The 1903 Southern Union Baseball season was the ninth season of professional baseball amongst the eight members of the Union and the last year the Baseball Meisterschaft consisted of 12 teams before expanding to 16. It was also the final year before the introduction of the Durand Rules that were implemented in all professional leagues throughout the Southern Union from the 1904 season onwards.
Omfattandestad returned to winning ways after a disappointing 1902 season where they finished 6th. With a break-out year from starting Pitcher Gjord Aaltonen, The Titaner won 44 games, 4 more than their closest rival Ny Auckland (who themselves were only picked for mid-table obscurity), to win their third Super Ligan title and first since 1900.
Defending Champions Vizhune finished 4th with various newspaper articles citing a fallout between star-Infielder Luke Frantsen and the coaching staff throughout the season.
BK Humoor, who narrowly avoided relegation last year, finished a respectable 5th, up from the predicted 8th at the start of the season following a change in Manager saw the team shift to a more offense-focused strategy. It paid dividends throughout the year in the win column, despite scoring the third fewest runs. The same cannot be said for Körsbärstad, who were expected to challenge for the title. A thoroughly disappointing campaign saw the club attain a win-loss record of 32-34 and finish 8th.
Portlethen Måndag – making their debut in the Super Ligan – survived the dreaded relegation, finishing a game clear of Conneaut who were relegated for the first time in their history. Portlethen’s safety was guaranteed on Saturday afternoon of the final weekend despite losing 5-4 to Oberoendestad as Conneaut went down 2-1 to Bryankeld Förenta BK. Conneaut – a founding member of the Super Ligan – spent 9 years in the league, finishing 2nd in 1897 and third the following two years with their best winning percentage coming in 1899 after winning 41 games for a 0.621 percentage.
|2||Ny Aucklanda IF||66||40||26||393||336||57||0.606|
|5||BK Humoor 1893||66||35||31||276||282||-6||0.530|
|7||Bryankeld Förenta BK||66||33||33||262||262||0||0.500|
|10||Portlethen Måndag GK||66||25||41||299||341||-42||0.379||(P)|
|12||BK Salau||66||23||43||258||384||-126||0.348||R (P)|
Following a five-year absence from the Super Ligan after they were voted out in 1898, Sandford Stad has won promotion back to the top flight with a 51-27 record. After finishing 3rd last season – and no lower than fourth in the previous 3 years – Bulldoggarna wrapped up the title in style with a home-sweep of Uckford Gemenskap on the final weekend of games. Joining them in the Super Ligan is BK Embleton who formed the Nationella Basebolligan in 1897 after being refused entry to the Super Ligan. When the league became part of the Koanian baseball pyramid with promotion and relegation to the Super Ligan from 1900 onwards, BK Embleton never finished lower than 6th, with the signing of star Catcher Ulf Martinsson proving the difference maker this season.
Newcomers Atletisk Nyhamn finished a respectable 5th in their debut season as a professional club, thanks in part to Pitcher Lukas Valqvist who was initially considered little more than a squad player at the start of the season.
It was a difficult year for Förenta Saffron who returned to Division Ett after immediately dropping back down following the Division Ett title two years earlier. 500-ball was all the team could achieve following the season-ending injury to Shortstop Fabian Johansson and a change in Manager at the start of the year to Hugo Berglund who preferred defense to offense.
At the foot of the table, 1890 Ängelar SK and Rovaniemi Förenta had season to forget, falling from 8th and 9th last season to 12th and 13th respectively. They were up for re-election as BK Randia where immune from the vote due to it being their first season. Both 1890 Ängelar SK and Rovaniemi Förenta were re-elected for the 1904 season.
|1||Sandford Stad BF||78||51||27||486||414||72||0.654||P|
|4||Ruysdael Akademisk IF||78||44||34||395||365||30||0.564||(R)|
|8||Jordnot Kanjon BK||78||40||38||305||304||1||0.513|
|9||IK Förenta Saffron||78||39||39||332||293||39||0.500||(R)|
|12||1890 Ängelar SK||78||33||45||376||408||-32||0.423||RE|
With a focus on small ball finally apying dividends, Gelb Kekerdom TuS secured their first Baseball Meisterschaft title in style, setting a new league record for wins in a season with 47. The Gelb Falken were rarely troubled by second-placed BV Küstestadt who achieved their highest ever finish following a huge leap forward in production from Left Fielder Johann Baumgart.
Blau-Weiss Ruigoord, predicted challengers for the title, finished 4th behind a rejunvenated Fortuna Juemen, whilst both SG 1632 Schönheit (33-33) and defending Champions Rasensport Sorgenfrei (32-34) were never in the fight despite solid off-seasons.
VfB Andacht finished 9th with their new-look coaching preferring a more defense-heavy style whilst Viktoria Grosstadt SV picked up the wooden spoon for the first time in their history with the second fewest wins in a season with just 18.
|1||Gelb Kekerdom TuS||66||47||19||385||270||115||0.712||C|
|6||SG 1632 Schönheit||66||33||33||284||256||28||0.500|
|11||Druten Stadt SV 91||66||21||45||282||366||-84||0.318|
|12||Viktoria Grosstadt SV||66||18||48||290||432||-142||0.273|
At the completion of the season, the 12 member clubs officially voted on the four new expansion teams for the 1904 season. Following much debate, the four teams chosen were Uelzenia Hüll, BSG Geldstadt, Tapfer Concordia BV and 1. Trappen.
Four applicants from Duyfken Island were rejected leaving the fans of the sport on the island reeling. The Zilverland and Tonne Boden Wettkampf (ZTBW), announced their intention to turn professional within two years following the vote citing unfair treatment.
Having never finished lower than 4th since the I-League began, Blenkinsopp Town went 38-16 to acquire their first title, beating out Tyrant-Ilford (33-21) who finished 2nd for the first time, after finishing 3rd in 1901 and 1902.
Defending Champions Athletic Ivychurch couldn’t get the job done, notwithstanding a healthy squad for much of the season, narrowly beating out rivals Oldstead Irish to 3rd whilst Byfleet’s mid-table obscurity continues, finishing 5th with a 27-27 record, despite unearthing a star pitcher in rookie Fraser Sullivan.
Juniors and McCutchen City continued to dwell in the lower half of the table, with both teams suffering major injuries to star players at the start of the season; the former’s new manager making little impact as the club scored more runs than usual but gave up a whopping 5.09 runs per game on average.
Donyatt-Burstwick’s off-field woes continued as they finished last for the second time in a row. With the owner meddling in affairs surrounding the signing of a star free agent and locking horns publicly with 1B Lee Marshall, the team lurched from one disaster to the next throughout the year.
Heading into the final round of games with 17 wins apiece, KBO Armweide dropped the Friday and Saturday games to RKC Mesch whilst HHV defeated Bos Aan Zee 5-0 on Friday before going down 6-4 in 10 innings the following day. KBO defeated Mesch emphatically on Sunday, 8-1, to put the pressure back on HHV who knew a loss would see KBO crowned champions with a superior head-to-head record. However a walk-off base hit in the 13th inning saw the team from Herveld wrap up the title in style.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 KBO Armweide 0 2 0 1 0 2 0 3 0 8 RKC Mesch 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Bos Aan Zee 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 HHV 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 3
In a tight season, SHC Koedijk couldn’t repeat as champions, going 13-17 tied with both Bos Aan Zee and RKC Mesch. Eikenheuvel HC made a small adjustment to their strategy following the signing of speedy RF Roemer Cool, but it made little difference as they finished 3rd once again.