by Josh Chetwynd
Curacao Neptunus entered the 2015 season with a new sponsor and finished it with a dominant results, earning its third consecutive title as the number-one ranked team in the Mister-Baseball Top 50. Neptunus secured the top spot by pulling the double: A Dutch championship and a European Cup championship. Neptunus’ margin of victory over second-ranked CNF Unipolsai Bologna was the largest in these rankings since 2011. Bologna earned the runner-up slot in the Top- 50 with second-place performances in both the IBL and the European Cup.
While Italy couldn’t secure the top position in these ranking, the country’s national champions, ASD Rimini, did finish third. The Germany Bundesliga winners, Heidenheim Heidekoepfe, took the fourth slot, while L&D Amsterdam finished in fifth thanks to their strong regular season performance in the Hoofdklasse and a second-place showing in the European Cup A qualifier held in Paris. Dutch series finalists Corendon Kinheim were sixth.
Despite being upset in there national finals, Draci Brno took the seventh spot by posting an impressive runners-up result in the European Cup A qualifier in Rotterdam with victories over both Heidenheim and Rimini. Next up were France’s titleholders Rouen in eight and German finalists Buchbinder Legionaere Regensburg in ninth. Czech champs Kotlarka Praha and the IBL’s T&A San Marino tied for tenth.
For Czech baseball, this year marked the first time two teams from that country finished the season in the top 10. Draci Brno’s performance was the highest to date for a Czech club. Elsewhere in the standings Olimpija Karlovac, which won a domestic championship and one of the four European Cup qualifier events this year, placed 22nd. It was the highest result for a Croatian club since Karlovac came in 19th in 2007.
As in years past, these rankings, which are now in their ninth season, 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 (and qualifiers); 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.
- 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 2014 season is exclusively considered.
The mix 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.
Finally, please note, the Mister-Baseball Top 50 reflects only countries where enough data was available to calculate rankings.
2007 Mister-Baseball European Top 50
2008 Mister-Baseball European Top 50
2009 Mister-Baseball European Top 50
2010 Mister-Baseball European Top 50
2011 Mister-Baseball European Top 50
2012 Mister-Baseball European Top 50
2013 Mister-Baseball European Top 50
2014 Mister-Baseball European Top 50
Countries covered: Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine.