The girls and boys of the Herts Baseball Little League opened the 2009 season in the usual festive fashion. The ceremony started with the unveiling of the league teams. Last season, the league consisted of four teams. In addition, in 2009 two new teams have been added to the line-up.
In order to create a better balance in terms of age and ability, the six teams were divided into two separate divisions. Last year’s four teams, Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs and Blue Jays, will once again compete against each other and this will be referred to as the“Majors” Division. The two new teams, the Cardinals and the Giants, will be playing in the newly created “Minors” Division, which will include the league’s youngest players some aged as young as 5.
Opening Day’s guests of honour were members of the Hertfordshire Constabulary and Hertfordshire’s Fire and Rescue. The young baseball players had the opportunity to shake their hands and show their appreciation for the men and women of the emergency services.
Dacorum and St. Albans District Commander of Hertfordhsire Fire and Rescue, Simon Brown, said: “It is fantastic to see such a wonderful programme in our community and we are glad that we have a chance to take part in this great event”. His counterpart from the Hertfordshire Constabulary, Pete Edwards, added: “It is so nice to meet all the boys and girls and we hope that the Herts Baseball programme will continue to grow”.
Their colleagues, Danny Allsopp, Simon Steptoe, Beansy Harper, Sticky Pymont of Herts Fire and Rescue and Ryan Coyle, Matt Caan, Daniel John of the Herts Constabulary joined them for the ceremonial first pitch. All eight guests of honour showed good baseball abilities delivering powerful and accurate pitches. On the other side eight Little League players were waiting to receive the pitches, and so the 2009 season was officially opened.
Whether it is baseball, football or some other sport, there is a common belief that the standard in every sport improves year-after-year. Without any doubt this theory applies to the Herts Baseball League. The improvement of the baseball players over the last 12 years has been incredible. A lot of credit has to be given not only to the coaches, but most importantly to the players who have been working hard to improve. Some have been putting in countless hours of work at home practicing various aspects of the game. And it is certainly paying off. This was illustrated very well by the magnificent triple play executed with the skill that we associate only with MLB players.
In the first games of the Majors Division, the Red Sox managed to overcome the Yankees 4-3. In the other game, the Cubs started the season with a 1-0 win against the Blue Jays. As the score line suggests, this was a classic pitchers’ duel. In the second games, the Yankees beat the Blue Jays 10-5 while the Red Sox are the only team with aa 100% record after their 9-4 win against the Cubs.
In the Minors Division, it was the Cardinals that came out on top of a 21-20 epic against the Giants.
Click here for more images from Opening Day.
Boys and girls aged between 5 and 14+ can join the Herts Baseball Little League at any time. For more details visit www.hertslittleleague.com