Leichtathletik Rasensport Benëe, Athletic Lawn Sport Benëe in English, normally known as LR Benëe, are a professional baseball club located in Benëe, Zilverlände, Günsovölk. They were one of the founding teams of the Zilverland und Tonne Boden Wettkampf in 1897, and one of three teams to join the Baseball Meisterschaft from Duyfken Island in 1915.
The club was formed in 1894 as an athletic club promoting track and field, football and baseball by local clergymen who saw sport as morally improving and healthy. Originally, the club organized games internally between various groups based on age, profession or location within the fledgling town, but by the end of 1896, LR Benëe had an “Jedes Alter” (Every Age) team that played in friendly games against other clubs in the state of Zilverlände. The first officially recognized game was played on Tuesday, August 25, 1896 against Gierslev Grammatikjungen and was won by LR Benëe, 12-2.
Two months later, LR Benëe joined the newly formed Zilverland und Tonne Boden Wettkampf (ZTBW), winning the inaugural season in 1897. Despite finishing as runners-up in 1898 and 1899, the club won the ZTBW for a second time in 1901, following the success with two 3rd-place finishes.
At the end of 1903, the town of Benëe suffered terrible flooding when the Wolke River – that runs through the heart of town – broke its banks due to unprecedented rain fall in the days prior. The damage cost dozens of lives, including three members of the 10-man Jedes Alter squad. Having initially decided to pull out of the 1904 championship, locals rallied around the club and encouraged the team to compete. Despite high numbers in attendance throughout the year, the club finished 9th out of 10 teams with a 21-39 record.
After a few years languishing near the bottom of the ZTBW standings, LR Benëe broke into the top-half in 1908 by finishing 6th, before concluding the following campaign two places higher. They bounced between these positions until 1914, when they finished 3rd. At the end of the season, LR Benëe was invited to join the Baseball Meisterschaft following Günsovölk Baseball-Bund’s incorporation of the Zilverland und Tonne Boden Wettkampf into the professional baseball pyramid as a Landesliga (State League).
Initially, the GBB was apprehensive about inviting LR Benëe into the competition, instead preferring 1894 Nijmegen, who finished 4th in 1914, due to the larger population and better railway connections. However, after strong pushback from Fortuna Juemen (which was based in a city of a similar size to Benëe), and the acceptance of an invite by Ahnüü 96 with which Benëe was connected by a train service, the club was formally invited on the 12th October 1914, accepting the offer a few days later.
LR Benëe plays it’s home games out of Benëe Sportpark, which is located on the banks of the Wolke River, overlooking Baxtä Lake, giving spectators behind home plate an uninterrupted view of the expansive water and breathtaking sunsets to the west. 11-foot high walls surround the fairly expansive outfield that extends out 372 feet in left field, but shortens to just 332 feet in right. Right-handed hitters have a tough time here whilst lefties bat slightly below average, making speedy base-running and triples much more important than league average. This pitcher-friendly park does see a fairly substantial reduction in home runs as a result. The grandstands that surround the ballpark are held up by 49 pillars on the outside that go up and over the grandstand to help form the awning. Each pillar is named after one of the victims of the 1903 flooding.
Known affectionately as “Der Blues” (The Blues), the clubs official colors are blue, black and white.