The competition is the oldest professional baseball league in Southern Union baseball history, beginning play in 1895.
The league was founded by 10 member clubs who played each other 6 times over two 3-game series (three games at home, three games away) during a season, which are played from Friday to Sunday between the months of April and September.
Mattis Schiele, Koana Islands’ biggest sewer operator and military historian, established the Koanian Baseboll Sammanslutning in Ny Aucklanda in 1892 with a view of creating the nation’s first professional league. Schiele had a tough time convincing other businessmen to invest in his idea, tentatively called the Koanian Baseboll Omlopp, or Koanian Baseball Circulation. The initial rulebook written out by Schiele has been lost, but some strange rule changes included five bases instead of four, and more importantly the re-introduction of soaking or plugging the runner, where a fielder could put a runner out by hitting the runner with the thrown ball – something the Knickerbocker Rules had removed.
With many of the businessmen and social club owners Schiele approached laughing him out of his office, it wasn’t long before the owner of the Nyhaven Broderskap Baseboll Klub (Nyhaven Brotherhood Baseball Club) by the name of Rolf Berthagen – a bank manager – formed his own league to be known as the Super Ligan in 1893, an attempt to establish a circuit that sits above all state and amateur leagues for which teams must apply for a spot in the competition.
The response to Berthagen’s plan was overwhelming. Of the over 100 amateur baseball clubs within the Koana Islands, nearly 50 had applied to become the first professional clubs in the Super Ligan – including Mattis Schiele’s Ny Aucklanda Trolldom Baseboll Klub (Ny Aucklanda Witchcraft Baseball Club).
Initially, Berthagen rejected Schiele’s application sighting conflict of interest, however, the two men met in Omfattandestad with mutual friend Ingjald Åhlund and agreed a cooperative agreement was in the best interests of the sport. This friendship was not without its flaws though, as Åhlund was later heard at a meeting suggesting Berthagen had twisted his arm to get Schiele’s Ny Aucklanda team into the competition and allegedly the two men never spoke to each other again.
The Founding Teams
After a year of discussions and meetings, Berthagen and Schiele narrowed down the applications to just 10 teams and the Koanian Dagbladet (the Koanian Daily newspaper) was given the exclusive list:
- AIF Thomassmåstad
- BF Oberoendestad
- Centurio Conneaut
- Körsbärstad IF
- Ny Aucklanda IF
- Nyhaven SK
- Omfattandestad BoIS
- SK Ryttare
- Uckford Gemenskap
- Vizhune IS
Early Years (1895 – 1899)
After a fairly successful inaugural season, 1896 was make-or-break for the fledgling league. BF Oberoendestad resigned from the league with owner Peter Strömberg quoted as saying the league was not sustainable financially. Ny Aucklanda IF was also voted out of the league, becoming the first team to ever be voted out. They were replaced by Sandford Stad BF and Hamnområde BK for the 1897 season.
The following year, the new teams put up little effort, winning just 13 and 14 games in a 54-game season to finish dead last. The member clubs decided to give both clubs an exemption from the re-election process and instead attempted to expand the league to provide more competition in the bottom places. BK Humoor 1893 and IK Förenta Saffron were voted in and the league expanded to 12 teams for 1898.
Sandford Stad BF became the second team voted out of the league in 1898 despite a much improved win-loss record to finish 10th, 12 games clear of last-placed Hamnområde BK. A precarious financial situation was cited as the reason for the expulsion and Ruysdael Akademisk IF were elected and became the 15th professional team in Koana Islands.
Following another dismal performance, Hamnområde BK were voted out of the league in 1899 becoming the last ever team to be voted out of the Super Ligan as the following year the Nationella Basebolligan was subsumed into the Super Ligan umbrella and became the second tier of professional baseball in the country.
Foundation Blocks (1900 – 1909)
Compared to the first 5 years of the league’s existence, the next decade proved one of stability. In 1900, Uckford Gemenskap and IK Förenta Saffron became the first teams to be relegated from the Super Ligan, with BK Salau and BF Oberoendestad officially recognized as the first teams to ever be promoted after topping Division Ett.
In 1904, the Koanian Basebollförbundet adopted the Durand Rules for both Super Ligan and Division Ett competitions, with Sandford Stad BF and Omfattandestad BoIS playing out the first official draw in Super Ligan history on opening day.
Omfattandestad BoIS was the most dominant team in the league during this time, winning an impressive six league titles whilst Vizhune IS was next best with just two titles during this time.
|1895||Vizhune IS||Körsbärstad IF|
|1896||Omfattandestad BoIS||Uckford Gemenskap|
|1897||Vizhune IS (2)||Centurio Conneaut|
|1898||Vizhune IS (3)||Körsbärstad IF (2)|
|1899||AIF Thomassmåstad||Vizhune IS|
|1900||Omfattandestad BoIS (2)||Vizhune IS (2)|
|1901||Körsbärstad IF||Omfattandestad BoIS|
|1902||Vizhune IS (4)||Körsbärstad IF (3)|
|1903||Omfattandestad BoIS (3)||Ny Aucklanda IF|
|1904||Omfattandestad BoIS (4)||Vizhune IS (3)|
|1905||Vizhune IS (5)||Omfattandestad BoIS (2)|
|1906||Omfattandestad BoIS (5)||Bryankeld Förenta BK|
|1907||Omfattandestad BoIS (6)||BK Humoor 1893|
|1908||AIF Thomassmåstad (2)||Omfattandestad BoIS (3)|
|1909||Omfattandestad BoIS (7)||SK Ryttare|
|1910||Sandford Stad BF||Omfattandestad BoIS (4)|