Ballclub Burgbernheim, normally known as BC Burgbernheim or Burgbernheim, are a professional baseball club located in Flussarm, Juist, Günsovölk. They are recognized as the first team from Flussarm to turn professional as well as one of six teams to join the Baseball Meisterschaft in the 1915 baseball season when the league expanded from 16 to 22 clubs.
BC Burgbernheim was founded on Saturday, June 4th, 1898, by a group of German immigrants with the intention of creating a social platform for meeting new people and making friends within the community. The club’s first-ever game took place a week later, with BC Burgbernheim emerging victorious with a score of 6-4 against Haitink TSV.
In its early years, BC Burgbernheim focused on establishing a foothold in the local baseball scene. By the end of its founding year, the club had made significant progress, formally agreeing to join the Juist Bundesstaat Kombination (JBK) for the 1899 season. Simultaneously, BC Burgbernheim became a member of the Günsovölk Baseball-Bund.
During the initial seasons in the JBK, BC Burgbernheim faced challenges, finishing 11th out of 12 teams in their inaugural campaign. However, the following year showed improvement as they climbed to 9th place. The club experienced two consecutive years of slight decline, finishing 11th again in 1902 when the league expanded to accommodate 14 teams.
BC Burgbernheim gradually found its stride in subsequent seasons, achieving commendable results and steady progress. They secured two 8th-place finishes before achieving their highest-ever league finish of 7th in 1905, which marked the final year before another expansion of the league to include two additional teams. The club faced challenges and player losses to Ducibus BV in the Baseball Meisterschaft, resulting in an 11th-place finish in the following season.
The tide turned for BC Burgbernheim in 1907 when they ended the season in 6th place, narrowly missing out on a repeat performance the next year by finishing 7th on the final day of the competition. 1909 marked a turning point for the club’s fortunes as they achieved an impressive 4th-place finish, largely attributed to the exceptional performance of star starting pitcher Otto Richter. Richter, who joined the club as a 16-year-old straight from school, quickly established himself in the two-man rotation and even achieved a perfect game against Thijssen Juist.
It was during this time that the club gained it’s nickname of “Die Bienen” (The Bees). It is thought to originate from the logo on the jersey, which was a big “B” with two smaller letters inside. However, stories tell of a game played in 1908 against Wustrow SSC when BC Burgbernheim was losing 5-3 and down to their final out of game, and a bee distracted the opposing pitcher who proceeded to throw a pitch right down the middle of home plate that was hit out of the park by left fielder Friedrich Bauer for a 3-run walk-off home run.
1910 and 1911 brought significant triumphs for BC Burgbernheim as they clinched their first-ever titles, winning, and subsequently defending, their Juist Bundesstaat Kombination championships. Although the club experienced a slight dip in performance, finishing third and fourth in 1912 and 1913, respectively, they bounced back in 1914 to finish as runners-up. It was during this period that the Günsovölk Baseball-Bund extended an invitation to BC Burgbernheim, along with the winners of the 1914 campaign, Thijssen Juist, to join an expanded Baseball Meisterschaft for the 1915 baseball season. Following reforms, the Juist Bundesstaat Kombination became part of the second tier within the baseball pyramid in the country and rebranded as Juistliga.
BC Burgbernheim plays it’s home games out of Gröbziger Straße, named after the street that runs adjacent to the stadium. They have called this ballpark home since 1913, moving from Norden Feld where the club was originally formed, located just a 3 minute walk away.
A giant grandstand stretches from foul pole to foul pole, stopping a few feet short of the left field foul pole to accommodate a plaza that is known as the “Bierzone” (Beer Zone), giving spectators an outdoor pub-style atmosphere that is restricted to adults only. In the outfield, bleachers surround the entire park, with scoreboards in both left and right fields that were added in 1982.
A fairly standard ballpark by league averages, right-handed pull hitters have a tough time clearing the 11 foot high outfield wall with a fairly deep left field. Left-handed hitters benefit from the slightly shallower right field, thanks to a large factory that was torn down in 1934 and replaced by a hotel that still stands today, giving hotel attendees in the top few floors unobstructed views during gameday.
The deep center field makes this ballpark slightly pitcher-friendly, with spectators seeing more base-running action and less home runs as a result.