(Gus Schuettler/Stars and Stripes)

Haarlem, the Netherlands, June 4, 1961: Although baseball is quite popular in the Netherlands, one major problem is the getting equipment to play it as it’s all made in the United States and import taxes are high. Kids — like the ones playing the game here on a field in Haarlem — use old soccer balls as catcher’s mitts and table legs as baseball bats. They call it “honkbal” in Holland and the Dutch have really taken to the old ball game. Haarlem is considered the center of Dutch honkbal — honk meaning base in Dutch — and the first baseball team in the Netherlands was founded in Haarlem on June 6, 1923.

Read the full story about honkbal in Haarlem here.

Want to read other historic Stars and Stripes articles? Subscribe to Stars and Stripes’ historic newspaper archive! We have digitized our 1948-1999 European and Pacific editions, as well as several of our WWII editions and made them available online through

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now