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The 1899 Super Ligan was the fifth season of professional baseball within the Koana Islands and the first season with Rusdael Akademisk IF who were elected to the league in place of Sanford Stad. It was also the last season of teams being elected into the league, with promotion and relegation to begin from 1900 following the merger with the Nationella Basebolligan. The season began on the 7th of April 1899, and concluded on the 3rd of September 1899. Thomassmåstad Eagles were crowned champions for the first time, ending Vizhune Vipers string of two consecutive league titles.
Thomassmåstad won their first ever Super Ligan title having only achieved a high of 3rd place back in 1897. After a shaky start in April where the Eagles only managed a 5-7 record, a 10-2 month of May pushed them into the top half of the table. They moved in to first place towards the end of June where they stayed for the remainder of the year to finish four games clear of defending champions Vizhune. Catcher Sebastian Jensen (.361/.429/.695) led the league in Home Runs (24), OPS (1.124) and WAR of 5.1 (a new Super Ligan single-season record) to grab the MVP Award whilst Starter Sander Villumsen (2.23/0.92/90-18) had a strong season before an injury to his forearm brought his season to an early close in early August.
Vizhune won their final four games of the season to claim second place, but spent much of the year in mid-pack which started with 6-6 records in both April and May. RF Felix Thomsson’s (.227/.338/.550) numbers were down on previous years, but he still led the team in HR and RBIs with Catcher Jonathan Ostenberg (.352/.412/.549) picking up much of the slack. Pitcher Rikard Eliasson (2.70/1.03/122-18) led the league in Pitcher WAR (4.1) but stud Theo Hofmann (3.38/1.24/118-42) had a season to forget.
Conneaut finished 3rd for the second straight year with consecutive match-ups against Vizhune and Thomassmåstad in August in which they lost both series 2-1, all but ruling them out as title contenders. RF Olaf Indal (.360/.442/.657) and SP August Skovgaard (2.72/0.99/96-18), both aged 22, had break-out years for the Centurions who ultimately swept Omfattandestad in the final weekend of games to stay ahead of them in the standings and give their fans optimism for the future.
The Titans briefly held top spot in late May but three wins in their final ten games saw them slump to a 38-win season which was still their best finish since winning the title three years earlier. RF John Cratz (.356/.418/.663) had his best season since he made the starting line-up permanently last year whilst SK Ryttare (re-branded from Jonestan) finished 5th for the fourth straight year, with Pitcher Matthias Enckleman (3.55/1.25/104-25) tying the single-season record for Wins with 13.
Uckford’s 1897 MVP 2B Jakob Sørensen (.382/.426/.580) and team-mate 3B Spjälle Pettersson (.372/.434/.665) came first and second in batting average across the league, setting new single-season records in Hits (108) and RBIs (89) respectively. Despite the hot bats the Ducks finished 34-32, let down by poor Defense, as opposed to Förenta Saffron who had the opposite problem.
Newly elected to the Super Ligan, Ruysdael Akademisk endured a tough season, winning just 4 games in the months of May and June combined, which included two-consecutive victories in their opening two games against local rivals Thomassmåstad. A string of 11-straight losses beginning at the end of April saw them plummet down the standings with pitching being a particular hindrance. The same can’t be said for Hamnområde BK who set another record for lowest winning percentage in a season at just .227 to finish last for the second straight year. Gunsovolkan Pitcher Tomás Stark (3.66/1.47/55-37) was the lone standout for Hamnområde with the rookie putting up decent numbers before missing four weeks in June through injury.
Most Valuable Player Award
- Sebastian Jensen – Thomassmåstad Eagles – 11 – 163
- Spjälle Pettersson – Uckford Ducks – 1 – 113
- Olaf Indal – Conneaut Centurions – 0 – 94
- Jakob Sørensen – Uckford Ducks – 0 – 74
- John Cratz – Omfattandestad Titans – 0 – 66
- Patric Imdahl – Thomassmåstad Eagles – 0 – 63
- Jonathan Ostenberg – Vizhune Vipers – 0 – 57
- Kurt Gainsborough – SK Ryttare Broncos – 0 – 42
- Tommy Enqvist – Nyhaven Bees – 0 – 16
- Pat Pledger – Omfattandestad Titans – 0 – 8
- Bonde Hanssen – Thomassmåstad Eagles – 0 – 6
- Iver Hammarskjöld – Conneaut Centurions – 0 – 2
- Niklas Hellsberg – BK Humoor 1893 Hawks – 0 – 2
- Oliver Bjerklund – Uckford Ducks – 0 – 1
- Alexander Dahlgren – Uckford Ducks – 0 – 1
Pitcher of the Year Award
- Rikard Eliasson – Vizhune Vipers – 9 – 75
- Sander Villumsen – Thomassmåstad Eagles – 2 – 50
- August Skovgaard – Conneaut Centurions – 1 – 43
- Joel Nyquist – BK Humoor 1893 Hawks – 0 – 15
- Oliver Stetström – Körsbärstad Devils – 0 – 10
- Roger Isaksson – Thomassmåstad Eagles – 0 – 5
- Theo Hofmann – Vizhune Vipers – 0 – 4
- Matthias Enckleman – SK Ryttare Broncos – 0 – 2
Reliever of the Year Award
- Jorck Larsen – Omfattandestad Titans – 7 – 48
- Alexander Dahlgren – Uckford Ducks – 5 – 43
- Edvin Bang – Körsbärstad Devils – 0 – 5
- Iver Hammarskjöld – Conneaut Centurions – 0 – 5
- Bonde Hanssen – Thomassmåstad Eagles – 0 – 5
- Casper Verhagen – Conneaut Centurions – 0 – 2
Rookie of the Year Award
- Osborn Karlsson – Omfattandestad Titans – 8 – 52
- Kenneth Motin – SK Ryttare Broncos – 1 – 20
- Bonde Hanssen – Thomassmåstad Eagles – 2 – 19
- Dirk Bürger – Uckford Ducks – 1 – 17
Great Glove Award
Frank Schmidt (IK Förenta Saffron Knights)
1.000 PCT., 5 PO, 12 A, 1.37 RANGE
Carl Engen (Körsbärstad Devils)
.994 PCT., 465 PO, 35 A, 25.0 CS %
Marcel Frei (Körsbärstad Devils)
.994 PCT., 448 PO, 37 A, 8.83 RANGE
Valentijn Koolhaas (Conneaut Centurions)
.992 PCT., 98 PO, 147 A, 4.90 RANGE
Niklas Hellsberg (BK Humoor 1893 Hawks)
.987 PCT., 34 PO, 118 A, 2.32 RANGE
Marcus Kamark (SK Ryttare Broncos)
.978 PCT., 90 PO, 222 A, 4.98 RANGE
John Rasmussen (Körsbärstad Devils)
.992 PCT., 127 PO, 1 A, 2.02 RANGE
Sasser Frolander (Conneaut Centurions)
.986 PCT., 208 PO, 6 A, 3.26 RANGE
Johan Friberg (Thomassmåstad Eagles)
.985 PCT., 128 PO, 2 A, 2.02 RANGE
Platinum Bat Award
Njord Gravdal (IK Förenta Saffron Knights)
.333/.333/.436, 39 AB, 1 HR, 71 wRC+, 0.0 WAR
Sebastian Jensen (Thomassmåstad Eagles)
.361/.429/.695, 266 AB, 24 HR, 198 wRC+, 5.1 WAR
Tommy Enqvist (Nyhaven Bees)
.306/.377/.624, 245 AB, 19 HR, 170 wRC+, 2.9 WAR
Jakob Sørensen (Uckford Ducks)
.382/.426/.580, 283 AB, 6 HR, 13 SB, 172 wRC+, 4.5 WAR
Spjälle Pettersson (Uckford Ducks)
.372/.434/.665, 269 AB, 19 HR, 1 SB, 191 wRC+, 5.0 WAR
Oliver Bjerklund (Uckford Ducks)
.325/.404/.449, 283 AB, 19 SB, 135 wRC+, 3.3 WAR
Kurt Gainsborough (SK Ryttare Broncos)
.317/.410/.646, 246 AB, 19 HR, 5 SB, 181 wRC+, 3.4 WAR
Kenneth Motin (SK Ryttare Broncos)
.322/.371/.591, 171 AB, 9 HR, 15 SB, 158 wRC+, 1.7 WAR
Olaf Indal (Conneaut Centurions)
.360/.442/.657, 239 AB, 17 HR, 20 SB, 189 wRC+, 4.4 WAR
Re-Election & Off-Season
Following an extraordinary meeting with the majority of team owners from the Nationella Basebolligan on the 23rd of July, the Super Ligan’s first order of business at the end of the season was to vote on merging with the NBL. By a result of 9-3, the Super Ligan agreed to subsume the teams under the umbrella of the Super Ligan and rebrand the NBL to Super Ligan: Division Ett (Division One), or simply Division Ett, with two promotion/relegation places between the two leagues to begin from next season.
BK Humoor 1893 owner Mario Järelöv was outspoken about the potential merger, quoted in the Humoor Veckovis newspaper as saying:
The majority of Nationella Basebolligan clubs are poorly run and they struggle financially in comparison to the vastly superior finances in the Super Ligan. Opening up two demotion spots is too great of a punishment for well-run clubs such as mine.– Mario Järelöv
The re-election system of the Super Ligan was therefore used for the last time in the top tier at the end of 1899. Hamnområde BK became the last team to be voted out of the Super Ligan with poor finances and on-field performances cited as the primary reasons for their expulsion. However, due to the merger they were automatically granted a place in the new Division Ett. Ny Aucklanda Warlocks were successfully voted back into the Super Ligan, becoming the only team to be voted out and subsequently voted back in to the top flight.
- IK Förenta Saffron – 10 (Re-Elected)
- Ruysdael Akademisk IF – 10 (Re-Elected)
- Hamnområde Seagulls – 5 (Failed re-election)
- Ny Aucklanda Warlocks – 7 (Elected)
- Atletisk Nyhamn – 3
- GK Udde Korall – 0
Following the vote, Anders Hansson was formally welcomed to the meeting as the new owner of Ruysdael Akademisk after purchasing the club from the founding owner Tobias Sörman. Hansson, a prominent factory owner in the city, joined the club to help run the Horse Polo team in 1892, quickly gaining the trust of Tobias Sörman. When Polo was dropped by the club in 1895, Hansson stepped away from operations but returned when he heard Sörman was struggling through ill-health.
According to financial insiders with knowledge of the new owner, he is unmerciful in expectations and in dealing with people. Financially, Hansson is known for being an economizer.
The 1899 Nationella Basebolligan season was the third and last year of the league before it merged with the Super Ligan from 1900. The first games of the league took place on the 3rd of March 1899 and the season was completed on the 27th of August 1899. Oberoendestad Cardinals won the title on the last day of the season.
Despite holding a 6-game lead over the chasing teams of Ny Aucklanda and Rovaniemi Förenta in mid-July, Oberoendestad went into the final game of the season at home Jordnot Kanjon tied on 53 wins with Ny Aucklanda after 4 straight losses in August; including a sweep at the hands of Sandford Stad. After scoring early, the Cardinals saw themselves trailing 3-1 in the middle of the third before a couple of home runs from Catcher Tage Karinsson (.319/.343/.500) and lead-off hitter CF Nils Rydell (.257/.310/.395) put the game beyond doubt three frames later. BK Salau secured a walk-off home run win over Ny Aucklanda on the same day to send Cardinals fans into raptures when the score was announced on the evening news over the radio.
RF James Doyle (.345/.446/659) led the league in Batter WAR (5.6) for the Cardinals whilst last years Pitcher of the Year SP Theodor Oberg (3.13/1.15/184-48) led the way in Strikeouts for a 15-4 record. The Warlocks had strong a strong showing from new signing SP Pelle Vestergaard (2.24/1.10/135-33), but the teams Defensive Efficiency of .697 cost the team.
Rovaniemi Förenta matched their best ever league finish in third, but except for a brief spell tied at the top in May were never realistically in with a chance of winning the league, whilst Jordnot Kanjon and BK Salau both improved on 7th and 9th place finishes last season. Sandford Stad, entering the NBL for the first time after failing re-election in the Super Ligan last season, struggled in March and May to be hovering around 500-ball for much of the year before a strong finish bumped them up to 6th, two games clear of Portlethen Måndag and defending champions Bryankeld Förenta.
The two new teams this year, Västra Delen 95 and Freyr Viksida struggled all season, with the latter spending the majority of the year in last place after starting the season 3-24, including 13 straight losses in April, before sweeping Prestons-Grenada to start the month of May.
Most Valuable Player Award
- James Doyle – Oberoendestad Cardinals – 12 – 186
- Jelle Tromme – Portlethen Måndag GK Mariners – 1 – 130
- Felix Hellström – Bryankeld Förenta BK Panthers – 0 – 105
- Gabriel Helenius – BK Salau Pigeons – 0 – 80
- Alexander Borrmann – 1890 Ängelar SK Armada – 0 – 74
- Jimmy Gustafsson – 1890 Ängelar SK Armada – 0 – 67
- Vilgot Melin – Bryankeld Förenta BK Panthers – 0 – 50
- Loki Bild – BK Salau Pigeons – 1 – 39
- Gösta Pettersson – BK Salau Pigeons – 0 – 34
- Yngwie Hansson – Jordnot Kanjon BK Prowlers – 0 – 21
- Carl Granholm – Oberoendestad Cardinals – 0 – 16
- Peter Thelven – Ny Aucklanda Warlocks – 0 – 6
- Jonathan Gustafsson – Bryankeld Förenta BK Panthers – 0 – 4
- Sven Göran Hjorth – Ny Aucklanda Warlocks – 0 – 4
- Vincent Nordqvist – Rovaniemi Förenta Squirrels – 0 – 4
- Måns Persson – Rovaniemi Förenta Squirrels – 0 – 4
- Bo Gunnarsson – Ny Aucklanda Warlocks – 0 – 2
Pitcher of the Year Award
- Toni Johansson – BK Salau Pigeons – 14 – 98
- Pelle Vestergaard – Ny Aucklanda Warlocks – 0 – 56
- Henri Born – Jordnot Kanjon BK Prowlers – 0 – 42
- Theodor Oberg – Oberoendestad Cardinals – 0 – 26
- Jesper Sjöström – Sandford Stad Bulldogs – 0 – 11
- Nathan Mankell – Portlethen Måndag GK Mariners – 0 – 3
- Jakob Ivarsson – Sandford Stad Bulldogs – 0 – 2
Reliever of the Year Award
- Loki Bild – BK Salau Pigeons – 12 – 66
- Arthur Hugenberg – Sandford Stad Bulldogs – 2 – 40
- Artur Garcia – Rovaniemi Förenta Squirrels – 0 – 16
- Toby Tegebäck – IF Blidområde Wild – 0 – 4
Rookie of the Year Award
- Russell Andersson – Sandford Stad Bulldogs – 14 – 70
- Tage Karinsson – Oberoendestad Cardinals – 0 – 42
- Kenneth Gren – BK Salau Pigeons – 0 – 10
- Theo Strandvik – Sandford Stad Bulldogs – 0 – 4
Great Glove Award
Pieter Vandenburgh (BK Salau Pigeons)
.917 PCT., 4 PO, 7 A, 0.90 RANGE
Aksel Holm (Freyr Viksida IK Blå Pojkar)
.997 PCT., 337 PO, 32 A, 30.3 CS %
Embrikt Blidh (Oberoendestad Cardinals)
.995 PCT., 584 PO, 51 A, 8.52 RANGE
Valter Bergman (BK Embleton Gunners)
.993 PCT., 183 PO, 223 A, 5.46 RANGE
Lucas Berstad (BK Salau Pigeons)
.972 PCT., 31 PO, 142 A, 2.26 RANGE
Joakim Almlund (Ny Aucklanda Warlocks)
.995 PCT., 109 PO, 264 A, 5.04 RANGE
Peter Jarrel (Ny Aucklanda Warlocks)
.970 PCT., 126 PO, 2 A, 2.09 RANGE
Gjohl Järelöv (Jordnot Kanjon BK Prowlers)
.996 PCT., 218 PO, 5 A, 2.97 RANGE
Baltsar Aronsson (Portlethen Måndag GK Mariners)
.987 PCT., 149 PO, 0 A, 2.01 RANGE
Platinum Bat Award
Maxim Persson (IF Blidområde Wild)
.319/.333/.340, 47 AB, 72 wRC+, -0.0 WAR
Vincent Nordqvist (Rovaniemi Förenta Squirrels)
.257/.332/.490, 300 AB, 17 HR, 1 SB, 134 wRC+, 3.2 WAR
Jimmy Gustafsson (1890 Ängelar SK Armada)
.347/.405/.547, 311 AB, 12 HR, 169 wRC+, 3.7 WAR
Felix Hellström (Bryankeld Förenta BK Panthers)
.341/.364/.551, 343 AB, 17 HR, 15 SB, 158 wRC+, 3.8 WAR
Måns Persson (Rovaniemi Förenta Squirrels)
.333/.386/.421, 297 AB, 3 HR, 135 wRC+, 2.8 WAR
Carl Granholm (Oberoendestad Cardinals)
.325/.425/.449, 265 AB, 3 HR, 2 SB, 151 wRC+, 2.7 WAR
Jelle Tromme (Portlethen Måndag GK Mariners)
.346/.394/.647, 312 AB, 26 HR, 190 wRC+, 4.5 WAR
Sven Göran Hjorth (Ny Aucklanda Warlocks)
.276/.351/.578, 232 AB, 18 HR, 16 SB, 157 wRC+, 3.2 WAR
James Doyle (Oberoendestad Cardinals)
.345/.446/.659, 287 AB, 22 HR, 7 SB, 204 wRC+, 5.6 WAR
Annual General Meeting
Mid-way through the season on the 13th of June, 11 owners gathered for an extraordinary meeting in Omfattandestad. The agenda focused on two areas: Niclas Nordin’s running of the league and the growing gulf in financial might compared to the Super Ligan. Only Niclas Nordin and the two owners of Västra Delen 95 and Freyr Viksida were not invited.
Nordin’s decision to invite Västra Delen 95 and Freyr Viksida without allowing all owners the chance to formally vote on their acceptance was considered unacceptable, and with attendances dropping for home games against the two sides due to their poor performances, all owners agreed that Nordin could not stay in the role of league commissioner.
Sandford Stad Petri Ljungberg was encouraged to speak to his former-colleagues in the Super Ligan and see if a merger was a possibility, especially with the growth of the Baseball Meisterschaft in Günsovölk potentially poaching players from the NBL, a stronger Super Ligan could only benefit all the teams within the Koana Islands.
After liaising with several owners in the Super Ligan, Ljungberg held a meeting and invited the other 10 owners who were present at the first meeting to discuss their options. Combining the two leagues to form a 26-team competition was ruled out but a second division allowing promotion and relegation was a distinct possibility, especially with it proving somewhat successful in the Football League in England.
With a unanimous decision to attempt a merger, Ljungberg and the other ten owners approached the Super Ligan president Pål Nyhaus and announced they intended to break away from the NBL and would like to formally join the Super Ligan as a second tier. Nyhaus organised a meeting of all owners from both the Super Ligan and the breakaway 11 from the NBL on the 23rd of July to discuss the possibility of merging the two leagues where it was agreed to vote on the decision at the Annual General Meeting at the end of the year.
Upon hearing of the impending vote several days later, Niclas Nordin said he felt betrayed by his fellow club owners, and would not organise the NBL’s fourth season scheduled for 1900, effectively drawing a line in the sand where the either the teams would join the Super Ligan, or would be forced to return back to regional leagues.
Västra Delen 95 and Freyr Viksida owners – knowing that the NBL was going to be wound up at season’s end – appealed to the breakaway 11 to be included in any negotiations and were eventually accepted whilst Nordin’s BK Embleton initially refused an offer by the 13 clubs attempting to join the Super Ligan, before backtracking and joining the rest of the league by season’s end.