The 2014 BBF league season is about to reach its conclusion, but the best part of the season for everyone connected with Herts Baseball Club is yet to come.
Every year, just when the MLB season enters its most exciting stage, players come to Grovehill Ballpark for a competition in memory of Herts Baseball Club’s number 36, the late Kyle Hunlock.
This is the eighth year of the Hunlock Series. In its inaugural year in 2006 only two teams were involved, the Falcons and the Hawks. Herts Baseball Club has been growing rapidly since then and the number of teams in the Series has been increasing every year. As players sign up over the next few days we will know how many teams will enter the Series this year.
This year’s competition will be played over 3 weeks. The opening games will be played on Sunday, 7 September. The second round of games will take place on 21 September with the final round scheduled for 28 September. Sunday, 5 October has been reserved in the event of rain or other rescheduling requirements.
After its successful introduction in 2012 we will see the return of “The 9th Inning Weekend” where games are decided over one inning only. This format recreates the tension and drama of the ninth inning. Can the teams manufacture the all important go-ahead run? Can they deliver the walk-off hits? Can the pitchers and defence execute with the game on the line?
Aspi Dimitrov, Hunlock Series Commissioner, said: “The 9th Inning Weekend was very exciting in 2012. Last year it was wiped out by the weather and we know everyone was looking forward to it, so it is back this year.” Dimitrov added: “The pressure of the ninth inning comes once a day for MLB managers. Let’s see how the team managers and players will handle it when every inning is the ninth inning.”
As in previous years, the 2014 Hunlock Series managers will select their teams during a live Draft. Who will be the first round picks? How will minor league players perform alongside NBL players?
Over the years we have seen how decisions made during the draft can shape the outcome of the Series before a pitch has been thrown. The managers will have to make carefully calculated decisions if they are to put together a team which can compete for the Hunlock Series title, otherwise they face miserable few weeks.
With all of the club’s managers and coaching staff monitoring these games, players who have been pushing for promotion to a higher league team will have the perfect opportunity to make a claim on the big stage in the coming weeks of the Hunlock Series.
PLAYERS LOOKING TO REGISTER AHEAD OF THE DRAFT
Herts players are currently signing up ahead of the draft. New players and players from other clubs can also sign up by contacting Herts Baseball Club.
There has already been interest from non-Herts players located in other regions of the United Kingdom and overseas. Just like last year, the Hunlock Series could provide a glimpse at players who could be wearing the Herts jersey in 2015.
To be eligible for selection during the live draft, players must register and enter their availability details online by 7pm on Wednesday, 27 August. If you miss this deadline, don’t worry. Players would still be eligible to take part but would be added to teams as free agents. Players who wish to register for the 2014 Hunlock Series should contact Herts Baseball Club. To be eligible to play in the Hunlock Series, players must be 14 years of age or above on 31 December 2014.