The 1904 Southern Union Baseball season was the tenth season of professional baseball within the Southern Union. It was the first season of the Durand Rules being applied to all professional leagues as well as the first season of the Baseball Meisterschaft in Günsovölk consisting of 16 teams.
Omfattandestad BoIS retained the Super Ligan title, clinching their fourth championship with a 5 point lead over Vizhune IS. The title was a two-way fight for much of the season as BF Oberoendestad and Bryankeld Förenta BK battled with BK Humoor 1893 for the first half of the season before the later fell away to finish 6th, drawing 15 games along the way.
The reigning Champions moved to the top of the table by the second Sunday of the season, and remained there for the rest of the year after moving 3 points clear of Vizhune IS who had dropped a series to Körsbärstad IF the following weekend.
For Bryankeld Förenta, the club had its best ever finish since gaining promotion to the Super Ligan three years earlier, finishing the year 34-12-20, 8 points clear behind Vizhune IS, but comfortably clear of BF Oberoendestad. It was a bizarre season for the Panthers, who were tipped to finish last by most pundits after losing their star infielder Oliver Nilsson to a pre-season injury that ruled him out for the rest of the year.
Nyhaven SK (27-6-33) continued their mid-table finishing streak by ending the year in 7th despite early form suggesting they were going to be title challengers whilst AIF Thomassmåstad (23-13-30) improved one place from last year with the Eagles owner committing to a bigger budget for player wages to help turn the teams fortunes around.
Newcomers to the Super Ligan, BK Embleton (26-6-34), finished a respectable 9th; never really in any danger of relegation whereas Sandford Stad (25-7-34) flirted with the dropzone before pulling away from Portlethen Måndag (18-10-38) who returned to Division Ett after a two year stay in the top flight.
The shock of the season was Super Ligan founders and 1901 Super Ligan Champions Körsbärstad IF (17-6-43) getting relegated with a last place finish. Whilst not tipped for relegation, the squad was expected to finish 8th and after 16 games were sitting in 10th on 11 points, 3 clear of Portlethen Måndag and and a further two points clear of Sandford Stad in last. By the mid-point of the year however, Körsbärstad IF were 11th, 4 points adrift of safety and only point clear of Portlethen. Just 11 wins followed and a 7-4 loss to BF Oberoendestad on the second-last Saturday of the season confirmed their relegation with 4 games to spare despite a spirited fight back at the end of the game.
BF Oberoendestad 2 1 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 7 Körsbärstad IF 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 4
|1||Omfattandestad BoIS||66||42||9||15||368||276||92||0.705||93||C (C)|
|3||Bryankeld Förenta BK||66||34||12||20||327||296||31||0.606||80|
|5||Ny Aucklanda IF||66||30||10||26||366||331||35||0.530||70|
|6||BK Humoor 1893||66||27||15||24||335||332||3||0.523||69|
|10||Sandford Stad BF||66||25||7||34||307||360||-53||0.432||57||(P)|
|11||Portlethen Måndag GK||66||18||10||38||299||382||-83||0.348||46||R|
After relegation from the top flight in 1900, Uckford Gemenskap (45-9-24) will once again play top flight baseball after narrowly edging out Jordnot Kanjon BK (45-6-27) who gained promotion for the first time. Three draws was all the separated the two teams who spent much of the year in the top two spots with Uckford leading at the half-way stage of the season with a 4 point advantage despite both winning the same number of the games.
It was a tale of two halves for 1890 Ängelar (39-19-29) and SK Ryttare (35-13-30) however, with the latter sitting in third at the midpoint before slumping to a disappointing 8th – their worst ever finish in Division Ett. For 1890 though, a historic high finish of third backed up their investment in playing personnel during the off-season to improve on their 12th place finish last year and going onto the ballot for re-election.
Debutants in Division Ett Conneaut (37-11-30) and yo-yo club BK Salau (36-13-29) finished 4th and 5th respectively with Centurio Conneaut’s form at the start of the season putting them out of the promotion-race early; the Centurions won 22 of their last 39 fixtures having languished in 11th at one point.
Rovaniemi Förenta (35-14-29) was one of two Division Ett clubs to replace their manager during the off-season, choosing Holger Pacha who had a tendency to favour hitting and offense compared to their former manager Viggo Ohlin who much preferred a stacked bullpen. The results spoke for themselves as Rovaniemi improved from their disappointing 13th place finish last year to place in the top-half for the first time in four years.
Ruysdael Akademisk (21-13-44) were plagued with infighting for much of the year, stemming from a pre-season trip that caused a rift amongst the players. The Greens were expected to be outside chances for promotion following their relegation from the Super Ligan a year earlier, but a dreadful season saw them finish in 13th and be put up for re-election along with Atletisk Nyhamn (19-11-48) who slumped from 5th place last year with poor off-season signings being touted as the reason for the squads demise.
|2||Jordnot Kanjon BK||78||45||6||27||403||321||82||0.615||96||P|
|3||1890 Ängelar SK||78||39||10||29||393||383||10||0.564||88||(RE)|
|9||IK Förenta Saffron||78||37||7||34||372||346||26||0.519||81|
|13||Ruysdael Akademisk IF||78||21||13||44||327||421||-94||0.353||55||RE|
Rasensport Sorgenfrei (64-6-20) owner Stephan Mott, disappointed at the 8th place finish last season, dumped so money into the club during the off-season he practically bought their fourth Baseball Meisterschaft title, emphatically beating BV Küstestadt (59-6-25) by 10 points in the end. With the championship expanded to 16 teams, Rasensport lost just 8 games at home (5 fewer than the second best Gelb Kekerdom) as they stormed to to the title with a 3-game match-up against newcomers 1. Trappen still to play.
It was the second year in a row BV Küstestadt came up short, with the lone positive being the 8 point lead over reigning Champions Gelb Kekerdom TuS (51-14-25) who finished third and never really in contention for the title despite being early season favourites.
Blau-Weiss Ruigoord (52-11-27) and Mächtstadt VfL (46-9-35) finished 4th and 5th respectively, with the latter in no-mans land towards the end thanks to a 14-point deficit to Blau-Weiss and a 9-point advantage over Hafenstadt (40-12-38) who claimed their best ever finish of 6th. Jueman Fortuna (40-12-38) tied with Die Piraten but lost out in the standings by two runs on run differential to be ranked 7th.
It was another dour year for Druten Stadt (21-8-61) who finished last for the fourth time in five seasons, winning as many as they did last year despite playing 24 more games. They had to navigate the re-election process that was introduced this season, earning a reprieve from the other 15 member clubs along with VfB Andacht (25-10-55) who had a change in coaching prior to the start of the season.
The four new teams all faired well with Uelzenia Hüll (36-16-38) the pick of the bunch, finishing in the top half of the table, whilst Tapfer Concordia were two places further back in 10th despite winning one more game than Uelzenia.
|3||Gelb Kekerdom TuS||90||51||14||25||497||415||82||0.644||116||(C)|
|9||Viktoria Grosstadt SV||90||36||11||43||440||479||-39||0.461||83|
|10||Tapfer Concordia BV||90||37||6||47||435||474||-39||0.444||80|
|13||SG 1632 Schönheit||90||29||19||42||394||423||-29||0.428||77|
|16||Druten Stadt SV 91||90||21||8||61||350||473||-123||0.278||50||RE|
In a rather lopsided – and ultimately dull – season, Blenkinsopp Town (40-4-10) retained the I-League trophy by a whopping margin of 19 points ahead of Tyrant-Ilford (29-7-18). Matching the best winning percentage ever set in the I-League by Oldstead back in 1901 (.778), the Bulls got off to a sloppy start losing their opening game to Juniors (6-1) before losing their first home game of the season to Oldstead (2-1) the following weekend which allowed Tyrant-Ilford to take the early lead in the standings. However, the following weekend Blenkinsopp swept the Claymores to move to the top of the table where they remained for the rest of the year.
Oldstead Irish (27-6-21) finished 3rd ahead of Byfleet (25-8-21) who matched their best ever finish with the latter rounding out the year with a convincing sweep of last-placed Chatteris United (17-4-33) at home.
Ulcombe United (21-9-24) owner Christopher Hunter caused outrage amongst the locals after being accused of meddling in the affairs of the team and getting involved in negotiations with star pitcher Robin Glasby. The right-hander ultimately signed with McCutchen City and the team was expected to struggle without a solid hurler. However, the team rallied and eventually finished 6th for the second time in a row.
It was another failed season for Juniors (19-8-27) who finished 8th, tying their best ever finish, edging out Donyatt-Burstwick (14-11-29) who set the second fewest wins a season with just 14, three fewer than Chatteris United who finished last.
|1||Blenkinsopp Town||54||40||4||10||328||208||120||0.778||84||C (C)|
Following two second-place finishes, KBO Armweide (34-10-16) were finally crowned champions of the Topklasse Divisie, winning 10 more games than closest challenger SHC Koedijk (24-12-24) along the way.
With the 6 member clubs voting to increase the length of the season from 10 weekends to 20 which doubled the number of games to a total of 60, defending title holders HHV (19-12-29) suffered the most after manager Dirk Balkenstein spoke at length to a local newspaper reporter about the difficulty of dealing with owner Siem Ryke. The rift seemingly spilled out onto the playing field as the team finished dead last, 6 points behind RKC Mesch (23-10-27).
Bos Aan Zee (25-9-26) finally triumphed in their close rivalry with Eikenheuvel HC (23-11-26) to finish 3rd for the first time. Having closed out the last two seasons behind Uilen, Bos Aan Zee are still yet to have a winning record during the season, with 500-ball being their best result back in 1902.
With the season growing stale to fans and pundits alike, plans were discussed to invite more teams to join the competition for 1906 but the Annual Owners Meeting couldn’t agree on the number of clubs that should be invited and things were delayed by a year.
|3||Bos Aan Zee||60||25||9||26||281||305||-24||0.492||59|