Hafenstadt Baseball Verein (Port City Baseball Club), known simply as Hafenstadt BV, are a professional baseball team located in the eastern suburbs of Shoof, near the dockyards, Günsovölk. The team was one of the founders of the Baseball Meisterschaft and five founding member clubs of the Günsovölk Baseball-Bund.
Created by Manfred Ried as a way for the poor people of the area to come together and “forget their troubles” in 1890, Hafenstadt BV focused on helping the community to ensure unemployed people found jobs and trouble-makers were kept off the streets whilst socializing at a baseball game. The close-knit, community feel is still prevalent today with fans proud of their clubs heritage.
In 1893, Alexander Maier, owner of Druten Stadt SV 91, approached Manfred Ried following an exhibition game offering to help form the Günsovölk Baseball-Bund, an idea Ried was excited to be involved with. Along with three other member clubs, the GBB was formed and an amateur knockout tournament, the Baseball-Pokal was established.
After initially struggling in the Baseball-Pokal – losing at the first round in both 1893 and 1894 – Die Piraten (The Pirates) eventually won the tournament in 1897, having finished as runners-up to cross-town rivals Ducibus BV the year before.
Hafenstadt play their home games at Böckingenplatz situated near the old dockyards – now full of trendy residential apartment blocks – and is an oddity in that right-handed batters have a much easier time clearing the fence than their left-handed team-mates due to the strong winds blowing in from the sea.
The most well-known part of the ballpark is the inclusion of a full-scale pirate ship located in right field, which serves as a play area for kids. This unique addition is intricately designed, complete with towering masts, ropes, and a detailed hull, replicating the charm of a seafaring vessel. Children can explore the ship’s various decks, climb ladders, and slide down thrilling slides, fostering imaginative play and creating lasting memories. The play area is carefully constructed to ensure safety, with cushioned flooring and appropriate barriers and the captains quarters is a bar allowing parents to watch the game nearby.