Herts Baseball Club officially confirmed that there will be four Herts teams entering the senior leagues of the British Baseball Federation. This means that the Herts Eagles will return to the league after missing the 2011 season. The big question for the executive board of the club was which BBF leagues should these four teams be entered in.
The club’s first team, the Herts Falcons, will be hoping for big improvement in the National Baseball League (NBL) after two difficult seasons. In 2010 the team ended the season with 9 wins 19 losses, and the win-loss record went down further in 2011 to 4-20. Judging by recently announced player acquisitions, the Falcons appear to be determined to turn their fortunes around in 2012.
The Herts Hawks will once again be entering the AA League, which is Britain’s third league tier. The Hawks roster is also expected to be in much better shape compared to last year.
The Herts Raptors will remain in the Single-A League. Last year they ended the season on a high with three wins in the last four games and they will be looking to continue that run. If they do that, theoretically they should secure a place in the postseason.
The club has experienced a substantial increase in new players joining the organisation during the close season. The size of the club’s rosters mushroomed further thanks to a large number of the club’s Under-17 players showing interest in being considered for the Herts adult teams. This meant that the club was ready to enter an additional team, signalling the return of the Herts Eagles. The Eagles first entered the league in 2009 playing in the AAA-League. The following season the team reached the AAA National Championship losing to the Oxford Kings in the Semi-Final. The Eagles did not enter the League last year reflecting the lower number of players in the Herts rosters.
But which league should the Herts Eagles go into in 2012? To decide this, the Board needed to carry out a careful analysis of the team rosters. The club has always been very successful at attracting players who have never played the game before and this trend has continued this winter. The majority of the Board agreed that two of the club’s four teams are not equipped to play higher than the Single-A League. Some of the Board members were of the opinion that the Eagles should enter the AAA League and move the Hawks down to the Single-A League, but ultimately, taking all factors into account, it was decided that the Eagles should enter the Single-A League. This means that in 2012 Herts will have a team in the NBL (first league tier), no teams in the AAA (second league tier), one in the AA (third league tier) and two teams in the Single-A (fourth league tier).
The entry of a fourth Herts team also means that the club will now be inviting candidates for the role of Manager of the fourth team.