Rigside Nine Baseball Club is a baseball club based in the city of Rigside, Albaland. They tend to be recognized as the first professional team in the country and were instrumental in creating the Albaland Baseball League with Tadd Steward, the first President of the Albaland Baseball Association.
Founded by The Nine Dock Shipbuilding Company as Rigside Nine Sports and Athletics Club in 1899 as a way for workers to relax after the working day, the club originally participated in many sports including association football, cricket, rugby and even rowing. By 1902 however, worker participation had dwindled to the point only association football and baseball remained, with it’s baseball team having success in friendly matches against other shipbuilding companies in the city prompting the scrapping of the football program by 1905.
When prominent businessman Tadd Steward attended a game in late 1902, the idea to set up a regular domestic baseball competition began to take form in his mind, along with an international tournament in a similar vain to the Olympics. After finalising The Durand Rules in October of 1903, Steward formed the Albaland Baseball Association in 1906 to begin play the following year with the Alba Shield in the hopes of enticing enough teams to turn professional. Despite lukewarm responses, Steward’s enthusiasm for baseball and the now renamed Rigside Nine Baseball Club encouraged the Nine Dock company to pursue the opportunity to turn professional, which they did in early 1909 after reaching the Semi-Finals of the Alba Shield the previous year. As the only full-time team to enter the Alba Shield in 1909, the club suffered an embarrassing defeat in the First Round by Kersemill Railway Company, 12-5 before beginning play in the inaugural Albaland Baseball League the following season.
Affectionately known as The Niners by fans, the club plays it’s games out of Rigside Ballpark and has a close rivalry with Athletic Port Workers. The ballpark sits a couple of blocks away from the dockyards that are still used to this day. A hitters paradise with a very shallow left field due to a railway that runs to the dockyards along the coast, pitchers find right-handed pull hitters enjoy the ease of slugging the ball over the 11-foot high wall that only reduces to 9 feet from centre-right to the right field foul pole. Despite the deep centre field, triples are reduced slightly.
The primary colors for Rigside Nine are navy blue and white.