The Günsovölk Baseball-Bund (GBB) is a governing body that oversees professional and semi-professional baseball within the country of Günsovölk. Established in 1892, the GBB is the oldest baseball governing body in the Southern Union and holds a prominent role in the development, regulation, and promotion of baseball in the nation.
The GBB is entrusted with organizing and managing the professional baseball leagues as well as the national knockout cup tournament, Güns-Kelch, that is open to any club within the country. The pinnacle of baseball within the country is the Günsovölk Baseball Meisterschaft, an annual leaguethat sits at the top of the Günsovölk baseball pyramid. The GBB ensures that the competitions are conducted with utmost fairness and integrity by enforcing rules and regulations.
Organized baseball in Günsovölk can trace it’s historical roots to 1890. It is widely accepted that the history of Günsovölk baseball began with Druten Stadt merchant Alexander Maier. Maier was on his honeymoon in Humoor, Koana Islands when he saw Albert Spalding’s team of All-Stars and the Chicago Club. He was taken by the spectacle and decided to introduce the sport to Günsovölk by inviting Albert Spalding’s team to play an exhibition game at Kupferhammerpark in Druten Stadt on the 14th August 1889.
Alexander Maier went on to form the first known baseball club in the country when he established Druten Stadt SV 91 in 1891. On the 15th of May 1892 in a café called Haus am alten Walzwerk, the Günsovölk Baseball-Bund was established; an associaition devoted to keeping the game for amateurs only. The founding members were all from Gilsemans Island, and the clubs were BV Küstestadt, Ducibus, Hafenstadt BV, VfB Andacht and Druten Stadt SV 91. The first league competition introduced by the GBB was known as the Baseball-Pokal, but the league collapsed by the end 1897 as a result of disarray and lack of organization, with some teams playing nearly double the amount of games as others and games regularly forfeited.
As the sport turned professional in neighboring Koana Islands around 1895, the GBB, which had grown to 10 teams, noticed a significant number of Günsovölkan players participating in Koana Islands. Despite initial skepticism to paying players, the GBB insisted that the Baseball-Pokal remain an amateur competition and even banned Günsovölkan players from returning to play for Günsovölk teams.
By the end of 1897 however, the collapse of the Baseball-Pokal was inevitable with clubs forced to play games with as little as 6 players as more talented players moved to Koana Islands. The changing professionalism of the sport eventually forced GBB’s hands, and by a result of 10-2, the Baseball Meisterschaft was successfully voted in by its members, with a more thorough rulebook and financial support that would begin play the following year.
|1893||BV Küstestadt||Druten Stadt SV 91|
|1894||BV Küstestadt ||Druten Stadt SV 91 |
|1895||Druten Stadt SV 91||Rasensport Sorgenfrei|
|1897||Hafenstadt BV||Rasensport Sorgenfrei |
1898 – 1910
Rasensport Sorgenfrei won the first championship in 1898 and repeated the feat the following year. By 1902, the sport had grown enormously thanks to the popularity of the Baseball Meisterschaft, with teams popping up all over the country, but a desire to grow the league nationally divided the 12 owners who thought the competition should not be played on Duyfken Island due to political indifference. When the Günsovölk Baseball-Bund followed other nations in adopting the Durand Rules for the 1904 season, the Baseball Meiserschaft was expanded to 16 clubs with the introduction of BSG Geldstadt, 1. Trappen, Tapfer Concordia BV and Uelzenia Hüll turning professional, along with the introduction of two re-election spots.
Ironically, the first team to be voted out of the league was Druten Stadt SV 91 in the 1907 baseball season, having finished either last or second last since 1900 and newspaper quotes at the time stating other owners were growing weary of years of poor performances. It wasn’t until 1926 that it was discovered that Alexander Maier – owner of Druten Stadt SV 91 – had veto power to any changes to the Baseball Meiserschaft until 1906. They were replaced by Käseplatz SSV.
1911 – 1920
Despite the success of the Baseball Meisterschaft nationally, many critics considered the league flawed without representation from Duyfken Island. Many owners and clubs were elitist and thought letting clubs from the island compete would reduce the standard of play and be financially unviable due to the perceived notion that the island was full of working-class people with little to no money.
However, the writing was on the wall for the Günsovölk Baseball-Bund, as Duyfken Islands biggest league, the Zilverland und Tonne Boden Wettkampf, continued to make great strides financially due to great crowds and athleticism, with many Baseball Meistershaft clubs hypocritically poaching star players from clubs on the island over the years.
By the end of 1914, the GBB successfully voted on major reforms which included expanding the Baseball Meistershaft from 16 clubs to 22, which included three clubs from Duyfken Island – Eintracht Ruysch, Ahnüü 96, and LR Benëe – to make the competition a truly national one. On top of an expanded Baseball Meisterschaft, all state leagues would be brought under the umbrella of the GBB officially, forming the “Landesligen” (State Leagues), that would form the second tier of baseball within the new baseball pyramid. This change was made to ensure clubs voted in and out of the Baseball Meisterschaft would have a solid standard of competition across the entire league.
|Günsovölk Baseball Pyramid from 1915 onwards|
|Tier 1||Baseball Meisterschaft (1 division, bottom 3 up for Re-elected)|
|Tier 2||Landesligen (13 parallel divisions, top 2 teams eligible from each for Election to Tier 1)|
Dijkstraliga, Hartelijkliga, Hügelliga, Juistliga, Kolffliga, Nassauliga, Obersteliga, Oranjeliga, Snedigliga, Tonne Bodenliga, Vergetendliga, Zilverländeliga
|Tier 3||Amateurligen (multiple parallel divisions, Teams eligible for promotion to Landesligen based on local state requirements)|
Some owners of clubs from Duyfken Island felt the change didn’t go far enough, with both Kolshorn SG and 1894 Nijmegen claiming the voting process into the Baseball Meisterschaft was still unfair, as clubs performing well in their respective Landesliga could be overlooked in favor of other teams based on geography or personal connections within the industry. Despite the vocal objections, the majority of owners agreed to the change which began in 1915.
The other major introduction was the start of the Güns-Kelch, a knockout cup tournament open to all clubs in the country, and mandatory to clubs participating in the Baseball Meisterschaft. A series of qualifying rounds precede the first round proper, which is when the Baseball Meisterschaft clubs enter.
To accommodate the extra games that came with the Güns-Kelch, the Baseball Meisterschaft reduced the number of games in a series from 3 to 2, thereby reducing the length of the season from 90 games to 84, removing Friday games in favor of games on just Saturday and Sunday. This brought about a major change with how the league standings would be calculated, with a Serie gewinnen Bonuspunkt (Series Win Bonus Point) brought in from 1915. Any club that won both games in a series would also gain a bonus point to be counted towards the clubs points tally throughout the season. The change would also replace the old tiebreaker method moving forward, with the order being: Points Accrued, Wins, Draws, Bonus Points, and then lastly Home Points Accrued.
The change was voted in unanimously, removing Run Difference as a tiebreaker and allow the home team to bat second as well as removing unnecessary bottom of the 9th scenarios, more in keeping with baseball rules in the United States at the time.