Tampere Tigers

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Tampere Tigers’ logo
Full name Baseball club Tampere Tigers
Founded 2004
Stadium Sorsapuisto, Tampere
Chairman Honduras Mauricio Rosales
Manager Honduras Mauricio Rosales (2016 - Present)
League SM Sarja - Finnish Baseball League & Suomi Sarja - Finnish Baseball First Division
2017 SM Sarja Third place - Bronze Medal & Suomi Sarja Champions

Tampere Tigers is a baseball and softball club from Tampere, Finland. They are the current Champions of Suomi Sarja, Finnish Baseball First Division. The club competes in the two competitive Finnish Baseball Leagues (Suomi Sarja and SM Sarja). Tampere Tigers were founded in 2004 by Arni Hukari and Lassi Autio. The Tigers have also a farm team called Tampere Industriales which at the moment participates in exhibition tournaments.

History[edit]

During its first year the team participated in two exhibition tournaments, winning the second one. The team’s name, Tigers, comes from the Japanese baseball team Hanshin Tigers.

Season 2005 was the team’s first in the Finnish Baseball League. The team had 18 players, and its win-loss record was 4-11. Tigers finished 5th in the league of 6 teams. In the award ceremony at the end of the season, Tigers’ Tomi Krogerus was elected the Rookie of the year.

Going into the 2006 season, Tigers set their goal to top-3. They finished 5th in the league, although only 2 wins away from meeting their goal. The best part of the season was the apparent development of their players. In 2006, two members of the Tigers were handed federation awards: Tuomo Mesimäki being the Rookie of the year and Niko Wirgentius the Best batter.

Year 2007 was a huge disappointment for the Tigers. They lost a couple of key players, and only managed one win in 12 games. In the Finnish Cup of baseball they advanced to the semifinal only to lose against the reigning 5-in-a-row league champions Espoo Expos.

Tigers played many even games, always losing in the final innings due to the lack of experience.

Lassi Autio has been the engine of the team. As a founder, President, Manager and player he is the icon of the Tampere Tigers.

2008 was a historical year, 3 years after initiating its participation in the Finnish league, the team qualified for their first post-season playoff. On a best of three series the team was defeated by the 5 time consecutive champions Espoo Expos. The Tigers showed defiance on its first away game when they managed to take a 3-0 lead by the top of the second inning but gradually lost the grip of the game and succumbed in a 6-14 lost. For the second game at home turf, the high speed pitches of Juha-Pekka Niemi and the precision of Tomi Krogerus were not backed up offensively and the team lost the game and the changes of getting to the finals on a shutout game 7-0.

In 2009 the team ended up the season with a low winning percentage of .185, with Tomi Harala (SS/P) having one of the best batting average of the league that year at 0.514 and 11 RBI.

Despite having a record number of players in their roster (28) and the best fielding percentage in the entire league (0.923) the team didn't manage to balance their winning percentage and ended up with a poor .200 in 2010. Despite this, Tomi Harala with an average of 0.529 won the title of Best batter of the league.

In 2011 the team did not participate in the SM Sarja and instead participated for the first time in the Suomi Sarja (First division) with a record of 3 wins, 1 loss and 1 tie (Games had an inning limit)

The Tigers came back to SM Sarja in 2012. At the end of the season the winning percentage was .250 but Andres Mena with an average of 0.512 was awarded the Best batter of the league.

The winning percentage for season 2013 had an increment at .267 and Andres Mena repeated the title of Best batter of the league with an average of 0.500. Team mate Yoan Martinez finished in third place with an average of .426.

There was a considerable improvement in the team's performance in 2014, the winning percentage roused up to .333 and Yoan Martinez became the best batter of the season with an average of 0.528.

The Tampere Tigers became Suomi Sarjaa Champions for the first time in 2016
The Tampere Tigers became Suomi Sarjaa Champions for the first time in 2016

In 2015, the team returned to Suomi Sarja. After ending the season with a positive record, the team qualified to the post season, their first in this league and second time in its history. A single game final took place in Espoo were the team couldn't manage to secure the title finishing the season in second place.

In 2016 the Tigers made history and after a second consecutive appearance in the Suomi Sarja finals, they clinched their first title after defeating the City Mets in an exciting final game played in home ground. The team had an almost perfect season, losing only two games and winning 13 in regular season. A very strong and experienced bullpen and great power in the offensive gave the team their first championship title.

2017 was another historical year for the Tigers. For the first time in its history, the club participated in the two competitive leagues in the country. With a solid offensive team and a great bullpen the team managed to end the SM Sarja season in a historical 3rd place. The team had the most stolen bases in the league and the second best bullpen with an ERA of 5.2. In Suomi Sarja the team clinched the second consecutive title after completing an almost perfect season where they only lost a game. Another historical milestone was accomplish with the establishment of the first softball team in the club with the participation of 9 women. The team had three exhibition games in Tampere.

In 2018 the Tigers showed an improvement in the quality of play. A very strong, record breaking 29 man roaster with great potential. However, luck was not in their favor in terms of results in SM Sarja. Despite a good performance the team lost a lot of games in extra innings and by the minimum difference and that was reflected in their record. The team however managed to qualify for the third time straight to the Suomi Sarja playoffs where they ultimately lost the opportunity to repeat the championship for the third time in a row by losing against their classic rivals Espoo XL5 in the semi finals.



Players 2018[edit]

A combination of experienced players and talented young faces have brought strength and confidence to the team.

Official list of players:

  • Australia Simon Visser P, C, IF
  • Australia Cassie Andersen P, C, IF
  • Cuba 13 Yoan Martinez 3B
  • Italy 20 Martin Magris 1B, 3B, P
  • Cuba 6 Roynet Perez C, P
  • Mexico 16 Vicente Herrera OF, SS, 2B, 3B
  • Mexico 10 Luis Noyola P, 2B, SS
  • Honduras 2 Mauricio Rosales 1B, C
  • Dominican Republic Willys Reyes P, IF
  • Finland 3 Lassi Autio P, C, IF, OF
  • Finland 55 Niko Mäki 3B, OF
  • Finland 8 Anssi Rämä 1B, OF
  • Finland 14 Aki Ropo P, SS, 2B, OF
  • Cuba 32 Gabriel Rosell OF, 2B
  • Cuba 36 Remberto Martinez OF, 1B, P
  • Finland 5 Tuomas Lemmetty OF, 1B
  • Finland 33 Jeremi Rannikko C, OF, P
  • Finland 23 Pasi Tulonen SS, 2B, OF
  • Finland 14 Riku Sjöroos 2B, OF
  • Finland 9 Tuomo Vestola P, OF
  • Finland 31 Riku Katajamäki C, OF, 2B
  • Cuba 9 Silvio Quevedo OF
  • Finland 3 Niklas Palander IF, OF
  • Finland 90 Eemi Huhtinen IF, OF
  • Cuba 15 Abel Maranon OF
  • Cuba 12 Einieri Mainegra IF, OF
  • Finland 18 Jani Aaltoner P, C, IF, OF
  • Dominican Republic Rafael Espinal P, IF, OF
  • Nicaragua Gilberto Ruiz OF, IF

Managers[edit]

The Tigers have had a great selection of managers and coaches. Working together with the Club's board, their main objectives have always been the development of new talents and building up a competitive team for each season.

Tiger's pregame meeting, getting ready to take on their rivals
  • 2004 Finland Lassi Autio
  • 2005 Finland Lassi Autio
  • 2006 Finland Lassi Autio
  • 2007 Venezuela Oliver Paredes
  • 2008 Finland Tuomo Mesimäki
  • 2009 Finland Lassi Autio
  • 2010 Finland Aki Ropo
  • 2011 Finland Lassi Autio
  • 2012 Finland Aki Ropo
  • 2013 Cuba Andres Mena
  • 2014 Mexico Luis Noyola
  • 2015 Finland Lassi Autio
  • 2016 Honduras Mauricio Rosales
  • 2017 Honduras Mauricio Rosales
  • 2018 Honduras Mauricio Rosales

Former players[edit]

Finnish International Sergio Fernandez, considered one of the best players in the history of baseball in Finland and a regular in the Finnish National Team played the 2017 season with the Tigers
Andres Mena of Cuban origin is one of the best players in the league and in the Finnish National Team roster. He started his career in Finland playing as a short stop for the Tigers

Throughout its history, the team has had an array of extra ordinary players. Some are still active in other teams in Finland and some are playing overseas. Some of the players have had previous experience playing baseball while some others learned to play in the club.

List of former players:

Finland Markus Blommendahl Finland Jarkko Vilkkilä Finland Otto Nojonen FinlandJarkko Juutilainen Finland Tomi Krogerus Finland Tommi Harala Finland Arni Hukari FinlandAkira Ropo Finland Toni Sjöman Venezuela Oliver Paredes Finland Juha Kurki Finland Mikko Salmensuo Finland Mauno Ahlgren Finland Jarmo Rintala Finland Juha-Pekka Niemi Finland Aarne Juutilainen Finland Olli Mehtonen Finland Klaus Tamminen Finland Niko Wirgentius Finland Tuomo Mesimäki Cuba Silvio Quevedo Japan Julian Hasegawa Finland Ton Sjöman Finland Jyrki Nummenmaa Finland Samuli Ikola Finland Tomi Karppinen Finland Kari Harjunniemi Canada Sidney Kitchen Finland Jarkko Kettunen Colombia Carlos Ardila Finland Tommi Tuominen Finland Juha Antikainen Colombia Alberto Martinez Finland Tommi Sakki Cuba Victor Viloria Finland Simopekka Vänskä Canada Marc Phillipe Finland Tomi Mäntymaa Finland Tuomas Miskala Finland Jarkko Mällinen Finland Harri Moisio Cuba Edvin Suarez Cuba Andres Mena Finland Konsta Eskelinen United States Patrick Carney Finland Otto Eskelinen Cuba Victor Maso Dominican Republic Antony De la Cruz Finland Atro-Matti Puruskainen Finland Heikki Valkama Finland Toivo Aaltonen Cuba Dayron Lester Finland Markku Tikka Finland Teemu Takala Finland Antti Kiviniemi Finland Markus Kailanto United States Don Kilpela United States Jake Binney Finland Markku Tikka Finland Henri Virinsalo Finland Juuso Valkeala Finland Janne Ylänkö Finland Jarmo Rintala Finland Jarkko Vilkkilä Finland Mikko Helin Finland Severi Lehtimäki Cuba Wilmer Wilson Finland Joni Holmberg Cuba Dennys King Finland Roope Korhonen Finland Mikko Siltanen Finland Samuel Kivi India Narender Kumar

Some of the players in this list become available and return to the team to play in a particular season while some others have already retired from the sport.

Tigers’ statistics[edit]

Tigers SM Sarja record:

Tampere Tigers in 2016
Year Games Win Loss
2005 15 4 11
2006 12 4 8
2007 12 1 11
2008 14 4 10
2009 16 3 13
2010 15 3 12
2012 12 3 9
2013 15 4 11
2014 15 5 10
2017 16 9 7
2018 16 6 10
Total 158 46 105

Tigers Suomi Sarja record:

Year Games Win Tie Loss
2004 4 1 1 2
2011 5 3 1 1
2015 13 7 1 5
2016 16 14 0 2
2017 15 14 0 1
2018 12 7 1 4
Total 64 46 4 15

Post-season record[edit]

The Tigers celebrating the 2017 title after defeating XL5 in Turku

The team won its first final in 2016.

2008:

SM Sarja playoff

Lost series 0-2 vs Espoo Expos

2015:

Suomi Sarja final

Lost single game 14-5 vs Espoo XL5

2016:

Suomi Sarja Final

Win single game 8-5 vs Helsinki City

Note: In 2017 there was no post-season programmed. The team won the title by winning more games (14) than the rest of the teams in the regular season

2018:

Suomi Sarja Playoffs

Win wildcard game 15-5 vs Nokia White Sox

Lost semi final 2-13 vs Espoo XL5

Titles[edit]

2016: Suomi Sarja Champions

2017: Suomi Sarja Champions

See also[edit]