On a sun-drenched afternoon, players and fans of baseball had gathered from all corners of Hertfordshire and beyond for the Opening Day of the inaugural season of the Herts Baseball Little League. The Mayor of the Borough of Dacorum, Councillor Mrs. Carol Green, was the guest of honour who officially opened the 2008 season.
Addressing the numerous fans, players, coaches and volunteers she said: “Hemel Hempstead has been the home base for baseball in Hertfordshire since the 1980s. The club now has three adult teams competing in the British Baseball Leagues. Now we come to the Herts Little League based here in Grovehill. I understand that last year the club went out to 15 schools in the area and gave a taster session to nearly 1,000 children who learned about baseball. I think it is wonderful to see what has come out of it here today“. The Mayor also took the opportunity to congratulate all the fathers who were in attendance on the celebration of Father’s Day. She concluded by saying: “It is my pleasure and privilege to declare the Herts Baseball Little League open. I wish you well and I encourage all your friends to come and join as well. Good luck!”
Just as American Presidents do every year on Opening Day, the Mayor threw out the ceremonial first pitch and she threw a fireball of a pitch. Catching for her was Herts Falcons’ shortstop and resident of Dacorum Borough, Andy Cornish.
Keeping with baseball tradition, the ceremony included the performance of God Save the Queen by 7 year-old Marianna Casal from Hemel Hempstead. This was very fitting as Opening Day was also the Queen’s official birthday.
The spectacular opening ceremony had attracted the attention of residents living close to Grovehill Ballpark and with just minutes before the first league games commenced, players were still streaming down to Grovehill Ballpark applying to register for one of the four Little League teams for the 2008 season.
Everything was set for the baseball to begin. The Herts Yankees got off to a great start of their 2008 campaign with a 10-9 come-from-behind win against the Herts Red Sox. Yes, that’s right. A Yankees versus Red Sox clash right here in Hertfordshire. The Herts Cubs also won their opening game against the Herts Blue Jays, 7-2. The Blue Jays find themselves bottom of the league after Day One, as they also lost their second game 10-9 to the Red Sox. But they will hope to bounce straight back into the race for the title next Saturday.
The scene was set for a dramatic end to Day One with the current league leaders, the Yankees and the Cubs, clashing on Field Two. The Yankees took an early 3-0 lead, but the Cubs came back strong to tie the game and take a 5-3 lead in the final inning. The Yankees had the bases loaded in the bottom of that inning, but not even the loud chants of “Let’s go Yankees” from the grandstand could help them overcome the Herts Cubs’ late-inning heroics.
The league games continue next Saturday at 12:00pm when the Red Sox play the Cubs and the Yankees clash with the Blue Jays.
It is not too late for boys and girls to register for the 2008 season. To register visit www.HertsLittleLeague.com and fill in the online registration form. Players are able to sign up even partway through the season.
For more information about the event please contact Herts Baseball Club firstname.lastname@example.org