A new tribute – The Kal Cup

Herts Baseball Club is very proud to announce a new event on the sporting calendar this summer — The Kal Cup.

This will be a special tournament to remember our friend and team-mate Kal Dimitrov, and to celebrate the values of friendship and fair play he brought to our sport. It will take place at our Grovehill home in Hemel Hempstead over the weekend of August 12th-13th.

Herts will enter three teams — including one of veterans who played alongside Kal — and invites all Single-A level sides to enter for a weekend of fast-moving, knockout baseball.

The format will start out as a series of single-inning games for every team — a format successfully used in Herts’ own intra-club competition in the autumn. It means that every inning is like the ninth, with all the drama and strategy that entails.

But if you lose, there’s another game coming just a few minutes later!

As teams progress to semi-finals and a final, the games will stretch to three and finally six innings. The aim is to have everybody playing as much baseball as possible over the weekend, and competing against friends old and new.

Kal Dimitrov was a key figure at Herts Baseball Club for over a decade and helped build it to the force it is today. He died suddenly during a league game in 2015, a moment which shocked the Herts baseball family but also the whole British baseball community.

He had been a player, coach, umpire, manager and mentor for several teams. In 2015, he was the joint manager of the Herts Raptors in the Single-A division.

That is why the club has chosen to focus this tournament on Single-A teams. And, indeed, on anyone taking part in baseball below the expert level! Kal’s legacy was about love for the game, and for the way it brought people together, and that is what we want to mark.

He had also been instrumental in developing the youth leagues which have now flourished at Herts. The Under-17 Red Kites will therefore enter a team in this tournament.

The Raptors will be there, the current Herts Single-A team. And so will “Kal’s Knights” — made up of former players who played with Kal over the years.

Herts would love to have teams from across the country come and help us celebrate our friend.

The club’s Communications Director, Rob Jones, said: “I have nothing but wonderful memories of Kal. His character, humour and spirit lifted every baseball occasion.”

“We want to pay a tribute to him — and I know many people across the British game want the same. A weekend of baseball will be a great chance to show what Kal was all about.”

The entry fee is £100 per team, with Herts providing balls, umpires and all the necessary facilities. There will be food, drinks and merchandise available from our expert concessions team.

Please contact us at hertsbaseball.com for more information and to enter the tournament. We can be found on Facebook and as @hertsbaseball on Twitter and Instagram.