Ahnüü 96 Baseball, known simply as Ahnüü 96, is a professional baseball club located in Ahnüü, Zilverlände, Günsovölk. They were one of three teams to join the Baseball Meisterschaft in the 1915 baseball season when it opened up to clubs from Duyfken Island.
The club was founded on the 17th of July in 1896, by a group of friends with a shared passion for baseball. They played their first official game against a team of local fishermen the following day, emerging victorious with a score of 9-7. At that time, Ahnüü 96 stood as the sole baseball club in the city until the establishment of Horssen FSV in 1912.
In 1897, Ahnüü 96 joined the newly formed Zilverland und Tonne Boden Wettkampf (ZTBW) league, which consisted of six teams. They secured a respectable fourth-place finish in their inaugural season, demonstrating their early potential. The following year witnessed an improvement, with the club claiming a commendable third place in the league standings.
Ahnüü 96 achieved their first trophy in 1900, by clinching their first ZTBW championship. This triumph was not a mere stroke of luck, as the team showcased their dominance once again in the subsequent year by successfully defending their title.
Despite these initial successes, Ahnüü 96 faced a downturn in the early 1900s. The club experienced a period of decline, enduring several seasons with finishes in the lower half of the league. The departure of some key players, who opted to pursue professional opportunities in the Baseball Meisterschaft and Super Ligan, contributed to this setback. The 1905 campaign marked a particularly challenging season for Ahnüü 96, narrowly escaping last place by finishing 9th, which remains their worst-ever league finish in the ZTBW.
However, Ahnüü 96 embarked on a remarkable resurgence by 1910. After consecutive 5th-place finishes, they reclaimed their position among the league’s elite by securing a commendable 3rd place, before dipping slightly in 1911, resulting in a 4th-place finish. Nevertheless, the club regained its momentum and reached new heights in 1912 when they finished as runners-up to the formidable Eintracht Ruysch.
1913 and 1914 marked a golden period for Ahnüü 96 once again, as they clinched back-to-back championships, firmly establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the ZTBW. These remarkable achievements caught the attention of the Günsovölk Baseball-Bund, who extended a formal invitation to Ahnüü 96 to join the expanded Baseball Meisterschaft for the 1915 baseball season after subsuming the ZTBW. Ahnüü 96 accepted the invitation, paving the way for their entry into the prestigious Baseball Meisterschaft alongside Eintracht Ruysch and LR Benëe.
Ahnüü is a city renowned for its long, albeit financially poor, history in the logging industry, with a prominent role in utilizing the Ahnüü River as a means of transporting logs from the towering Cuyler Mountain to the city for processing. This long-standing connection to the logging trade has bestowed upon the city, its inhabitants and the Ahnüü 96 baseball club a distinct identity. In particular, the nickname “Die Otter” (The Otters) has become synonymous with the local community.
Der Große Baseballstadion is the home stadium of Ahnüü 96. Originally, the ballpark was a barren tract of land set back from the Ahnüü River. Recognizing the need for a dedicated baseball facility, the club took the initiative to purchase the land from the city in 1903, having played on it for five years unofficially. However, due to the limited space available, certain adjustments had to be made to accommodate the surrounding buildings and ensure the proper dimensions of the playing field.
The most notable characteristic of Der Große Baseballstadion is its peculiar shape. The compact size of the plot necessitated the relocation of both left and right field foul poles, bringing them in closer to the infield, due to the proximity of nearby structures. Additionally, the outfield configuration contributes to the distinct nature of the stadium. The centre field is notably deep, resulting in a higher frequency of doubles and triples. However, the presence of 11-foot high walls, which gradually increase to 12 feet from centre field to the right field foul pole, curtails the number of home runs, making it a pitcher-friendly field.
Grandstands extend from home plate to both foul poles, offering an unobstructed view of the game from various vantage points, with a large scoreboard located in left field. Furthermore, beyond the right field wall, a grassy hill provides an alternative viewing area for spectators who prefer a more relaxed atmosphere, allowing them to bring their own picnic blankets and enjoy the game from a unique perspective.
The clubs official colours are otter brown and powder blue.