Season Opener for NLB- and 1st League-Team

The NLB- and the 1st League team of the Challengers will start their 2023 campaign on the upcoming weekend. Both start the season with a home opener.
On Saturday, April 29, the NLB team will face the Luzern Eagles at the Heerenschürli ballpark. This will be the first appearance for the second team of the Challengers since they lost in the playoff quarterfinals at the beginning of September. The games start at 11.00 am and 1.30 pm.
The 1st league team will be in action on Sunday, April 30. The Challengers will meet the Zurich Barracudas and the newly formed SG Pirates/Lions at the Heerenschürli ballpark in the first day tournament of the season. The games start at 10.00 am and 12.30 pm.

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Heerenschürli should get higher fence

The Heerenschürli ballpark is the only baseball facility in Switzerland that meets international standards. In addition to the practices and championship games of the four Zurich based clubs Barracudas, Challengers, Eighters and Lions, the Swiss national teams also practice in Zurich-Schwamendingen. In addition, the Heerenschürli ballpark was also the venue for the 2013 European B Championship and in 2017 for the U18 European Championship. Zurich was recently awarded the U18 European Championship qualifier tournament from 10.-15. July 2023.
However, the height of the fence, which is not able to intercept some of the foulballs, gives cause for concern. That’s why the foulballs become a danger for spectators or athletes on the neighboring fields. Based on a study and after examining various options, a new steel fence around 100 meters long and 27 meters high has now proven to be the most practical solution. The Zurich city council is now presenting the project to the municipal council for cost approval.
Further information is available in the media release from the City of Zurich of April 5, 2023.

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Challengers Ski Day

The traditional Challengers Ski Day took place on Saturday, February 24 as usual in magnificent weather. As many as 15 Challengers enjoyed the sun and the snow at Flumserberge. When the event will develop further as it did so far, the Challengers will soon have to discuss about the formation of a ski and snowboard section. Anyway the name for the project would already exist. The table at the restaurant Prodalp was reserved for “challenge RS”.

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Chris Hardy visits the Heerenschürli

Former Challengers player Chris Hardy visited the Heerenschürli ballpark during his trip to Europe with his family. The Challengers veterans lined up a team to honor Hardy in a friendly game against the Zürich Eighters on Monday night. Amongst the players were former Challengers greats as Gustavo Salami, Thomas Landis, Armin Blickenstorfer, Manuel Schretzmann or Pierre and Roger Burger. In his first game since 2005 Hardy, who works as a biologist and teacher in Maryland, delivered two hits. He played from 2002 till 2004 for the Challengers and hit .349 in 33 games for the NLA-Team, winning the Swiss championship twice.

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U18 EC at the Heerenschürli

From Monday, July 10 till Saturday, July 15 the first U18 European Championship Qualifier Tournament in Switzerland will take place at the Heerenschürli ballpark. It will be the second international Championship Tournament that will take place at the Heerenschürli after the Seniors European Championship Qualifier Tournament in 2013. The Swiss U18 Nationalteam will play the teams from Belgium, Ireland, Poland and Russia. The Qualification Round will last from Monday to Friday with two games each day, the final game between the 1st and 2nd placed teams will be played on Saturday at noon. For further informations please check the Tournament’s Website.

Monday, July 10, 2 pm: Belgium vs. Ireland
Monday, July 10, 6 pm: Switzerland vs. Poland
Tuesday, July 11, 2 pm: Russia vs. Poland
Tuesday, July 11, 6 pm: Ireland vs. Switzerland
Wednesday, July 12, 2 pm: Belgium vs. Russia
Wednesday, July 12, 6 pm: Poland vs. Ireland
Thursday, July 13, 2 pm: Poland vs. Belgium
Thursday, July 13, 6 pm: Russia vs. Switzerland
Friday, July 14, 2 pm: Ireland vs. Russia
Friday, July 14, 6 pm: Switzerland vs. Belgium
Saturday, July 15, noon: Final

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Opening Day on Saturday

The Challengers 2017 season will start with a Home Opener against the Luzern Eagles on Saturday, April 22 at the Heerenschürli ballpark. The team of head coach Robert Sedin added several players to their 2017 roster. The debut of pitcher Sandy Patrone in a Challengers uniform is particularly exciting. The Dominican played 13 years for Rimini Baseball in the Italian Baseball League and won the Italian Championship in 2006. The 33-year-old also pitched 25 times for the Italian Nationalteam and played 2003, 2007 and 2009 at the World Chmapionships. The games against the Eagles will also be very special for Andrea Girasole and Patrick Maier. Both played the last three seasons for the Eagles before returning to the Challengers in 2017. Patrick Zöllig will also give his comeback almost eight years after his last game for the C’s. The games start at 11 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. at the Heerenschürli.
The NLB-Team will open its 2017 campaign against the Thun Hunters. The two teams will meet on Sunday, April 23 at the Heerenschürli ballpark. The games will begin at 11 a.m. and 2.00 p.m.

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Participants at the Spring Tournament announced

The participants of the 20th Zurich Spring Tournament have been announced. The tournament will take place on the weekend of April 8 and 9 at the Heerenschürli ballpark. Besides the two hosting teams from the Zürich Barracudas and the Zürich Challengers the defending champions Dominican All Stars and the Herrenberg Wanderers will line up. The Gemans finished in fifth place in the Regionalliga Süd/West in 2016 and will play this year after the reform of the German Baseball Leagues – the Regional League has been deposed for 2017 – in the new 2nd Bundesliga Süd. The games will start on Saturday at 11 a.m. and on Sunday at 10 a.m. at the Heerenschürli.

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Challengers Ski Day on March 11

Like last year we go to the Flumserberge to enjoy the winter. This year’s Challengers ski day will take place on Saturday, March 11. Meeting point is at the valley station of the cable car in Unterterzen, which can be reached comfortably by train from Zurich main station (eg. with the S2 from Zürich HB from: 07.47, to Unterterzen: 08.58). Of course, you can also travel by car and park at the valley station. Snow sports equipment can be rented on site.

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U15-Cadets EC at Hünenberg

The next highlight for Swiss baseball is right ahead. For the first time in the history the U15 B-European Championships will take place in Switzerland. The tournament will be held at Hünenberg. The Swiss U15-Nationalteam will face the teams from Belarus, Great Britain, Slovakia and Poland. Headcoach Mike Bundi also named Challengers player Jayfry Meier to the 16-man roster. The games take place at the ballpark Rony.

Monday, July 18, 5 pm: Belarus vs. Switzerland
Tuesday, July 19, 5 pm: Great Britain vs. Switzerland
Thursday, July 21, 5 pm: Switzerland va. Slovakia
Friday, July 22, 5 pm: Switzerland vs. Poland
Saturday, July 23, 1.30 pm: Final

For further informations please check the tournament’s homepage. (photo SBSF)

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