Excitement in Waldheim Tailfingen: The mother of all baseball games – Albstadt & surroundings

On the other hand: much more relaxed spectators – they don’t play along and just cheer. The player on the right is waiting for the ball to be thrown back at him. Photo: Eyrich

Unique to every Waldheim retreat is the legendary Group One baseball game against the staff. This time it was unexpectedly exciting – and as complicated as ever.

Albstadt-Tailfingen – Playing baseball and hitting a ball with a narrow stick is one thing. Understanding the game is quite another – especially since what children, young people and employees play at Waldheim Tailfingen does not quite follow the classic rules of baseball as it is played in the leagues of this world – especially in the USA. “Burning ball with bat” – not only does Waldheim manager Birgit Bech use this definition for the Tailfinger set of rules, which is nowhere written down: The children learn it while playing, “they grow into it over the years,” reveals Birgit Bech.

The Tübingen falcons as role models

Jörg Hoss, whom everyone just calls Percy and who started working in the Waldheim Tailfingen in 1986, introduced the game of baseball to the meadow on the Braunhartsberg surrounded by bushes and trees. He knows it from his time as a student in Tübingen, because that’s where the “Hawks” play – according to the classic rules, which the Tailfinger have just modified somewhat.

With the racket, which in Tailfingen is made of aluminum rather than wood, a player tries to hit the tennis ball that another player throws at him. He hits the ball as far as possible and then runs while the opposing team tries to get hold of the ball as quickly as possible and throw it back to the starting point. Until she does that, the bat has time to run, circling the field in a flash and ideally making it back to the starting point before the ball. If he does, it’s a home run. If he doesn’t quite succeed, he can hold out on a small carpet – a “base” – until the next teammate hits the ball and starts running himself.

Longer experience and longer legs

On Monday evening, boys and girls, young men and women, run for their lives, because this game is legendary – and every team wants to win it: Group one, the oldest, once a year challenge the employees who – the longer experience and the because of longer legs – mostly win. This time too?

The teams don’t give each other anything. Activists and spectators cheer on the respective throwers, bats and runners. The tennis balls fly high and far, and if it weren’t for the trees around them, they would fly even further.

Why make it simple when you can make it complicated?

So far, so understandable? Not at all. After all, why make it simple when you can make it complicated? There is a scoring system to keep in mind. A home run earns more points than a sprint to a base. Each bat has three tries to hit the ball. If he doesn’t succeed, he goes back in line. And as soon as a team has caught three balls out of the air, the teams change – the players have agreed on five games for this game.

The exit is not clear as dumpling broth

How did it turn out in the end? It wasn’t as clear as dumpling broth this time, says Birgit Bech with a mischievous smile. Although the employees would have won – as is usually the case – it was very close. Their respect for the accurate racers of group one has grown as a result, comments the director and is already looking forward to the next mother of all baseball games at the Waldheim. Or bouncing ball with bat. Or whatever – the main thing is exciting.



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