With its annual general meeting approaching, Herts Baseball Club has confirmed that the managers of the Herts Falcons, Herts Hawks and Herts Under-13 teams will be stepping down. This will mark the end of an era for those teams and the start of the search for managers to lead these teams in 2018 and beyond.
Lee Manning has served as manager of the Herts Falcons since 2011. During that period he led the team to a NBL runner-up place in 2012 and 2013 just missing out on winning the NBL Championship against the Harlow Nationals in the Final on both occasions. This in fact was his second spell as manager of the club’s first team. His first spell was between 2004 and 2006 when he won promotion from the third tier of British Baseball to the second tier which at the time was referred to as the BBF Premier League, later renamed the BBF Triple-A League. Manning is hoping to continue his involvement in the club with focus on the youth baseball programme which he has been involved in since he founded it in 2007 together with Marty Cullen.
Andrew Slater and Greg Bochan have been the co-managers of the Herts Hawks, the club’s second team, since 2015. Bochan was first appointed as Hawks manager in 2009. In 2011 he was joined by Andy Cornish to share the role as co-managers until 2014. In the nine years since Bochan was first appointed, he and his co-managers Cornish and Slater managed to build fantastic camaraderie within the team, and it has given its members many moments which they will remember fondly. Regardless of whether the team had a winning average of .250 as was the case in 2011, or the 1.000 Single-A championship-winning season of 2016, the most important measure of success for the team has been the enjoyable, friendly atmosphere and sportsmanship on and off the field. At the recent end of year dinner (pictured above) the team expressed its gratitude to the three co-managers who built this team over the previous 9 seasons. The Hawks co-managers said that they would not be surprised if they return to managing the team in the future. They of course look forward to continuing to play for the club in 2018.
Mike Wakelam will be stepping down as Herts U13 Manager and Head of Youth Baseball. In 2009 he happened to be at the Northwick Park baseball centre when Herts were running an exhibition event there and he decided to join the club. He went on to play for the Herts Eagles in the Triple-A League and also for the Falcons in the NBL. In 2010 he became the manager of the Herts Under-11 team and later became the Under-13 manager. In 2017 Wakelam’s workload increased further as he joined the Board as the club’s Head of Youth Baseball. Over the last two years he was instrumental in restructuring the youth baseball regular season in an effort to increase the number of games played by the club’s youth teams which had been starved of games after the British Baseball Federation stopped running youth baseball leagues a few years ago. This has now been turned around and the BBF Super League was launched in 2017. Mike Wakelam is expected to remain involved in a playing capacity and he is likely to receive many calls from coaches after impressive displays in this year’s Hunlock Series.
Herts Baseball Club will shortly be announcing details of its Annual General Meeting which will include information for candidates which may be interested to put their names forward for these and other managerial and board positions which are being vacated.