Congrats are in order to former King of Pancrase and UFC heavyweight champion, Bas Rutten. “El Guapo” tied for second in the “Greatest Dutch Sportsman” award in media balloting conducted by New York’s historic Grand Central Oyster Bar last week. Baseball’s Bert Blyleven received the most votes, while Rutten and baseball’s Jim Kaat were tied for second.
The promotion was in conjunction with the annual Holland Herring Festival (no relation to Heath Herring) at the iconic Manhattan seafood eatery and a Heineken Salute to Dutch Sportsmen, which was launched last week. Dutch herring from the Netherlands is air-expressed to New York for a two week period at the Oyster Bar. You could say that Blyleven “caught the big fish.”
Johnny “Double No-Hit” Vander Meer, track and field greats Fanny Blankers-Koen and Cornelius Warmerdam, soccer legend Johan Cruyff and basketball sharpshooter Kiki Vandeweghe finished in a five-way tie for fourth.
Dutch kickboxer and MMA veteran Semmy Schilt also received votes.