by Josh Chetwynd
The fourth annual Mister-Baseball Top 50 featured a trio of worthy candidates for the ranking’s number one spot. The Dutch champions, DOOR Neptunus, delivered one of its greatest seasons, posting a 39-3 record in the always competitive Hoofdklasse. Cariparma captured the Italian Baseball League title in the same year that the Italian National Team won its first European Championship title since 1997. Although UGF Assicurazioni Bologna lost to Cariparma in a seven-game IBL final, it won a European Cup trophy, the European “Final 4” event and the Coppa Italia. So who came out first in our review of European baseball teams? In the end, it was Bologna’s combination of hardware that earned it the number one position in these 2010 rankings. It’s the second straight season Bologna has received the honor.
Neptunus, which was hurt by its fourth-place performance in European Cup play, took the second spot, while Cariparma, which was hindered by not competing in a major tournament abroad, finished in third. Telemarket Rimini, which won a European Cup in Rotterdam, and Hoofdklasse runners-up L&D Amsterdam Pirates rounded out the first five.
German Bundesliga champs, Buchbinder Legionäre Regensburg, leads off the second half of the top 10. Heidenheim Heidekoepfe, Germany’s runners up, rode impressive silver medal finishes both in European Cup play and at the “Final 4” to book seventh place. T&A San Marino, Spanish champions CB Sant Boi, and Dutch semi-finalist Corendon Kinheim completed the top ten.
As in years past, these rankings are based on a combination of factors. Point totals for teams were amassed from two categories:
- Strength of baseball in each club’s country: The strength of domestic leagues and the countries’ overall international success are significant factors in these rankings. To varying degrees, the elements considered include: The standing of each country’s national team in the European Championships; the country’s overall performance in CEB club events; the size of the country’s baseball membership; and the number of international quality facilities in the country. In looking at country performance, both recent events and historical performance are taken into account. Performance in the 2010 European Championships are included as are new participation and facility data made available to Mister-Baseball.
- Club’s performance: This is the actual performance of each club. It includes final standings in domestic leagues (and inter-league play where applicable) and cup competitions; club winning percentages; and performances in CEB-sanctioned competitions. Head-to-head performance against other teams in the rankings is taken into consideration – but it is one of many factors. In this category, a team’s performance for the 2010 season is exclusively considered.
The combination of country strength and individual team performance is intended to give a snapshot of European club play for a single year. These rankings do not attempt to offer a historic comparison of clubs and do not assert that a team ranked higher than another is a “better” team. Rather, a combination of performance and league strength reflects the ordering.
We recognize that these rankings stir debate. In part, that’s their very purpose. We do not claim this list to be definitive. If you have any questions or comments, send e-mails to email@example.com.
Countries covered: Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine.