Herts have brought an added international flavour with three more acquisitions ahead of the 2012 season.
Mike Cattermole joins Herts with nearly 20 years experience in the National Baseball League (NBL). His first appearance in the NBL was with the Hounslow Rangers with whom he played until 1996. He then moved on to the Windsor Bears where he spent 4 seasons between 2001 and 2004. This was a very successful period for the Bears winning the NBL title in 2003 and finishing as runner-up in the other three seasons (2001, 2002 and 2004). This was followed by 5 years with the Bracknell Blazers with whom he won the NBL in 2009 in that memorable comeback wining the last three games of the NBCs to clinch the title. Cattermole has been used predominantly in the outfield but has also appeared at third base, second base and on the mound. His batting average between 1995 and now stands at .246.
Vassil Botev joins Herts from the Imperial Falcons, a team representing Imperial College in the British University Baseball Association. Fans of Herts Baseball will remember him from the 2010 University Fall Cup which was held at Grovehill Ballpark. Botev was the winning pitcher in the final between the Imperial Falcons and Nottingham University. On a very wet day he managed to knock out the high-profile Nottingham pitchers George Lintern (Southern Nationals and Great Britain Senior Team) and Gordon Sheppard (Bracknell Blazers and Great Britain U19 Team) both with extensive NBL and international experience.
Vassil Botev started his career in Switzerland playing little league ball and later moving on to the Swiss National League B with the Geneva Dragons finishing in the top 4 in 2005 and reaching the Swiss playoffs in 2006. In the same year the Swiss-Bulgarian also received a call-up to the Swiss Under-18 National Team. The 23-year-old has been used primarily as a pitcher but also has extensive experience at third base and as a catcher. Botev’s arrival means that all three players known to have a Bulgarian origin in the British adult baseball leagues are now rostered with Herts.
If there was a contest for the most muscular baseball player in Great Britain, Gilberto Medina is likely to be right up there with the Edwin Alcantaras of this world. The imposing figure of the Venezuelan is going to be a scary sight for opponents of Herts this season.
Medina’s education and career in chemical engineering meant that he had to end his baseball career when he graduated from high school in his hometown of Coro in Venezuela. However his professional career brought him to Hatfield in Hertfordshire which has opened up the opportunity for him to resume his baseball career. “When I found out that there was another chance for me to fill the baseball void with Herts, I got a very satisfying feeling in the knowledge that playing is possible again” said Medina. “Some of the players from my school in Venezuela went on to have tryouts and some of them got chosen by scouts for national and international teams. I always wonder – what if I had carried on playing? What or where could I be today?”. Well, Gilberto Medina is now with Herts and he can look forward to a very intriguing season of baseball. “It’s a really exciting experience for me and is an honour to join Herts. The people I have met so far just make me want to give my best. I am having a good time” said Medina.
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