by Josh Chetwynd
No doubt, 2016 was a tumultuous year. So, perhaps it makes sense that the competition for the number one spot in Mister-Baseball Top 50 would be such a battle. For the first time since 2008, less than a half point separated the top three teams on this table. Each member of the trifecta of contenders took home hardware. L&D Amsterdam earned the continent’s European Champions Cup, Unipolsai Bologna secured the Italian title and Curacao Neptunus captured the Dutch crown.
But in the end it was the European champions, L&D Amsterdam, that prevailed in our rankings, while Unipolsai Bologna had to settle for second. Neptunus, which finished third here, may have very well earned its fourth straight top slot on this annual table if not for a fourth-place performance in the European Champions Cup tournament. In that event, they were knocked off by Amsterdam 11-7 and twice by Bologna by scores of 1-0 and 7-6. ASD Rimini, which had a strong season, earning vice champion status both in Italy and in the European Champions Cup (and winning the Italian cup competition), came in fourth, while German Bundesliga champions Mainz Athletics filled out our top five.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Mister-Baseball Top 50. It’s been a decade dominated by Europe’s two powerhouses, the Netherlands and Italy. No team from any other country’s top league has earned the highest position in our rankings. With its triumph in 2016, L&D Amsterdam becomes the fourth club to hold the number one spot more than once. The Amsterdam team also came in first in 2008. Other multiple winners are Neptunus (2013, 2014, 2015), San Marino (2011, 2012) and Bologna (2009, 2010). The only other club to claim top bragging rights here is the Dutch team Kinheim, which earned its only title in 2007, the very first year of Top 50.
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 2016 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
2015 Mister-Baseball European Top 50
|2||CNF Unipolsai Bologna||Italy||32.75|
|4||ASD Rimini Baseball||Italy||30.75|
|6||Draci Brno||Czech Republic||25.58|
|7||Rouen Baseball 76||France||24.50|
|10||T&A San Marino||San Marino||23.00|
|11||SSD Nuova BC Citta Di Nettuno||Italy||22.50|
|15||Kotlářka Praha||Czech Republic||20.58|
|17||Tenerife Marlins P.C.||Spain||18.83|
|18||Baseball Klub Nada SM Split||Croatia||18.58|
|19||Les Templiers de Senart||France||17.83|
|21||Arrows Ostrava||Czech Republic||16.58|
|22||K. Deurne Spartans||Belgium||16.33|
|23||K. Borgerhout Squirrels||Belgium||14.83|
|26||Southampton Mustangs||United Kingdom||13.92|
|27||Leksands Lumberjacks BSK||Sweden||12.92|
|31||London Mets||United Kingdom||10.67|
|33||BK Apollo Bratislava||Slovakia||10.00|
|38||Dublin City Hurricanes||Ireland||8.50|
|41||North Stars St. Petersburg||Russia||7.33|
|Kristiansand Baseballklubb Suns||Norway||6.00|
|Wiener Neustadt Diving Ducks||Austria||6.00|
|50||SDUSOR - Diamonds||Ukraine||4.50|
Countries covered: Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine.