Souldrop Baseball Club, normally known as Souldrop, is a professional baseball club located in Souldrop, Donyatt, Ianoia. They were founding members of the Nationwide Baseball Alliance (NBA) in 1900, and winners of six titles – the most of any club – prior to the competition becoming the Nationwide League from the 1915 baseball season. The club takes its nickname, “The Seahorses”, from Donyatt State’s flag, which features two seahorses. They are also sometimes referred to as “The Anchors”.
The club was founded in 1897 as Souldroppers Baseball Club, the first game taking place on 16 October 1897 against Edward Hamworthy, a team from Hamworthy, which saw the Seahorses lose 8–7. Later that month Souldrop won for the first time, beating Souldrop University, 8-2. In 1898, Souldroppers joined the Ianoian Baseball Association.
After unsuccessfully applying for acceptance into the I-League that was to begin play the following year, Souldroppers joined the Nationwide Baseball Alliance, a rival professional league that endeavored to foster healthy competition, and the club rebranded as Souldrop. Souldrop’s first professional game was on 6th April 1900 against NN Kingsdown resulting in a 5-4 win, with the clubs first home run being scored by Second Baseman Charles Walker. Their first home game as a fully professional club came 7 days later when they defeated Red Flag, 9-6. After finishing as runners-up to Athletic Ragdale in the inaugural season, Souldrop won three straight NBA titles from 1901 to 1903, which included a winning percentage of 0.667 in 1901, a record that stood for 10 years.
In 1904, Souldrop secured a 3rd place finish in the league with a 32-22 record. The following year, they dropped to 5th place, narrowly maintaining a winning percentage above 0.500. However, in 1906, Souldrop clinched their 4th league title, maintaining the top position throughout the entire season after the opening weekend of play.
From 1907, the Nationwide Baseball Alliance implemented tied games, and Souldrop experienced their first draw on April 13th against Flitwick & Forest, ending in a 5-all tie. They concluded the season as runners-up to Canons, finishing 5 points behind the eventual champions after surrendering top position with 10 games remaining. The following year, Souldrop secured their 5th league title with a record of 44-14-20, taking the lead in the standings in August following a 12-game winning streak.
In 1909, a downturn in form caused the Seahorses to drop to 7th place. However, they bounced back in 1910, finishing 3rd in the league. The following year marked a significant upswing in their fortunes as Souldrop secured their 6th league title. They achieved an impressive record of 48-13-17, resulting in a winning percentage of 0.699, surpassing their previous highest winning record set a decade earlier. However, in 1913, Souldrop couldn’t replicate their success, finishing 3rd in the league behind Brinkburn Coastal and Caunton Victoria, spending much of the season in mid-table positions.
In the last year of the Nationwide Baseball Alliance, prior to its transition as the second tier of baseball in Ianoia, Souldrop finished in 5th place. Remarkably, they established a unique record as the only team to never have a losing season throughout the league’s history. Over the span of 15 years, the club’s overall record stood at 566 wins, 89 draws, and 359 losses. Additionally, Souldrop made their debut in the Social Cup, reaching the Second Qualifying Round but ultimately losing 5-3 to Birtley Hitters.
Souldrop plays it’s games at Souldrop Ballpark, a purpose built stadium that they have called home since 1899. After playing games out of Carton Meadows, the club moved to a new location to the south of the city, bordering with Stourport in an abandoned dockyard facility. A large stadium by league averages, it features a large grandstand that surrounds home plate and sweeps around to center field from the right foul line. The bizarre layout was to reduce the icy wind blowing in from the ocean to the south. Commentary boxes and suites are located in left field with an enormous pub and concession stands situated behind the foul pole.
The ballpark features expansive dimensions that heavily favor pitchers, creating a challenging environment for power hitters, both left-handed and right-handed. The outfield fences stand at an imposing height of 12 feet, except in right field where they drop slightly to 11 feet. Right-handed batters, particularly those who excel at pulling the ball to the left side of the field, face an even greater challenge due to the slightly bigger outfield. The spacious outfield does provide ample room for well-hit balls to travel. As a result, the ballpark sees an increase in the number of triples, with statistics showing that triples occur at a rate as much as 20% higher than the league average.