The Günsovölk Baseball Meisterschaft (Günsovölk Baseball Championship), sometimes referred to as the Baseball Meisterschaft or Meisterschaft Eins (Championship One), is a professional baseball league in Günsovölk. At the top of the Günsovölk baseball league system, the Baseball Meisterschaft is Günsovölk’s primary baseball competition.
The first season began play in 1898 with 12 member clubs: Blau-Weiss Ruigoord, BV Küstestadt, Druten Stadt SV 91, Ducibus, Fortuna Juemen, Gelb Kekerdom TuS, Hafenstadt BV, Mächtstadt VfL, Rasensport Sorgenfrei, SG 1632 Schönheit, VfB Andacht and Viktoria Grosstadt SV.
Teams have always 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 November. The team that has won the most games during a season is declared the Champion.
Organised baseball in Günsovölk can trace it’s historical roots to 1890. It is widely accepted that the history of Günsovölk baseball began with Druten Stadt merchant Alexander Maier. Maier was on his honeymoon in Humoor, Koana Islands when he saw Albert Spalding’s team of All-Stars and the Chicago Club. He was taken by the spectacle and decided to introduce the sport to Günsovölk by inviting Albert Spalding’s team to play an exhibition game at Kupferhammerpark in Druten Stadt on the 14th August 1889.
Alexander Maier went on to form the first known baseball club in the country when he established Druten Stadt SV 91 in 1891. On the 15th of May 1892 in a cafe called Haus am alten Walzwerk, the Günsovölk Baseball-Bund (Günsovölk Baseball Union), or GBB was established; an associaition devoted to keeping the game for amateurs only. The founding members were all from Gilsemans Island, and the clubs were BV Küstestadt, Ducibus, Hafenstadt BV, VfB Andacht and Druten Stadt SV 91. The first league competition introduced by the GBB was known as the Baseball-Pokal, but the league collapsed by the end 1897 as a result of disarray and lack of organisation.
As the sport turned professional in neighbouring Koana Islands around 1895, the GBB, which had grown to 10 teams, noticed a significant number of Günsovölkan players participating in Koana Islands. Despite initial scepticism to paying players, the GBB insisted that the Baseball-Pokal remain an amateur competition and even banned Günsovölkan players from returning to play for Günsovölk teams.
The collapse of the Baseball-Pokal in 1897 and the loss of many talented players to Koana Islands eventually forced GBB’s hands. By a result of 10-2, the Baseball Meisterschaft was successfully voted in by its members, and would begin play the following year.
Early Years (1898 – 1910)
Following the formation of the South Indian Ocean Baseball Association from the 1904 baseball season onwards, the Baseball Meisterschaft made significant changes. The league was expanded by 4 teams to 16, with Uelzenia Hüll, BSG Geldstadt, Tapfer Concordia BV and 1. Trappen all turning professional. The league adopted the Durand Rules which saw Blau-Weiss Ruigoord and SG 1632 Schönheit play out the first drawn match on Saturday the 2nd of April 1904. The league also began putting the bottom two clubs up for re-election each season. VfB Andacht and Druten Stadt SV 91 were the first two teams put up for re-election but it wasn’t until 1907 when Druten Stadt SV 91 became the first team voted out of the league, replaced by Käseplatz SSV.
Rasensport Sorgenfrei was undoubtedly the most dominant team during the decade, clinching an impressive 6 league titles. In comparison, Gelb Kekerdom TuS, the second-best team in the league, managed to secure only 2 league titles in the same period, highlighting the sheer dominance of Rasensport Sorgenfrei.
|1898||Rasensport Sorgenfrei||Druten Stadt SV 91|
|1899||Rasensport Sorgenfrei (2)||Fortuna Juemen|
|1900||Fortuna Juemen||Blau-Weiss Ruigoord|
|1901||Ducibus BV||Fortuna Juemen (2)|
|1902||Rasensport Sorgenfrei (3)||Blau-Weiss Ruigoord (2)|
|1903||Gelb Kekerdom TuS||BV Küstestadt|
|1904||Rasensport Sorgenfrei (4)||BV Küstestadt (2)|
|1905||Blau-Weiss Ruigoord||Rasensport Sorgenfrei|
|1906||Gelb Kekerdom TuS (2)||Fortuna Juemen (3)|
|1907||BV Küstestadt||Rasensport Sorgenfrei (2)|
|1908||Rasensport Sorgenfrei (5)||Gelb Kekerdom TuS|
|1909||Rasensport Sorgenfrei (6)||BSG Geldstadt|
|1910||SG 1632 Schönheit||Rasensport Sorgenfrei (3)|