The Hellenic Amateur Baseball Federation, or HABF, was first established in the year 1997, soon after the announcement was made that Greece would host the 2004 Olympic Games.
Probably the first real baseball game that was ever played in Greece took place on June 3, 1955 at the Panathinaikos Soccer stadium in downtown Athens. This exhibition game featured Greek baseball players and American military personnel who were stationed in Greece as part of the military aid program. The Greek team lost that game by a score of 14 to 10 with a nearly standing room only crowd on hand to watch the action. However, insufficient funding and limited general public interest did not allow the sport to take root and grow in a country that only recently endured a long and dehumanizing occupation that was followed by a horrific and devastating civil war.
Organized baseball finally was established in Greece in the year 2000 when the first Greek Baseball Championship was played in a league consisting of six teams. That first, and the following 3 championships were all won by the same team, Marousi 2004. That team was primarily comprised of Greeks from North America. Therefore they had a head start over the players of all the other teams who were mostly young Greeks who were born and raised in Greece. This relatively recent establishment of organized baseball can be attributed to the fact that Greece won the right to organize the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. With the games in Athens, Greek sports authorities dreamed of fielding a Greek Olympic Baseball Team. To do so, they established the Hellenic Amateur Baseball Federation in 1998 and the Federation organized the Greek league. Since that first league championship in the year 2000, the HABF has organized a league championship each year with as many as 20 different teams competing. At the same time, it has established and manned a National Team that has played in several high level international competitions including:
2002 European Qualifier Tournament in Hungary: 1st place
2003 European Seniors Championship in Holland: 2nd place
2004 Athens Olympic Games: 7th place
2005 European Seniors Championship in Czech R: 9th place
2008 European Qualifier Tournament in Portugal: 1st place
2010 European Seniors Championship in Germany:4th place
2011 Baseball World Cup in Panama: 15th place
2012 European Seniors Championship in Holland: 7th place
Players have been and continue to be recruited from teams in the local Greek league and from the Greek diaspora of North America.
Today, baseball in Greece is experiencing a dramatic increase in interest among youngsters. The Little League organization has taken hold and teams are being organized at a welcome pace. The men’s league is still running strong with as many as ten teams participating in the local tournaments. The sport’s future in Greece is promising and we hope to host a major international tournament within the next few years.