Thursday July 27th 2017

1999

This season contained some real seminal moments for the team. 

A new season and some more new players joined the Falcons family. John Oliver joined the fray, and Paul Auchterlounie and Geoff Hare (skilled centre-fielder and short stop, respectively) took up their positions. Paul Raybould came to join and develop the pitching staff. He had many years experience pitching at the highest level in British baseball. 

Buoyed by the new recruits and building on last years success the Falcons had a phenomenal season. With league, friendly and tournament games they played a huge 29 games and won the league.  

The baseball was now of a competitive standard. The league record was 11 wins and only 4 loses. The Falcons managed to take one game of a double-header against Cambridge Monarchs despite them fielding Premier league players. As a result of their form they were invited to play alongside the London Tournament. They went on to win the “Frank Brady cup” (available for teams in the lower league) beating off premiership opposition from the Essex arrows and the Bournemouth Sharks. 

Their league form secured the Falcons a place at the promotional play-offs at Upper Heyford. On 22nd August 1999 they faced the Richmond Flames. The game was incredibly tight. In the Falcons last at-bat of the game Earl Dix did not call for the squeeze play of a suicide bunt. Instead the Falcons saw Stuart Boast’s massive hit caught right on the fence. The Flames went on to score two more. The Falcons had lost the play-off. However in an unprecedented move BBF officials, impressed by the Falcons heart and standard, invited them to join the First Division anyway. The Falcons accepted and were promoted not by victory but on their own merit nonetheless.