going 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA. The next season, he went 6-0 with a 1.13 ERA and 60 K in 40 IP; he also hit .485/.548/.901 and went 11-for-11 in steal attempts for his best campaign. He would have led in ERA had he qualified (Michael Leys led at 3.24), he tied for 8th in wins and was 5th in K. He also tied Roger De Saedeleer for 4th in runs (48), tied De Saedeleer for 5th in hits (49), was 3rd in RBI (between De Saedeleer and Karl Onzia), was second with 12 doubles (3 behind Paul Spoelders), tied Joeri Loykens for 6th in dingers (10), was 6th in total bases (91), tied Loykens for 8th in steals, ranked 5th in average and 6th in slugging.

During the 1995 European Championship, he hit .350/.350/.750 with two homers and seven RBI but allowed one run in one inning. He tied for 6th in home runs. Had he qualified, he would have been 8th in slugging (between Eddy Dix and De Saedeleer). He went deep off Spain's Carlos Ros in the game that won the Bronze for Belgium. Back with Brasschaat, he won another pennant in 1996 though his offense fell (.302/.434/.302) as did his pitching (still solid at 4-1, 3.41). He had a better ERA than all but two qualifiers. In 1997, he was 3-1 with a 4.84 ERA and hit .338/.395/.500. The Braves' title run ended in '98; he was 1-0 with a 2.40 ERA and batted .435/.507/.687. He ended his career in 1999, when the Braves won their seventh title of his career. He did not pitch but posted a .446/.505/.675 batting line.

Sources: Old Belgian Baseball Federation site, Internet Archive of 1993 European Championship, Wayback Machine of 1995 European Championship