Herts seeks National League hopefuls and rookies alike to ‘join the family’.
The Herts Falcons Spring Training Camp will face off against the Great Britain Junior National team on Sunday, in what marks the first baseball game of the English pre-season. GB Coach Paul Vernon will field a team of home-grown talent, while Herts will form a mixed squad: some returning veterans from their 2008 AAA Championship Team, some call-ups from within their organization, and hopefully some National League contenders who turn up that morning for the Club’s Open Trials.
The spring training exhibition match will take place at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead as a postscript to the Herts Baseball Club’s official tryouts. Herts is rapidly expanding into the UK’s largest baseball franchise, introducing a fourth adult squad in 2009 and sending their flagship Falcons to the invite-only National Baseball League. To pad out their rosters with as much talent as possible, Herts will run an Open Trials & Rookies Clinic starting at 9am on Sunday 1 March.
But Herts is not just seeking newcomers to the game. “We’re looking for skill and enthusiasm at every level of play,” confesses Falcons Manager Jason Greenberg. “In an ideal world, on Sunday we’ll see talented veterans, complete rookies, and everything in between. We’re hoping to swell our ranks by 10 to 20 players, and we think the enticement of joining a multi-tier franchise with a team in the National League will encourage a lot of guys to turn out. We want to give an opportunity to any British slugger to join a quality organization that provides them a chance to advance to the National League… rather than top-out at AA or AAA.”
The GB Juniors last came to Grovehill Ballpark in summer 2008…
The Trials will consist of timed base-running, infield, outfield and batting drills, and a radar-gunned bullpen session for pitchers and catchers. Then, as the tryouts end the exhibition game against the GB Juniors gets underway at 2.30pm. Greenberg plans to suit-up an expanded spring training roster of around 15-20 players, including some of the standouts from earlier in the day.
“Winning is not the first priority in the game against the Juniors,” says Greenberg. “We’ll give them a good game, I’m sure, and I like our chances for a win… but our managerial staff is looking to evaluate our own players, move them around to different positions, really take stock of what we’ve got to work with this season.” Greenberg and his co-managers have introduced the Herts organisation to a system of player movement like the one in Major League Baseball, where excelling stars are promoted within the organisation. “We plan to shift players quite a bit through the year – as much as the BBF regulations will allow. Hopefully it will motivate our members to develop and improve, and it lets our competitors know we’re using every tool in the box to go out there and win ballgames.”
REGISTER FOR THE OPEN TRIALS HERE: www.hertsbaseball.com/trials/
For more information about the March 1 event: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit the Herts Baseball Club website: www.hertsbaseball.com