As the adult and little league baseball seasons approach, Herts Baseball Club is one of several clubs in the country unveiling a new baseball diamond and improved baseball facilities.
Over the last 3 years the club has been on a relentless mission to create the best facilities in British Baseball. Last month the club reached a major landmark by completing the creation of the second diamond at its home ballpark in Hemel Hempstead. This project was made possible thanks to funding from BSUK as part of the facilities grant awarded to Herts last year as well as funding from Dacorum Borough Council and separate Herts fundraising projects and donations from Herts members and supporters.
The funds were invested in constructing a backstop, creating the infield clay areas, pitching mound, as well as a cut-off drain to improve the drainage in the infield. The funding was also used to repair the infield on the first diamond. The icing on the cake is the two scoreboards, one for each of the diamonds, which must be the biggest and best scoreboards in living memory in British Baseball.
All of this makes Grovehill Ballpark the only baseball venue in the country which has two high standard baseball diamonds with permanent outfield walls.
The venue will be a tremendous boost for the Herts youth baseball programme. The expanded facility increases the capacity to six little league diamonds which will enable the club to accommodate the growing number of teams in its Little League and especially when hosting events like the Herts Futures Tournament.
Herts Baseball Club President, Aspi Dimitrov, said: “We are grateful for the incredible support we have received from Dacorum Borough Council, BSUK and all of the club’s members and supporters without whom this would not have been possible.” He added: “These facilities will benefit not only the residents of Hemel Hempstead and Hertfordshire, but the whole British Baseball community as teams from across the country come to Grovehill Ballpark to take part in league games, tournaments and other events. Our only concern is that rumours are being spread on the internet that a Bracknell Blazers jersey was secretly buried under the home plate to cast a Bambino-like curse on our Club”.
The Herts Little Leaguers will probably be the first to grace the second diamond in the middle of May when the new grass is expected to be all set for baseball. With the Southern Adult League schedule published a few days ago it has been confirmed that the first official adult league game on the second diamond will be on 23 May when the Herts Hawks host the Sidewinders. Herts Baseball Club has not yet confirmed the date when the facility will have its official opening. The club is hoping to bid for one of the NBL special events which are scheduled in June as announced by the British Baseball Federation and, if they are awarded that event, then it could be the ideal occasion to mark the official opening of the new facility.
This project is ongoing and it will continue for many years to come. What’s next? Dugouts? Grandstand? Floodlights? One thing is certain. Herts Baseball Club has proven that there are no boundaries to what its members can achieve with the support of its partners and supporters.