The 2017 BBF league season is done and dusted, but the best part of the season for everyone connected with Herts Baseball Club is still 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 twelfth year of the Hunlock Series. In its inaugural year in 2006 two teams were involved, the Falcons and the Hawks. Herts Baseball Club has been growing rapidly since then and the format of the competition has evolved. As players sign up over the next few weeks we will know how many teams will enter the Series this year.
This year’s competition will be played over three Sundays. The opening games will be played on Sunday, 24 September. The second round of games will take place on Sunday, 1 October, with the final round scheduled for Sunday, 8 October. If weather conditions affect the first three weeks, 15 October is available as a backup date.
In 2014 we introduced “The 9th Inning Games” where games are played over a single inning. We will be doing this again this year. 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?
As in previous years, the teams will be selected by the team managers during the Hunlock Series 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 observing these games, players who have been pushing for promotion to a higher league team will have the perfect opportunity during the Hunlock Series to make a claim to play on the bigger stage in 2018. The club has also received enquiries from many potential new members over the last few weeks and this event is the ideal opportunity for them to come and play.
HOW TO REGISTER
Existing Herts players are currently registering ahead of the Draft by simply updating their availability in the online Clubhouse. 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. They are all welcome to sign up and play in these games. Just like last year, the Hunlock Series could provide a glimpse at new players who could be wearing the Herts jersey next season.
To be eligible for selection during the Draft, players must register and enter their availability details online by 7pm on Monday, 18 September. If you miss this Draft deadline, don’t worry. Players would still be eligible to play but would be added to teams as free agents. To be eligible to play in the Hunlock Series, players must be 14 years of age or above on 31 December 2017.