Herts Baseball Club has confirmed the acquisition of three more players for the coming season. Kevin Niedringhaus, Matt Spaulding and Seth Lipstock all played for the Richmond Flames last year winning the pennant with the best record in the NBL regular season (19-5). They will be wearing the Herts jersey in 2012.
25-year-old right-handed pitcher and utility player, Kevin Niedringhaus, spent the last two seasons in the NBL with the Flames. He was one of the most versatile players for Richmond over that period playing every position in the field apart from first base. Impressively, he has committed only two errors in the NBL. But it is his performance at the plate which stands out. With an NBL career batting average of .397 and a .512 on-base average he is expected to bring much needed boost to the Falcons offensive lineup.
Prior to 2010 Niedringhaus played in America. He captained his high school team, the Northwestern Trojans. He then progressed on to the American Legion Baseball in (Post 34) Rock Hill, South Carolina where he played between 2000 and 2005. British baseball fans may not be familiar with the American Legion Baseball, but its alumni base includes some of the sport’s most recognizable names. Yogi Berra, Ted Williams, Frank Robinson, current Yankees slugger Mark Texeira, played in the league’s 1997 World Series. Babe Ruth was too old to join when Legion Baseball started, but he spent the final years of his life promoting the program as its director of operations. Other prominent players include Ryne Sandberg, Roy Campanella, Dusty Baker, Albert Pujols, Greg Maddux, Chipper Jones and many others.
Herts baseball fans remember Matt Spaulding best from a deciding AA-League clash between the Herts Falcons and the Richmond Knights 9 years ago. 10 August 2003 was the hottest day in Great Britain since records began, but more importantly it was the day of the game to decide who will remain in the race for the AA postseason. Spaulding pitched a complete game leading Richmond to a 9-5 victory breaking Falcons’ hearts on the way.
In the following season Spaulding was promoted to the Richmond NBL team and has been a regular for the last four seasons including the national championship-winning Richmond team of 2010. Left-handed pitcher Spaulding has been predominantly used as a reliever. He has a NBL win-loss career record of 7-7 on the mound. He has also been used by Richmond in left and right field.
33-year-old Seth Lipstock made his NBL debut with the Richmond Flames in 2011. He joined the team arriving from America in the latter part of the season so he remains an unknown quantity for British baseball teams. Herts will hope that Lipstock will bring an element of surprise in 2012 catching opponents unprepared without scouting reports on him.
Herts Baseball Club has indicated that a further roster announcement will be made imminently. We are following developments closely and will bring the news to you as they happen.
WILL YOU BE WEARING THE HERTS JERSEY IN 2012?
Herts’ recruitment efforts ahead of the new season continue and in fact new players can join at any point during the year. The club welcomes players from complete beginners to accomplished players. 6 to 16-year-olds play for the Herts youth teams while adults (over the age of 14) play for the club’s major and minor league teams. For more details contact Herts Baseball Club.