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Founding and Early Years
With the reformation of the old Germanic Barbarian League, a fragmented team emerged under the control of the Branderburger Brothers. This early Berlin Blitz played their games in a swamp; it would be years before a fan base emerged and the club began to turn heads. The early team was also plagued by managerial issues which prevented the Blitz from joining the Hanseatic League. Nevertheless, through the work of dedicated, early owners, funding increased, local support grew and the farm system developed rapidly. The team was renamed the Berlin Prussian Blues.
By the 19th century, top talent was being recruited and the problems that had prevented the emergence of a solid franchise disappeared. It was not long until the Prussian Blues were rumored to be the hottest ticket in town and feared by their opponents. This inspired the team to petition to join the elite MLB. Several clubs already in the MLB protested, fearing that the Prussian Blues would offset a "well-balanced" league. Despite this, the Blues joined the MLB and in 1871, their famous manager, Otto von Bismarck, changed the club's name back to the Berlin Blitz.
After joining the MLB, the Berlin Blitz rapidly became one of the premier clubs in the Old World League, with many appearances in the World Series in the first half of the twentieth century. However, in 1949, a dispute over revenues and employee policies brought a split in the management. Due to the dispute, the Berlin Blitz were absent from major league play for several decades. It was not until 1989 that conflicts in the management team were resolved and the Berlin Blitz were able once again to participate in the Sport of Kings.
Current Status of the Team
Despite the management disputes that have often resulted in the suspension of the team from major league play, the Berlin Blitz are consider one of the great teams of the twentieth century. They have regularly won pennant titles. During the MLB Golden Era of the 1930s and 1940s, millions watched the Berlin Blitz play thrilling games against the Moscow Reds (currently the Moscow Mob), the Washington Generals, and the Paris Égalité. However, the management dispute of 1949 brought the era of dominance by the Berlin Blitz to an end. (Some would argue that the problems with the Berlin Blitz marked the end of the Golden Age of Major League Bloodbath.)
It took many years in the 1990s for the Blitz to move towards recovery, but as of 2005, it appears that the team may once again be a viable contender. Although many of the teams' old rivalries have died down, the emergence of the Istanbul Ataturks as both a fierce rival and contending power has surprised many observers. The Ataturks seem to have gained a relatively large following in "Blitz-country" Berlin, which now has the third-largest Ataturk following in the world. The main reason for this is the Ataturks have two stadiums, and they play their away games in Berlin because of costs. The result has been a local rivalry between Ataturk and Blitz fans, which has since expanded across the country, especially in larger cities in the west, bringing a wide variety of Blitz fans - young and old - into the stands. One fan explains this phenomenon:
|“||I hate the Ataturks! I don't like their style of play and I hate their uniforms, too. It pissed me off a few years ago to see that they were playing in the house where the Blitz once dominated. At first, I used to just cheer when the Ataturks lost, but the more I saw their fans, the more I've grown to hate their club and love the Blitz again. Go Blitz!||”|
Until recently, the Blitz had completely lost their fan base. However, the franchise has made great efforts to revive itself, projecting itself in new ways through advertising, especially making use of the World Wide Web to reach the public. Additionally, the Blitz have slashed prices on seats and merchandise. This decision has received a warm reception in areas of the country where unemployment is high and overall income is low.
Appearances in the World Series
World Series record: 4-4-3.
- 1914. Victory over the Paris Égalité.
- 1915. Tie with the Paris Égalité.
- 1916. Tie with the London Imperials.
- 1917. Victory over the Moscow Reds.
- 1918. Loss to the London Imperials.
- 1939. Victory over the Warsaw Pollacks.
- 1940. Victory over the Paris Égalité.
- 1941. Tie with the Moscow Reds.
- 1943. Loss to the Moscow Reds.
- 1944. Loss to the London Imperials.
- 1945. Loss to the Washington Generals.