Aberdeen Baseball Clubs Latest Success Story
by Ross Crawford
The “About” tab on the Aberdeen Baseball Club website takes any interested person to a page that gives a brief description of our small community club in the North East of Scotland.
The beginning of this page is as follows..
“The Aberdeen Baseball Club was founded in 2013 when 8 players joined together to form the Granite City Oilers.”
Pause for a second. Baseball fans. How many players does a team need to play a game of baseball? 9.
In 2013, Aberdeen Baseball Club could not even form an official team due to a lack of numbers. Only 5 years on, Baseball in Aberdeen has grown potentially beyond what the clubs founders could have ever dreamed possible.
It is with great excitement and anticipation that Aberdeen Baseball Club will be fielding a 2nd team in the 2019 Scottish National Baseball League. For the 1st time, The Granite City Oilers will be joined by Baseball Scotland’s newest squad, The Aberdeen Express. The 2018 season was perhaps the most competitive year in Scottish National Baseball Leagues history. With the addition of a 2nd team in Aberdeen, 2019 is set to be yet another historic year for the sport of baseball in Scotland.
The decision to introduce a 2nd team to represent Aberdeen Baseball Club is largely due to the unprecedented growth in membership the club witnessed throughout the 2018 season. The Granite City Oilers throughout 2018 consistently had competition for places. Of the 31 players on the Oilers official roster on the clubs website, 12 were not part of Aberdeen Baseball Club in 2017. This does not account for the several trial players the club brought in for games and training throughout the season. In the past, numbers at training sessions may have dwindled as the season wore on, in 2018, numbers were consistent enough for regular scrimmages and practices that were fun, engaging and productive enough to develop the skills of rookies and veterans alike.
This off-season, Aberdeen Baseball Club held an End of Season Meeting where the option to form a second team was brought forward, and discussed openly amongst the clubs members. Following this discussion, an open form was created on the clubs members page, to further debate the topic. The response was overwhelmingly in favour of the introduction of a 2nd team to represent Aberdeen Baseball Club. The Committee proceeded to vote in favour of the formation of a 2nd team, and The Aberdeen Express became official.
Opportunity and growth are the main reasons cited by the committee for the formation of the Aberdeen Express. As mentioned previously, membership of Aberdeen Baseball Club increased sharply in 2018. Just 5 years ago, baseball in Aberdeen consisted of 4 or 5 guys getting together every couple of weeks to throw a baseball around in Westburn Park. Just to get a feel for the sport these members loved to watch. This past season, the Oilers struggled to give all of its members playing time due to the unprecedented number of players available to their manager throughout the season. The formation of a 2nd team in Aberdeen will give greater opportunity to the members of Aberdeen Baseball Club to play more of the sport they love. The club wants its members to enjoy the sport as much as possible. The more playing opportunity the club has on offer to its members, the better. The Express opens up baseball opportunity in Aberdeen and provides a greater number of players exposure of baseball in Scotland.
The Aberdeen Express signifies the growth of the sport in Aberdeen. With the introduction of the Express as well as the Aberdeen Youth Team, Aberdeen Baseball club has formed 2 new teams in the past 6 months. Baseball in Aberdeen has never been stronger, and never been more popular. Offseason recruitment is well underway, as the club looks to field 2 strong teams in the Scottish National Baseball League, as well as continue to grow the youth programme. The Aberdeen Express will enter the Scottish National Baseball League not just to make up the numbers. The Oilers and Express rosters will be made up from members of Aberdeen Baseball Club in the forthcoming weeks. Both teams will train together to make Baseball in Aberdeen stronger, however, both teams will be training so as to be contenders for the 2019 Caledonia Classic.
Finally, the members of Aberdeen Baseball Club don’t just want the club to grow. We want the sport to grow. The Granite City Oilers only played a handful of games at George W. Chalmers Field in the 2018 season. The more baseball the club can promote in the city of Aberdeen, the more opportunity the fans of Aberdeen Baseball Club and baseball fans in general get to watch competitive baseball in Scotland. When the Oilers hosted the Glasgow Galaxy in late July of the 2018 season, around 30/40 fans came to watch and take in a game of baseball on a beautiful summers day in the North East. The club wants turnouts like this to become increasingly regular. The more baseball on offer to the public, the more the club hopes the public wants to see. The Aberdeen Express roster will look to thrive at their home ground, like the Oilers did throughout the 2018 regular season. The 1st Oilers vs Express game will be a must see event for baseball fans in Aberdeen, and the club looks forward to that historic fixture in the forthcoming season.
These are exciting times for the Aberdeen Baseball Club players, non-playing members and fans. There are now 2 teams to root for in Aberdeen. Make sure to follow both the Granite City Oilers and the Aberdeen Express throughout the 2019 season, as both teams attempt to bring the Caledonia Cup to the North-East corner of Scotland for the 1st time.