SISAK STORKS HISTORY Back to Sports Ministry printer friendly version
In August of 1993, Croatia, part of the former Yugoslavia, was in a war of independence and during a lul in that conflict, in a village Staro Pracno, a christian athlete organization called “Athletes in Action“ and “Getsemani“ mission group organized the first baseball and softball camp. On that occasion 100 boys and girls had the first chance to find out somephting about those sports and learn the rules of the game. The coaches at the camp were Joe Smaley, Paul Lindberg and Paul Miller.
Since all the equipment from the camp remained in Sisak, and lots of the kids were interested, a group of people around Daniel Jekic founded the "Baseball klub Sisak“ on May 17th 1994. The same year the BK Sisak joined Croatian Baseball and Softball Association and entered the kadet competition in Croatian baseball league. The team ended the season on 4th place.
Since the club had a few girls we started a softball team and in 1998 club changed its name to Baseball and Softball Klub "Sisak.“ The biggest result for Sisak's softball was winning the European Cup winner Cup, B-POOL in Prague on summer of 2000.
When the Croatian Baseball and Softball Federation separated into a baseball federation and a softball federation, the same thing was done in Sisak. Without adequate support from local govermant and lack of funds and interest of local girls, our softball team stopped competing. Eventualy we started our men's softball team and played a few seasons in the Croatian Men's Softball League. We even won the Croatian Cup in 2002. The same team played in both the baseball and softball championship. Unfortunatly our softball teams no longer compete.
The baseball club kept the tradition of summer camps during that time in cooperation with AIA and their coaches Tom Needy, Dan Elia and their crew. Thanks to them we had some new and used equipment every year and that helped us survive.
On year 2004 J.D. Harris started to support our club and that connection eventually led us to coach David Moss. That cooperation with those men picked up our team and raised our team's quality and number of age groups. Our club now competes in kadet, junior and senior competition and has been achieving the best results in our history. Stefan Birac, our young cadet, was awarded the best Croatian cadet, was runner up in best young athlete in Sisak award, and played for Croatian kadet national team. In 2005 the team finished 2nd in Croatian B- division. In 2008 and 2010 we also finished in 2nd place. Our young catcher Elvis Salesevic became a part of our senior national team. Igor Roksa won the B-division MVP award in 2008 and Alen Mahač won MVP in 2009.
In 2005 the City of Sisak gave the club the plot of land next to local soccer club where they could have their own baseball field. Work began on the "Field of Weeds" in 2008 with leveling the area and cutting down trees. In 2010 many members and friends of the Storks began working diligently on making this field of weeds turn into a "Field of Dreams" and the field began to become visible to everyone. In 2011 the basic foundation was complete and the field was dedicated. It was dedicated as a "Field of Faith" as well as a "Field of Dreams," to introduce those who come to play and participate to learn about baseball, but most importantly to learn about the love that God has through His Son Jesus Christ. That July, in 2011, the first ever baseball game was played on The NEST! During the winter of 2012, European Baseball Federation granted Croatia the opportunity to host the Kadet Tournament the following summer. In January, the Croatian Baseball Federation picked the Storks to host the tournament on The NEST. In the summer of 2012, work was completed on the field: a fence was built around the entire field, dugouts constructed and scoreboard added. In July the Storks hosted The 15 and Under European National Championship Tournament. Poland, Slovania, Lathiuana and Croatia National Teams came and participated in the tournament with the Lathiuana team taking first place!