The 2023 World Baseball Classic (hereinafter referred to as ‘WBC’) Europe/Africa qualifiers were held in Germany, unexpectedly.
Considering that the Netherlands, which often produces major leaguers, is one of the baseball powerhouses in Europe, it was quite an unusual result for Regensburg, Germany, to be selected as the WBC qualifier. In Germany, a total of six countries (Germany, England, Spain, Czech Republic, France, and South Africa), including the home team, competed to advance to the WBC final round. However, Germany, which invited the five participating countries, was eliminated, and England and the Czech Republic advanced to the final stage. Germany’s ‘baseball wind’, which blew for a short period from September 16 to 21 last year, also ended like that.
Bundesliga only for football?
No, there is also a ‘Baseball Bundesliga’!
However, Germany showed a formidable performance in the preliminary round. Although they lost 1-8 to Great Britain in their first game, it was because they won 11-5 against South Africa. Even in difficult circumstances, it was big news just to beat South Africa, which has consistently participated in the Olympics. However, as they lost in the Czech Republic, they failed to advance to the revival match. If Germany had captured the Czech Republic, it would have been a surprise that there would have been a change in the WBC qualifiers. So Germany had to close the WBC in the first round. 메이저놀이터
By the way, what was surprising was that Germany also played baseball on a fairly large scale in its own country. As the ‘Baseball Bundes-Liga’, it is conducted as a semi-pro league. Founded in 1984, the Baseball Bundesliga has as many as 16 teams and has its own promotion system as a 1/2 division league. In other words, the league is held on a fairly large scale within Europe. The operation is also quite stable in that it pays a certain amount of salaries to players with professional careers. However, since they play only twice a week (usually on Friday/Saturday locally), it is difficult to make a living only with baseball, so many players have other jobs.
The league is divided into northern and southern leagues by eight teams, and the number of games per season is less than 30. That’s how short and bold it is. The top 4 players in each league advance to the playoffs and play tournament matches symmetrically in the rankings of each league. In other words, the 1st place team vs 4th place team in each league, and the 2nd place team vs 3rd place team will meet. Rumor has it that there are quite a few Germans looking for fun other than football on weekends.
There is a reason that the WBC first round qualifiers were held in Regensburg. This is because the Armin Wolf Arena boasts a 3,000-seat capacity, and it has pretty good facilities in Europe. This is why the story of a local telling you to go to Regensburg if you want to see the Baseball Bundesliga properly is persuasive.
The team that has won the most championships in the Baseball Bundesliga is ‘Mannheim Tornado’, winning as many as 10 times, including the year of its foundation. However, recent wins have not been very good, as the recent championship dates back to 1997. Rather, recently, ‘Heindenheim Heidekoeppe’ won the league three times in a row, boasting a total of six championships.
Interestingly, there were also Kang Bong-gyu (former Samsung) and Hwang Kun-joo (former SSG) as foreign players who participated in this German league. In other words, traces of those who continued their careers while building their bodies in Europe after the release of the KBO League remained in Germany.
In Germany, which was thought to be represented only by ‘soccer’, in fact, a semi-pro league was held, just like the ‘high school baseball weekend league’ in Korea. If the baseball infrastructure expands a little more in the future, centering on Regensburg, it will not be impossible to switch to a professional league. In fact, in Germany, there is also a voice saying, “When you think of the Bundesliga, you think of soccer 100%. However, if baseball plays more games than now, it will grow along with soccer.”
However, there is no change in the fact that football is Germany’s national sport, so it seems that more time is needed to settle down as a professional.