The Herts club’s occasional blogger, equally occasional player, and former Chief Correspondent Rob Jones has returned for another year of baseball. Here he offers his random views, glimpses and hopes for the coming year.
The sound echoed around the hall. It was of a loud slap, a loud snap, not unlike the report of a gun. It was a baseball hitting a leather mitt. Baseball season had begun.
Fifty or so players were there on the first week of indoor Spring Training, and the fact that a cavernous sports hall seemed crowded showed how far Herts has come in the past couple of years in expanding its reach. By the time I was there — barely even a few minutes late, which is excellent by my standards — there seemed hardly room to throw. On the second week there were slightly fewer of us, but still dozens of players, all turning out on a cold Sunday morning. The first excellent result of the season.
Never fear, though, about the apparent lack of space. Once the session had got rolling and the coaches had stepped in to organise, every inch of the hall was well used. At the second session, the club’s new strength and conditioning coach made his first appearance and worked the players into submission. Crouching like crabs, jumping like grasshoppers, lunging like refugees from Python’s silly walks sketch. The Herts media department kindly used a photo of the event which showed me as the only player bent double trying to recover from the exertion!