Earlier this year Herts Baseball Club completed the latest stage of development of Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead. The wettest April on record halted the British baseball leagues but finally on Saturday the rain stopped and youth baseball teams and fans from across the country came down to the ballpark to officially unveil the upgraded facilities.
Teams from Horsham and Leicester made the long trip to Hertfordshire to join teams from Herts for a day of baseball in the Under-17, Under-14 and Under-11 British baseball leagues.
During the opening ceremony the teams had the opportunity to recognise the fantastic support from BaseballSoftballUK (BSUK) who awarded a £10,000 grant for the Grovehill Ballpark project in line with their 2009-2013 Whole Sport Plan and Sport England’s strategic aims for the sport. This grant, together with nearly £7,000 raised separately by Herts through various fund-raising activities, was invested in the installation of perimeter fencing along the first and third base dead-ball lines of both diamonds, making each diamond a fully-enclosed baseball venue. Further fencing was installed to create four fully-enclosed team dugouts for home and visiting teams on both diamonds.
Herts Baseball Club President, Aspi Dimitrov, said: “This is just one of so many Herts projects which BSUK has supported. Apart from the ballpark development, BSUK was instrumental in starting our club’s youth programme in 2007 and it is very fitting that the upgraded facilities are being unveiled by the members of the youth programme”. Dimitrov added: “In addition to BSUK’s £10,000 grant there have been so many members and parents involved in raising the additional £7,000. Without them this would not have been possible. It was also very appropriate that Horsham and Leicester were present as they have also contributed over the years by taking part in events such as the Herts Futures Tournament and the Herts Spring League which have generated additional funds for the ballpark development. Everyone has played a part in building these baseball facilities and teams from around Great Britain will be able to enjoy them for many years to come”.
After the opening ceremony fans enjoyed four baseball games. For full reports, box scores, gamecast, photos and more from these games follow the links below: