The Oslo Pretenders and Norwegian Baseball
Baseball in Norway officially started in August 1991 as the very first Norwegian Championship (NM) was held at Kalvøya (off Sandvika in Bærum). The Oslo Pretenders showed up with an unknown team - based on a group of friends who used to play slow-pitch softball in Frogner Park - and ended up winning the whole Championship as the very first Norwegian Champions in Baseball.
Since then the Pretenders have been the most dominant baseball club on Norwegian soil. The Norwegian Baseball League (NBL) started up in 1992 and once again the Pretenders ended up on top. From 1991-1995 the Pretenders won every title (5 NM titles and 4 NBL titles), but in 1996 they lost a title for the very first time - the NBL title - to their new great arch rival Oslo Ballkam (now called the Oslo Alligators). The Pretenders came back vengefully in the NM finals and secured one title for the club that year.
2001 stands out as one of the most important
In the following years of 1997-1999 the Pretenders faced their first downfall - also known as the dark years for the Pretenders. As many of the original core started to retire and hang up their spikes, the club struggled to put up a competitive team against the new strong teams from Oslo Ballkam and Bekkestua Dragons. In 1998 the Pretenders only had 8 players and always struggling to get a 9th player through friends or family - or even asking passersby at the field at game-time. In 2000 the Pretenders surprisingly beat the powerhouse at the time - Oslo Ballkam - in the NM Finals. This proved to be a major turning point for the club as it sparked the fire and fighting spirit - Kiai - back into the club. The Pretenders managed to start a real recruiting policy on the table and by the season start of 2001 the Pretenders had expanded with a B-team called the P2.
2001 stands out as one of the most important seasons of the club history as they not only started the season with two teams - P1 and P2 - but they also went global and participated for the first time in the European Cup Qualifier in Antwerp, Belgium. Although the Pretenders lost all 5 games in that tournament, it marked the beginning of a great new decade and Millennium.
Between 2001-2014 the Pretenders won pretty much all there is to win in Norway with the exception of the NM in 2003 and 2013 and the NBL1 in 2009 and 2014. At one point during this stretch the Pretenders were unbeatable, winning 56 games in a row from September 25th 2004 to August 25th 2007.
In 2011 the club made another bold move by reshuffling the P1 and P2 squads into two brand-new, equalized 1st-Division teams called the Rascals and the Outcasts. The teams split the titles that year as the Outcasts won the NBL title while the Rascals brought home the Championship. In 2012 the Rascals came out on top in the NBL race while the club reshuffled again for the NM and entered one power team - P1 - to win the NM.
As the competition has been much higher in the past seasons, the Pretenders went back to their P1 and P2 teams before the 2014 season. They won the NM for the 19th time in 2014, but came up just short in the NBL finals and lost 1-2 in the best of 3 Finals to Alna BK.
After a couple of struggling seasons the Pretenders are back on top in Norway and has won the double two years on a row (2017-2018) and the NM finals of 2018 was aired live on NRK. With 39 titles all together, the Oslo Pretenders Baseball Club is the 5th most successful ball club (of any sport) in Norway ever!