Herksen-Heerenveen Honkbalclub is a baseball club located in the coastal city of Herksen, Houtmansland. They are one of two clubs that joined an expanded Topklasse Divisie for the 1912 baseball season, the other being HC Notendaal, and are officially the 9th team to turn professional in the country. They are affectionately known as De Houthakkers (The Lumberjacks) or Boswachters (Foresters).
The club was founded by a group of loggers in June of 1903, having regularly travelled to watch professional baseball games and realized the sport offered them a way to unwind and blow off steam after work. The loggers pooled their resources, acquired the necessary equipment and uniforms, and recruited local work peers to establish the team.
The naming of the club was a deliberate choice by the founding members. The Heerenveen Gulf is a significant body of water that Herksen is situated on and some of the founders wanted to pay tribute to their ancestral hometown of Heerenveen in the Netherlands. They believed that the name Herksen-Heerenveen would help to establish a connection between their new community and their old one. Herksen-Heerenveen played their first game in the summer of 1903 against a club from neighboring town Leemberg called ACV Leemberg, emerging victorious, 4-3.
The first game was played out of De Weide, the home ballpark of the club that is still used today. Translated as The Meadow, De Weide boasts 10-foot high walls in left field through to center field before increasing to a whopping 37-feet in center-right field, and subsequently dropping back down to 30-foot high in right field. Strangely, the cause of the high wall in right field was originally to deter home run hitters. The team’s management increased the walls in 1915 as they believed that a higher wall will make it more challenging for opposing teams to score runs, giving their team a competitive advantage.
The outfield walls are adorned with vibrant murals depicting the city’s history, including scenes from the timber industry and local landmarks. The stadium also features a state-of-the-art scoreboard that displays live game updates, statistics, and replays. The scoreboard is situated high above center field and is easily visible from all angles of the stadium. The dimensions and wall of the playing area makes this a pitcher-friendly park with the large center field seeing an increase in doubles and triples.
The clubs colors consist of olive green and white.