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Jun '09 23

Recapping the European Cup



by Ricardo Schiroli, www.baseballeurope.com

Europe definitely has a Continental Championship for clubs. Danesi Nettuno won the title on June 21st in Barcelona at the end of a competition that has involved 35 teams representing 27 countries: Italy, The Netherlands, Republic of San Marino, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Finland, Portugal, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Greece, Norway, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia, Croatia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Romania, Sweden, Belarus, Hungary, Poland, Austria, Serbia, and Switzerland.

The main tournament saw 12 teams battle in late March in Nettuno and Matino (Italy) for the 4 spots in the Final 4, that proclaimed Danesi Champion of Europe and saw Fortitudo Bologna (Italy) finish second, Corendon Kinheim (The Netherlands) third and L&D Amsterdam (The Netherlands) fourth. The final of the 2009 tournament is the first ever tournament for clubs in Europe to have a pan European TV coverage thanks to Eurosport2, that broadcasted the game on tape delay Monday June 22nd at 8.15 pm CET.

Italy, The Netherlands, Spain and France had the right to have 2 representatives, but only Italy and The Netherlands are granted 2 in the 2010 tournament. Templiers Senart (France) and Tenerife Marlins (Spain) will have to play for a spot in the main tournament with the winners of the 4 Qualifiers: MGPU Syos-42 of Russia, KNTU Osvsm of Ukraine, Bern Cardinals of Switzerland and Tornados Mannheim of Germany. The type of competition and its schedule will be announced at a later date by the Technical Commission of the Confederation of European Baseball (CEB).

The Qualifiers involved 23 teams (representing 22 countries) and were played in Ostrava (Czech Republic), Trnava (Slovakia), Attnang-Puchheim (Austria) and Antwerp (Belgium) from June 16th through June 20th. The European Championship for Clubs in 2009 was played in 6 different countries: Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria and Belgium.

European competitions for clubs were introduced by CEB in 1963. Picadero Barcelona won the first ever Champions Cup and Spain went on to win also the 1964 edition with the Madrid Piratas. Picadero and Piratas won one cup each again in the 1960ies and after that the tournament has become and Italian-Dutch affair (with the exception of San Marino’s win in 2006), with Italy posting 28 wins (the first by Nettuno in 1965) and Holland 12 (the first by the Haarlem Nicols in 1966). Italy has dominated for almost 2 decades (Italian teams have won consecutive cups from 1969 to 1974 and from 1975 from 1989) with Parma winning a record 13 times. Amongst the Dutch teams, Neptunus Rotterdam posted a record 5 straight wins: 2000 through 2004. The Champions Cup was not played only in 1982.

In 1990 CEB introduced the Cup Winners Cup, whose last edition was played in 2008 and saw Barcelona win. Italian teams stopped participating after the 2001 edition.

In 1993 was also played a third competition, named CEB Cup. The last edition was played in 2003. Dutch teams participated only in 1995 and Italian teams stopped participating after the 2000 edition.

There was also an attempt to introduce a European Super Cup that was played from 1992 through 1998, then again from 2000 to 2004 and for the last time in 2008.


5 Comments

  1. Comment by vandersande
    June 23, 2009 | 1:03 pm

    Dear Ricardo,

    Thank you very much for recapping the European Cup. You wrote that Neptunus Rotterdam posted a record of 4 straight wins 2000 through 2004, but that makes it 5 in a row. Together with the wins in 1994 and 1996 makes it a total of 7 wins. Next to that we won 5 times the Cup winners Cup and 7 times the European Super Cup.

    Looking forward to meet you in September.

    Jan van der Sande
    PR-Teammanager DOOR Neptunus

  2. Comment by coachingo
    June 24, 2009 | 8:24 am

    Thanks to both of you for this short excourse into European baseball history.

    Does anyone know where one can find an overall listing of the past European baseball results. I remember that the old CEB website used to have a history listing but with the change of the website it unfortunately disapeared. If you now look at the competition history on the CEB website, one gets the impression that our sport is exactly three years old!

    I think it is a shame though, since part of baseball is to value the past and rich history of our game.

  3. Comment by nattyballer
    June 24, 2009 | 5:26 pm

    I am slightly confused. I read that the ECC Final Four once brought its contestants from two major tournaments: top two from the European Cup, the other the top two from the CEB Winners’ Cup. But since the CEB Winners’ Cup is dead, is there now another CEB Cup? How do all four teams qualify?

  4. Comment by philipp
    June 24, 2009 | 7:41 pm

    The CEB Cup also was axed. Since last year there are only two so-called European Cups in phase one. From each tournament the top two teams qualify for the Final Four. This year Nettuno and Matino in Italy hosted the European Cups at the end of March/the beginning of April.

  5. Comment by hwede
    June 26, 2009 | 3:02 pm

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/European_Cup

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