With less than 48 hours before the first pitch of the 2012 National Baseball League (NBL) season there does not appear to be an end to the waves of player transactions made by the Herts Falcons this Spring. They have strengthened their NBL roster further with the addition of infielder, Dave House and left-handed pitcher, George Naumczik.
George Naumczik comes with a wealth of experience which could prove to be very valuable for Herts on and off the field. He is one of the few players in Great Britain with experience of playing for an MLB franchise. In 1986 he played for the Idaho Falls Braves in the Pinoneer League. This was the minor league affiliate of the Atlanta Braves.
He was out of action last season, but prior to that he had four seasons in the NBL under his belt with the Flames in 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2010. His NBL career batting average is .317 with 1 home run.
Naumczik is a left-handed pitcher and fans who have followed British Baseball in the last few years will recognise his distinctive wrist action when he delivers a pitch which can be quite deceiving for opposing hitters.
Dave House is a player known to NBL fans. He has previously appeared for the Windsor Bears and the Richmond Flames. Last year in the NBL he had an impressive batting average of .314. His primary positions are third base and second base.
Earlier in his career House spent four years playing for the TASIS Varsity Baseball team, which he later coached in 2006 and 2007.
House is 25 years old and is yet another addition which is bringing the average age of the Falcons squad down. Adding players who are about to reach the peak of their physical and baseball development is exciting news for everyone connected with Herts.
Hertsbaseball.com had a chance to put a few questions to Dave House on the eve of Opening Day.
hertsbaseball.com: What would be the key to a successful 2012 season for Herts?
Dave House: The key to success this year will be for everyone on this Falcons team to come together as a cohesive unit. With so much new talent being combined with the great players that are returning, it will be important for the team to work together to improve upon everyone’s strengths and weaknesses.
hertsbaseball.com: Which team or teams do you think go into the new season as the favourites to win the NBL?
Dave House: Just as last year, the Nationals look to be a solid group of players, and the London Mets have added some new talent during the offseason. But I honestly believe that based on the quality that I have seen on the Herts training ground, the Falcons rightfully deserve to be right up there in the group of favourites – and for those who have not yet seen this Falcons team, I would say look out for the dark horse!
hertsbaseball.com: What do you see as a realistic target for Herts this year?
Dave House: Realistically, the Falcons should finish well above .500 in winning percentage and should be competing in the postseason NBC.
hertsbaseball.com: Do you have a message for fans of Herts Baseball Club?
Dave House: To the Herts fans, I would say that this is going to be one exciting season! Based on the talent that I have seen at training, the Falcons look to be very strong competitors in the NBL, and fans should expect to see some top class ball being played at this club.
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 projectcobb.org.uk