The 1897 Southern Union Baseball Season was the third season of professional baseball within the Koana Islands that began on the 2nd of April 1897, and concluded on the 1st of August 1897. The season saw Vizhune IS win their second league title with Hamnområde BK and Sandford Stad BF playing in the Super Ligan for the first time.
Vizhune IS’s 16 wins from their last 17 games of the season saw them leapfrog Conneaut in the middle of July having trailed the Centurions by two games for most of the year to clinch their second title and become the second team to win the league having been put up for re-election the season before. Körsbärstad IF briefly flirted near the top of the standings during the month of June when Centurio Conneaut’s form started to dip but eventually fell away to finish behind AIF Thomassmåstad.
SK Ryttare continued their solid mid-pack finish streak, improving on their 28-26 records of the last two seasons by a single game.
New to the Super Ligan this season, both Sandford Stad BF and Hamnområde BK found the going tough with the long travel and games against already battle-hardened teams. The latter in particular struggled as the season wore on, winning just 6 times in their remaining 29 games.
|1||Vizhune IS||54||39||15||309||212||97||0.722||C (RE)|
|8||Omfattandestad BoIS||54||24||30||246||282||-36||0.444||RE (C)|
|9||Sandford Stad BF||54||14||40||190||306||-116||0.259||NV|
The owners decided to give Hamnområde BK and Sandford Stad BF an exemption despite their poor on-field performances during the season. The AGM also agreed to expand the Super Ligan to 12 teams, up from ten, following the huge success of the Nationella Basebolligan, which began play this season for the first time and contained 12 clubs. Unusually, due to the above reasons, the ballot paper contained 8 teams, rather than the usual 6, with the three Super Ligan clubs on the ballot not being the three lowest-placed teams in the Standings.
- Uckford Gemenskap – 11 (Re-elected)
- Nyhaven SK – 9 (Re-elected)
- Omfattandestad BoIS – 9 (Re-elected)
- Portlethen Måndag GK – 4
- BK Humoor 1893 – 6 (elected)
- BK Randia – 2
- IK Förenta Saffron – 6 (elected)
- Västra Delen 95 – 3
Following an approach by the Nationella Basebolligan, Västra Delen 95 owner Anton Söderström was quoted in the Koanian Dagbladet complaining of the requirement to have prior success before being admitted entry as a possible stumbling block for the competition.
The 1897 Nationella Basebolligan season was the first season for the NBL, a baseball league which was set up in Koana Islands as an alternative to the Super Ligan. The first games of the leagues took place on the 19th of March 1897 and the season was completed on the 15th of August 1897. Created to cater for those excluded, twelve clubs were accepted for membership, two more than the Super Ligan. The inaugural winners were BK Salau, claiming the title on the final day from Bryankeld Förenta BK.
Despite never occupying top spot until the penultimate day, BK Salau won the first NBL championship with a sweep of IF Blidområde on the final weekend whilst Bryankeld Förenta BK could only win one of their three-games at home to 1890 Ängelar SK. The title chase became a two-horse race in late July when Rovaniemi Förenta lost 5 on the bounce, including a sweep at the hands of Bryankeld Förenta, whilst Oberoendestad briefly held top spot towards the end of May before slipping away and finishing 4th, one win ahead of fellow former-Super Ligan rivals Ny Aucklanda IF.
At the opposite end of the standings, two games separated 7th from 11th. Prestons-Grenada were swept by Jordnot Kanjon BK on the final weekend to finish behind them, whilst Ruysdael Akademisk IF finished a further 8 games back in a season to forget, which included a run of 11 straight losses before losing another 5 straight after a 12-1 victory at home to Ny Aucklanda IF to break the streak.
|2||Bryankeld Förenta BK||66||40||26||239||185||54||0.606|
|5||Ny Aucklanda IF||66||34||32||326||294||32||0.515|
|6||1890 Ängelar SK||66||33||33||290||268||22||0.500|
|8||Portlethen Måndag GK||66||32||34||270||300||-30||0.485|
|10||Jordnot Kanjon BK||66||30||36||217||257||-40||0.455|
|12||Ruysdael Akademisk IF||66||22||44||279||380||-101||0.333|
With the Nationella Basebolligan season finishing two weeks later compared to the Super Ligan, league commissioner Niclas Nordin encouraged the other owners to consider expanding the league after hearing the news of the Super Ligan expanding by two teams but the proposal was rejected. Despite this, Nordin approached BK Randia and Västra Delen 95 who had failed to win election at the Super Ligan’s AGM. BK Randia out-right rejected the offer whilst Västra Delen 95 initially accepted the offer before discovering that the other league owners rejected the expansion proposal.