Yesterday’s announcement that Herts Baseball Club has received a £10,000 National Lottery grant to launch its North West London branch confirmed that a new baseball diamond will appear in West Hendon.
It is always exciting when a new baseball venue is created and Herts fans will be keen to find out more about what it will look like. In the first year the venue is expected to stage predominantly youth league games, but the option is available for Herts to schedule adult league games too. The outfield dimensions will be 268ft to left field, 356ft to centerfield, and 255ft to right field. Compared to the new diamond at Grovehill Ballpark, centerfield will be deeper by 14ft. The left field foul pole will be shallower by 42ft however the distance starts to increase rapidly and left-centerfield will be much deeper in comparison. The distance to right field will be very similar to both the old and the new diamonds at Grovehill Ballpark. The first games at West Hendon are expected to be played in the beginning of May.
The venue offers amenities such as changing rooms, toilets and showers as well as a car park with good capacity. Travelling to this new baseball facility will be much easier compared to the club’s Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead. Click here to view transport options by car, bus, train (Thameslink) and London Underground (Northern Line and Jubilee Line).
The view from centerfield towards home plate at the new baseball diamond in West Hendon
In 2015 there are no plans to create cut-out areas. From that perspective it will resemble Oxford Kings’ diamond to a large extent. Baseball-specific components such as backstop, dugouts and outfield fence will be portable or semi-portable. “We are already in discussions about the long-term development of the baseball facility. This will be a gradual process and the scale of the project will increase as the programme grows. London Borough of Barnet and the local councillors have been very supportive and enthusiastic about bringing baseball to North West London and we look forward to working with them for many years to come to bring something special to the community” said Herts Baseball Club President, Aspi Dimitrov.
A look at the British Baseball archives reveals that the last team to play in this particular part of North West London was the Golders Green Sox who had their best years in the late 1970s winning the National Championship in Britain’s top league with a 9-5 win over the Hull Aces in 1977 and a 9-7 win again against Hull in 1979. We would be interested to find out more about the Golders Green Sox and see if we can get in touch with members of that team. They may have retired from baseball, but perhaps their children and grandchildren can get involved and keep the legend alive. If you know a member of the Golders Green Sox please contact us.