Ryan Bird is one of the biggest stars of the National Baseball League and he will be wearing the Herts jersey this season. In the last four years the 29-year-old has been one of the most dominant baseball players in Great Britain. His name appears prominently across the majority of the defensive and offensive stats of the NBL.
He received immediate recognition, voted as the NBL’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2008. This was his first season in the League and this achievement is even more significant given that this was a time of total league domination by the amazing London Mets. In the following year Bird was once again voted as the League’s MVP, making him the first player to receive two MVP awards since the days of Simon Pole during the London Warriors era. In 2009 he was also the league’s home run champion with 5 dingers.
He has performed consistently throughout and he is the NBL leader in career batting average (.477), career on-base average (.560) and career slugging average (.804). His primary position is catcher, but he has also had a real impact as a pitcher. His career ERA is 3.49 with a record of 10 wins and 4 losses and, very notably, one of the highest strikeouts per nine innings ratios (16.29).
In his four seasons with the Flames, Bird has reached the postseason on each occasion lifting the National Championship trophy in 2010 and finishing as Runner-up twice (2008, 2009). His is now making the move to a team which has struggled in the last two years, but he feels that 2012 could be a turning point for Herts. “I am excited ahead of the new season and look forward to being a part of the team. I believe the Falcons will be more competitive this year as a result of the winter recruitment, dedicated team and solid framework already in place.” he said.
Bird feels that “A playoff place is well within our reach this year” adding that “From there anything can happen”.
The addition of Ryan Bird is the latest in a list of some very significant player acquisitions for Herts. The news of these has travelled fast not only in and around Hertfordshire and North West London, but also nationally and has even featured in European publications.
WILL YOU BE WEARING THE HERTS JERSEY IN 2012?
Herts’ recruitment efforts ahead of the new season continue and in fact new players can join at any point during the year. The club welcomes players from complete beginners to accomplished players. 6 to 16-year-olds play for the Herts youth teams while adults (over the age of 14) play for the club’s major and minor league teams. For more details contact Herts Baseball Club.
NBL statistics courtesy of www.projectcobb.org.uk