LOS ANGELES - Orioles scout Rob Derksen, the coach of the 2004 Greek Olympic baseball team, died of a massive heart attack yesterday in New York. He was 44.
Derksen served as a Pacific Rim scout for the Orioles before assuming the responsibility of assembling a national team for Greece, which has an automatic entry in this summer's Olympics in Athens. He also coached the Australian Olympic baseball team to a seventh-place finish in 1996 in Atlanta and coached the 2000 entry from Guam that failed to qualify for the games in Sydney, Australia.
"It's a very tragic thing," said Orioles owner Peter Angelos.
"He was a fine man and a great baseball teacher, someone whose life was committed to helping young people learn to play baseball.
"Our condolences go out to his family. We will always remember him and all he did for the Orioles."
Angelos, who is of Greek descent, put the resources of the Orioles' organization behind the Greek Olympic effort and put Derksen in charge of preparing a team of American and Canadian players to represent the country.
Derksen, who lives in Hales Corners, Wis., was visiting New York on Olympic business when he was stricken. He is survived by a wife and two children.