Are you an exchange student, or expatriate, or someone else living close to Skövde and wanting to play some baseball or softball?
Or are you just interested in what we do in our club, Skövde Saints Baseball Softball?
Let us tell you more!
Sports on cable television, curiosity, and painted bus seats
That’s how baseball and softball came to Skövde in 1988. Sounds weird, but that is actually the truth. But we will start from the beginning - is baseball and softball really played in Sweden?
Actually, the first baseball game in Sweden was played in 1912. That year, the Olympic Games were held in Stockholm and during the games a exhibition game was played between Swedes and the American Track&Field team. Although the interest for the game itself was high, baseball did not get a grip in Sweden and during the first and second World War, baseball was almost extinct in Sweden. You can learn more about baseball and softball in Sweden on the webpage of the Swedish Baseball and Softball Federation.
But thanks to American bubble gums and Swedes visiting abroad, baseball grew during the 50’s and in 1956 the Swedish Baseball and Softball Federation was founded. The bubble gum thing needs some explanation, maybe, but the truth is that some kids in Leksand was interested in the American type of bubble gums that was introduced in the 50’s in Sweden. These gums often had sports cards (with baseball players) attached to them and suddenly an interest was born, with that interest also the oldest club in Sweden still active – Leksand.
55 years later, baseball and softball is played by 60 clubs in Sweden – and one of these clubs are our club, Skövde Saints.
Baseball and Softball in Skövde since 1988
Skövde Saints was founded on November 11, 1988, by some friends who used to watch baseball on the cable sports channels. The interest grew, the basic equipment was bought (although they did use old bus seats painted white as bases the first years), and the club was born. Over the years the club has grown from a single team into a club with both baseball and softball, for seniors, juniors and youth players, from the age of 5 and up.
We share a public multi-sports facility with soccer teams and maintain our baseball and softball diamond ourselves.
Why Skövde Saints?
The nickname "Saints" comes from Saint Elin, or Saint Helena (depending on who's telling the legend) who is the protective saint of Skövde. She is supposed to have lived in the 12th century and was murdered on a christian mission just outside of Skövde. On the way to the burial, the people carrying the body stopped for a break and laid the body on the ground. When they continued, they noticed that a water well had broken from the ground where the body had been. Later, Saint Elin was declared a saint, a chapel was built over the well that according to the gospel had healing powers, and many people traveled to Skövde to use the sacred water. The chapel was later torn down, but the well is still active today, and a stone can be found next to it. And Saint Elin is still a part of Skövde as she is featured on the city logotype.
Back to baseball and softball…
After lots of years in the highest ranks of the baseball league, the baseball team dismantled in 2007 because of lack of players and coaches. The team emerged again in time for the 2008 season and has since then expanded the roster into 20+ players, of different skill and experience levels.
The fastpitch softball team is playing at the highest level in Sweden, and has recorded five straight Swedish Championships from 2006-2012. We have participated in the European Cup for club teams the last six years.
Read more about Skövde at the Citys official webpage (english)