Posted by: viewfromtheriva | November 27, 2010

Split celebrates 90 years of baseball

Almost 400 people turned out last night to celebrate a new book published about the history of baseball in Split.   The event was attended by the leading sports luminaries of the city and officials from Zagreb.

The 200 plus page hardcover book has tons of photos and info

The 200 page plus hardcover book, There’s no ball like baseball is loaded with photos, stories and newspaper reports about the history of baseball in Split and Croatia.

Although the sport began semi-officially in December 1918 when a group of US sailors from a ship in port here introduced the game to some young Croats, it wasn’t until 1972 when a pair of teachers at a local school formed the Salona Baseball Cluib.  Salona is a town about 5km from Split, the site of the capital of the Roman Empire in this part of the world more than 1,700 years ago.

The first actual game played in Split was on Sept 9, 1978 between Split (the new team moved here and was called Nada) and Jezice from Ljubljana–a 20-1 romp for the locals!

A schedule of games began in earnest and by 1980 there were regular league games.  The next major milestone was in 1983 when the World Baseball Federation (IBAF) accepted Yugoslavia as an official member. A Croatian National Baseball Federation was established in 1989.

Today the Croatian national team (with 10 or more members coming from Split’s Nada team) is ranked 25th in the world, ahead of Russia and France!

Recent photos of the current team

Although I’m just a first base coach on the team and work out with them from time to time, it’s was a real kick to be there and see just how much support there is from locals–and how, without pay and just passion, the sport has endured here.  The current team–mostly 20’s but with a few grizzly veterans pushing 40–has had an illustrious past and absolutely will have a great future!

Enjoy our new Croatian vacation portal

Read more about Croatia at secret dalmatia’s unique blog

Coming to Split?


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