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The history of the SBSF


An independent people, the Swedes originally took to baseball without the aid of Americans trying to export the game to Scandinavia. Instead, locals were instrumental in the genesis of Swedish baseball at the dawn of the 20th century.

Initial reports of the sport in Sweden date back to 1904 in the southern town of Gothenburg. Six years later, baseball’s first high-profile Swedish supporter would introduce the game in the north. (from Josh Chetwynd's book Baseball in Europe, ISBN 978-0-7864-3724-5)

 

The early days

The first reports of baseball comes from Gothenburg, where pictures prove that baseball was played on Heden as early as 1904. Baseball was also played as an exhibition sport at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, where Västerås Bäsbollklubb played - and lost - against a squad from the U.S. Track and Field team. Västerås continued to play exhibition games until at least 1920, many against U.S. companies such as Bethlehem Steel Company or others visiting Sweden.

At the end of World War II, the first roots of baseball was planted in and near Stockholm. 1944 the first club was founded, and was followed by several others in the following years. Future U.S. emigrants such as Willy Wahlin and Sune Lundberg founded the Swedish Baseball Federation in 1956, which then consisted of five clubs.

In the early 60's baseball grew northwards and the oldest active club, Leksands BSK, was founded in 1962 by the three Leander brothers - and the family is still nowadays involved in baseball in many ways. Also in 1962, the SBSF became a member of the European Baseball Federation and makes its debut in European Championship play.

Sweden brought in coaches from abroad even in the early days. People who made a huge difference in the development of Swedish baseball include Bill Arce, Ron Brown, Glenn Gostick, to name only a few of the many who did huge effors for the development of Swedish baseball.

1965 marks the year when the first official field, Skarpnäck, is built in Sweden after two years of labour. The field was later moved to make room for housing but the old location can be seen from the current field's grandstand.

In 1973 the federation took another big step as we were allowed membership with the Swedish Confederation of Sports, thereby making public funds available for the programs and also allowing for the competitions to official Swedish Championships.

 

The birth of softball in Sweden - and the growing years

Softball came onto the program in 1976, when the first official game is played at Skarpnäck in Sweden between Skarpnäck/Bagarmossen and Kungsängen. The home team won, 23-12. In 1978, Bagarmossen wins the first Swedish Championship and the Federation is from now on named Swedish Baseball and Softball Federation.

In 1980, the Swedish Baseball Juniors bring home the first medal from European Championship play when they finish 3rd in Antwerp. The year after, both seniors teams repeat the feat by finishing third in their respective Championships.

In 1982, a Swedish national team participates in the World Cup for the first time when the Softball team plays in the ISF World Cup in Chinese Taipei.

 

More to come...

Uppdaterad: 12 JUL 2012 13:20 Skribent: Kristian Pälviä

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INTERNATIONELLA OCH EUROPEISKA FÖRBUND

CONFEDERATION OF EUROPEAN BASEBALL

EUROPEAN SOFTBALL FEDERATION

LITTLE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL


 

LITTLE LEAGUE SVERIGE

Postadress:
Svenska Baseboll och Softboll Förbundet
Box 11016
100 61 Stockholm

Besöksadress:
Skansbrogatan 7
118 60 Stockholm

Kontakt:
Tel: 086996535, 086996535
E-post: info@baseboll-softbo...