Traffic light, Deutsche Post mailbox, last pub “Zum alten Dorfkrug” closed 15 years ago. However, first-class sport does exist in the village of Dohren of 1,247 people, 50 kilometers southwest of Hamburg. For eight euros, you can attend a Wild Farmers Dohren match at home in League One. SPORT BILD was looking for the smallest German club in the Bundesliga in an Olympic sport and found it in Lower Saxony. Dohren plays against the outcasts Paderborn. 200 spectators there. Free parking for bikes behind players’ seats is included. For 3.50 euros, there is a sausage with beer – the German taste in American baseball.
The club was formed in 1991 because the members were fans of the movie Indiana of Cleveland. Bernd Sivers, 49, remains the head of baseball at Doherine and the only founding member still active. Sievers: “It’s a great movie. After we all saw it we went to Hamburg and bought some balls and a club and gloves. We really wanted to play baseball.”
” data-zoom-src=”https://bilder.bild.de/fotos/dohrens-pitcher-iwan-galkin-r–wirft-den-ball-im-hintergrund-die-typisch-amerikanische-anzeigetaf-af02a7adab994f17966b9d22dcb000c5-79824846/Bild/2.bild.jpg”/> Dohrin throw Ewan Galkin (right) throws the ball. In the background is a typical American scoreboardPhoto: Christian Spritz
Dohrin throw Ewan Galkin (right) throws the ball. In the background is a typical American scoreboardPhoto: Christian Spritz
Started at Landesliga Hamburg without financial support, everything from the club to the stadium was built by the five founding members with their own hands.
club president: “He made fun of us. Most of them thought he wouldn’t last more than two years with us.”
Nobody! Step by step, wild cultivators made their way to the top. The big hit came in 2010 with the promotion to the German Bundesliga. As an underdog, Wild Farmers met players they had previously admired only from the stands. The village club is now set up on the German baseball map and wants to fight for the playoffs every year.
Thanks to a handful of local sponsors and small grants, Dohren is at the bottom of the league with a seasonal budget of around €35,000. The nearly 100 members ensure that the game’s operations run smoothly, from selling tickets to sausages.
However, without players imported from the United States, the Bundesliga baseball position in Dohren could not be maintained either. For a maximum of €400 a month, two changing American boys play in the village each year. For a little pocket money, there is free accommodation with club members including food and a bicycle on top of that. Players are found via an online intermediary platform.
Sivers: “Most of them want to travel a bit after college and pursue their dream of becoming a professional athlete. But you have to explain to them in advance what to expect. Otherwise, it won’t work.” Anthony Vlahovic (24) plays from Philadelphia (Pen) and Cody Nisbett (23) From San Ramon (California) in Doheran this season. The players, like everyone else before them, can only realize where they are landing when they reach the village. Here the house lands in the adjacent field. Currently corn is grown there. Nisbet: “I came from a much bigger city and it was really shocking. I was disoriented. But I love the family environment. Unique.”
” data-zoom-src=”https://bilder.bild.de/fotos/mit-plakaten-wird-in-dohren-fuer-das-bundesliga-spiel-der-wild-farmers-geworben-da54795bcebb443ead8adf061016cdd8-79824886/Bild/2.bild.jpg”/> Posters are used to advertise the Wild Farmers Bundesliga in DohrenPhoto: Christian Spritz
Posters are used to advertise the Wild Farmers Bundesliga in DohrenPhoto: Christian Spritz