This series is inspired by the must read book “All Caps, Stories That Justify an Outrageous Hat Collection” by Craig Colby. Craig wrote this book about the many caps he has and the stories behind it. Anyhow, this series will be about the caps I own and the stories behind them.
This episode of “Personal Stories About Ballcaps” is about my cap of the Dohren Willd Farmers, my favorite club in Germany.
The foundation of this club was laid in 1990, when several friends made their first steps in the world of baseball. One year later, the club was officially founded as part of the Sportverein Dohren (Sporting Club Dohren). Dohren is a village with a bit more than 1,200 inhabitants and is located about 30 km Southwest of Hamburg.
After earning a promotion several times, the club first broke into the 1. German Bundesliga in 2009. After five years, the club got demoted to the 2. German Bundesliga. But two years later, the team earned a promotion, back to the 1. Bundesliga again and has never left ever since. Unlike what one would think, the team from this small village managed to reach the playoffs quite often.
Ever since the club returned to the 1. Bundesliga, I got intrigued with the Wild Farmers. How could a club from a village this small take on teams from bigger cities like Paderborn, Hamburg, Bonn, Solingen, to name a few, and even make it to the playoffs? I started to gather information and contacted the club’s spokeswoman. She provided the information to write a blog post about the club.
Of course, I asked if I could buy a cap. Since the spokeswoman of the club really liked my blog post, she said the club would give me the cap as a present. She sent it to my home, but somehow it never arrived, and it was returned to the club. Eventually, I got an invitation to attend a game, which I did on July 6, 2019. It was the final day of the Wild Farmers’ season, a third game in the quarter finals of the German championship against the Mainz Athletics. The weather did not cooperate, as it was pouring with rain, but also the team was hit with misfortune, as several players were injured and the mother of the catcher just passed the night before. So the mood was deeply saddened, and you could see that in the way the team played. The Mainz Athletics didn’t show any mercy and needed only seven innings to beat the Wild Farmers 20-0. After the game, the sky cleared a bit, and both teams had a beer on the field of play. Where do you see that? At the day my friend and I attended that game, a TV station from Northern Germany shot some footage to make an item for one of their sports programs.
I got the cap during this game, and I was very pleased with it. The people were very friendly, and they were honored that two persons from the Netherlands (a friend of mine too) came all the way to watch a game at their village. I felt a little uncomfortable about it. Even though the drive to Dohren was very long and the drive back home seemed to last even longer, I had a great day. For sure, I will return to that club again, even if it is just for the atmosphere.
Since the club is one of my favorite clubs, I needed to have their jersey as well. Eventually, I managed to buy one in 2021, thanks to the team’s manager.
The great things about this club are the friendliness of the people and especially the ballpark itself. The club members built the baseball field all by themselves, without any financial support of the municipality of Herzlake. Behind the left field fence, there was a corn field at the time, which gave the ballpark a bit of that “Field of Dreams” feel.
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