Herts AGM – in pursuit of growth and success on and off the field

With no baseball on TV it is easy to assume that baseball clubs around the world simply lock up their ballparks and fly off to warm destinations for the five months of the winter close season between November and March. In fact the close season is a very busy and important period for the MLB clubs.

This is also the case at Herts Baseball Club. The club held its Annual General Meeting appointing the Executive Board for the upcoming season.

Herts will go into the new season with a strong team in all departments, the number of which seems to be increasing every year. There are some new faces joining the club’s Board who will bring fresh ideas and new energy, and at the same time the club has retained a large number of the 2013 Board members which will provide continuity in the club’s pursuit of growth and success on and off the field.

The following is the full list of the 2014 Herts Baseball Executive Board. There are several vacant positions which the club is aiming to fill in the coming weeks as it prepares for another season of Herts baseball. Those interested in any of the vacant Board positions or for more information about them can contact the club.

President – Aspi Dimitrov

Co-Treasurers – Chris Jones and Aspi Dimitrov

Secretary – Vacant

Manager (First Team – NBL) – Lee Manning

Manager (Second Team – AAA) – Carlos Casal

Co-Managers (Third Team – AA) – Andy Cornish and Greg Bochan

Manager (Fourth Team – A) – Vacant

Manager (Fifth Team – A) – Vacant

Youth League Commissioner – Aspi Dimitrov

Head of U17 Baseball – Cristobal Hiche

Head of U14 Baseball – Jake Caress

Head of U11 Baseball – Vacant

Softball League Commissioner – Vacant

Club Shop Manager – Mark Caress

Communications Director – Ben Marques

Facilities Manager – Ben Marques

Board member-at-large – Joe Gray

Board member-at-large – Kevin Freeman

After the Board’s 2013 report and approval of the 2012 accounts, the Co-Treasurers presented preliminary financial results for the year to 31 October 2013. The full financial statements are expected to be finalised and presented to members for approval over the next few months. The preliminary results are positive with a good accumulation of reserves which are available for the club to invest in its future development and growth and as partnership funding in grant applications. Despite a reduction in debtors compared to 2012, the balance remained high and it was confirmed that the Treasury department is in the process of implementing various steps, from sending out reminder notices to court proceedings where necessary. It is hoped that these stricter procedures will address this issue.

Two constitutional amendments were approved unanimously. The implications are that Board members will now serve 3-year terms as opposed to the 1-year terms in previous years. In the interest of continuity, a rotation system will be in place every year so that only a third of the Board will stand down. At the same time the amendments give members and the Board some safeguards when it is in the club’s best interest for a member of the Board to stand down before the end of their term.

With a large number of changes in youth baseball announced earlier this month at the British Baseball Federation Congress, the Herts AGM assessed them and considered the available options. The transition will not be easy but significant gains are available for those who put the time and effort into youth baseball.

A proposal for the start of a Herts regional league were put forward. There can be significant benefits from this project provided that it can fit into the timetable of players and around the club’s existing departments and events schedule. The club will assess potential demand, scheduling and other aspects of the project.

The Single-A League department was covered extensively with various topics from the process of drafting the players to an option to enter a Herts team or teams in a proposed Midlands Single-A league.