In Curveballs and Sliders, Joe Gray features a different aspect of baseball each week – and in this first instalment he looks in more detail at Hemel Hempstead’s very own Herts Baseball Club.
Herts Baseball Club was founded in 1996 and over the years has become one of the largest baseball organisations in the country, with five adult teams now playing in the British baseball league.
The top team in the club, the Falcons, narrowly lost out in last year’s national finals, finishing second overall. Their performance in 2012 earned them a ranking of number 38 in Europe.
The club also runs one of the largest and most successful youth programmes in the country. It is known as the Herts Little League and offers baseball to boys and girls aged between 6 and 16.
The club’s U14 All-Star team were Great Britain’s U14 national champions in 2010 and runners-up in 2011.
Past and present players of the club have been frequently selected to play for the Great Britain national team at a range of levels.
The club is based at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead. It has made substantial investments into the improvement and expansion of the field and baseball facilities with support from the National Lottery and many other organisations and partners.
Over the last few seasons, Grovehill Ballpark has been selected as the venue for the National Baseball Championships, which are the pinnacle of the British baseball season.
Next week, “Curveballs and sliders” will explore baseball’s history in Herts.
> Herts Baseball Club welcomes male and female players of all levels, including beginners, to compete in both youth baseball (ages 6–16) and adult baseball (14+).
Visit www.hertsbaseball.com for more information on becoming a player and details of other ways to get involved. Games are free to attend for spectators.