Falcons, Hawks and Raptors go into 2018 with new managers. Club adds 5 new board members.

At its 21st Annual General Meeting, Herts Baseball Club announced the appointment of new managers for all three of its teams competing in the BBF senior leagues, as well as a large number of appointments in the youth baseball department.

Cris Hiche (pictured above) takes over from Lee Manning as the Manager of the club’s first team, the Herts Falcons, who play in the National Baseball League, which is Britain’s top baseball league tier. Hiche has been a key member of the team since 2012. In 2016 he spent a season playing in the Austrian Bundesliga, but came back to rejoin Herts in 2017. He has now set ambitious goals for the team to go back to challenging for the NBL title.

The club’s second team, the Herts Hawks, will also have a new manager. Michael Cresswell takes over from Andrew Slater and Greg Bochan. The team reached the playoffs in its first year back in Double-A last year so Cresswell will inherit a very capable squad. Cresswell previously managed the Herts Raptors. He took the team to the playoffs in 2016 eliminating the reigning Single-A Champions in the quarter-finals.

Matt Jackson has had outstanding performances playing for the Herts Raptors since 2015 which was recognized with him being voted Most Valuable Player in 2016, an award he shared with Michael Cresswell. Jackson will now take the Raptors managerial seat in 2018 from Paul Barton. It is considered to be the most challenging team to manage as the role involves trying to find the balance between competing in an ever-improving Single-A League and at the same time creating the right environment to develop new players, some of whom are completely new to the sport of baseball. But for those who enjoy this type of challenge it can be the most rewarding managerial role at the club.

Lee Manning makes the move from managing the Falcons to heading the club’s youth baseball programme. He will be working alongside the team managers of the club’s various youth age groups, who have also joined the board – Duane Badenhorst (Under-15), Dana Myzer (Under-13), Andrew Fulford (Under-11), John Kjorstad and Lee Manning as joint Under-8 Managers.

In total the club has added 5 new board members and this is expected to bring new energy to the club’s front office. Two board positions are still vacant – Club Secretary and Facilities Manager. The club is also looking to fill the Softball Manager position which is a non-board position. Those interested in taking on these roles or to receive more information can contact the club.

At the AGM the Club also announced the winners of the 2017 awards.

MVP, Herts Falcons – Tyler Badenhorst
MVP, Herts Hawks – Louis Hare
MVP, Herts Raptors – Tom Carson
MVP, Herts Red Kites U17 – Tyler Badenhorst
MVP, Herts U13 – Josh Badenhorst
MVP, Herts U11 – Ben Myzer
MVP, Herts U8 – Daniel Heal
Play of the Year – Robert Smith (for his stellar relief appearance in the playoffs)
Nob-Out Award – Aspi Dimitrov (for the walk-off that went wrong)

With the club’s front office ready to go, attention now turns to Spring Training which commences this Sunday, 4 February, for the adult and youth baseball teams while softball Spring Training starts on 18 February. These are open sessions, making them an ideal opportunity for men and women, boys and girls of all ages to come and try baseball and softball.