Thijssen Juist, sometimes referred to as Thijssen, are a professional baseball club located in Thijssen, Juist, Günsovölk. They are amongst the oldest baseball clubs in Günsovölk, but only joined the Baseball Meisterschaft in the 1915 baseball season.
The team was formed on February 19th 1892 as a loose, informal group of baseball enthusiasts keen to play the sport after watching Druten Stadt SV 91 play an exhibition game whilst visiting Druten Stadt. They named the club Thijssen Juist in honor of the city and state they called home but are affectionately known as “Die Samenzüchter” (The Seedgrowers in English) due to Thijssen’s close ties to the farming industry.
The club played their first game on 10 April 1892, winning their first game 7–3, against FSV Deursen. They were one of the founding members of the Günsovölk Baseball-Bund later that year and competed in the first running of the Baseball-Pokal, reaching the semi-finals in the inaugural season of 1893, as well as 1894, losing both times to eventual winners BV Küstestadt. Despite the initial strong performances, Thijssen never won again in the competition, eliminated in Quarter-Finals in the following three years.
When the GBB proposed a round robin-style competition instead of the straight knock-out to begin in 1898, Thijssen was one of two clubs to vote against the proposal, preferring the game stayed strictly amateur, and refused to take part in the new competition, being replaced by Gelb Kekerdom TuS.
Following the collapse of the Baseball-Pokal and refusing to participate in the Baseball Meisterschaft, Thijssen remained as members of the GBB, but resorted to playing exhibition games against nearby clubs during 1898, travelling as far as Shoof for friendly fixtures. Notably during this time, they played in an infamous 28-1 drubbing at the hands of Numansdorp SC 1897, a club playing it’s first game.
By the end of 1898, the club found exhibition games harder to come by, with most clubs joining various state and local leagues in pursuit of regular competitive games. Thijssen Juist begrudgingly joined the Juist Bundesstaat Kombination (JBK) in early 1899, a state-only league where they finished 3rd in the inaugural season.
The club fluctuated up and down the league throughout the next decade, finishing as low as tenth in 1908, before an uptick in fortunes saw Die Samenzüchter finish as runners-up in 1911, followed by winning their first trophy in 1912 by topping the JBK standings. They successfully defended their title in both 1913 and 1914, with local newspapers hailing the performances of Shortstop Josef Schmidt during this time for his athletic baserunning and regular contact with the bat.
At the end of 1914, the Günsovölk Baseball-Bund underwent major restructuring, attempting to create a baseball pyramid with various state leagues representing the second tier of baseball within the country and expanding the Baseball Meisterschaft – the first tier – by 6 clubs. As Thijssen Juist were already members of the GBB, and being winners of their state league at the time, they were were formally invited to join the top flight from 1915, which the club accepted.
Altes Gemeindefeld is the home stadium of Thijssen Juist and was constructed in 1906, during a period when baseball was still evolving and strategic preferences varied. The stadium’s design incorporates elements that reflect historical factors and trends specific to an early era of baseball.
One notable feature of Altes Gemeindefeld is its exceptionally deep center field. The stadium’s designers embraced the theory prevalent at the time, which suggested that home runs hit to left or right field were more desirable and exciting for spectators than those hit to center field. This design choice aimed to create an engaging spectator experience by emphasizing the potential for long hits and dramatic scoring plays.
As baseball evolved and the emphasis on power hitting increased, many stadiums adjusted their dimensions to make home runs more attainable. However, Thijssen Juist maintained its original ballpark dimesnions, retaining the very deep center field as a distinctive feature of the ballpark’s identity and history.
In contrast to the deep center field, the outfield near the foul poles at Altes Gemeindefeld is remarkably shallow. Left and right fields create an environment where hitters have a greater chance of hitting home runs, making the ballpark one of the most hitter-friendly stadiums in the country.
In 1912, an adjustment was made to the right field wall. The original height of 10 feet was significantly increased to 31 feet to incorporate a manual scoreboard, which is still in use today.