Athletic Ivychurch, commonly known as Ivychurch, is a professional baseball team from the city of Ivychurch, Longdon, Ianoia. The club – along with McCutchen City – are recognized as being the catalysts for the creation of the I-League.
Founded in 1898 by Stanley Hatton and a group of dedicated dockyard workers, the club traces its origins back to 1891 when it served as a multi-sport organization promoting exercise, teamwork, and competition across baseball, association football, and track and field events for the workers of the dockyards. However, as the club transitioned to professional baseball, the focus shifted solely to baseball, and track and field events and later football was dropped by the 1920s.
Ivychurch quickly established itself as a powerhouse in the budding baseball scene, gaining recognition for its professional attitude and amassing a dedicated fan base. Notably, the club’s success caught the attention of Addison Eliot, owner of McCutchen City, another prominent team in Ianoia. Together, Hatton and Eliot championed the cause of professionalizing baseball in the region, encouraging other clubs affiliated with the Ianoian Baseball Association to follow suit. Despite initial resistance, their efforts led to the ratification of the I-League in 1899, paving the way for its inaugural season in 1900.
The club showed it’s strength in the inaugural season of the I-League in 1900, where Athletic Ivychurch emerged as the champions. They maintained their competitive edge and finished as runners-up the following year in a closely contested league campaign, before winning the league for a second time in 1902.
The team’s home games take place at Beacon Avenue, a picturesque waterfront ballpark situated in close proximity to the former location of the town’s historic lighthouse. The stadium’s unique design poses challenges for right-handed hitters, as the towering 31-foot wall in right field demands exceptional power to clear. Meanwhile, left-handed hitters enjoy an advantage with the shorter distance to the right field fence, often resulting in home runs that find their way into the waters of Neasham Gulf.
Affectionately known as the Dockers, Athletic Ivychurch continues to be one of the most widely recognized baseball clubs in the world.