Herts Baseball Club has gone for experience with the appointment of Arnie Longboy (pictured right) and Aspi Dimitrov as co-managers of the Herts Eagles.
This is a role which Longboy is familiar with after previously reaching the Single-A National Semi-Final as manager of the Herts Raptors in 2013, a game which they lost 10-6 to the Haverhill Blackjacks. This time around he will be managing alongside Dimitrov and the two of them are expected to hit the ground running as they have worked together at board level and in coaching capacity over the last 12 years.
The Eagles are one of five Herts teams which will be playing in the four leagues of the British Baseball Federation. They are back in the Single-A League after a three-year absence, but this time they will be playing their home games at the club’s new Basing Hill Ballpark in North West London. Herts fans can look forward to a Herts derby as the Eagles are expected to be in the same Single-A division as the Herts Raptors. This would imply that Arnie Longboy will come up against the team which he took to the Playoffs six years ago.
Arnie Longboy celebrating with the Raptors after clinching a Playoff place in 2013
The two co-managers may be familiar figures but fans of the Eagles will see many new faces make their Herts debuts this year so it is very difficult to make any predictions at this stage about whether the team will be battling at the top or the bottom of the league standings.
There are only six weeks remaining until the first league game of the season so the coaching staff have limited time to prepare the team. The Herts Spring League will give them valuable opportunity to see the players working as a team before the league season commences.
Then there is the MLB London Series factor. The club is already seeing the positive effects of this, and the Eagles are likely to get an even bigger influx of new players as we approach the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees games at the London Stadium on 29 and 30 June. We understand the club has left sufficient room in its five team rosters in Hemel Hempstead and in London to be able to welcome new players throughout the year.
The first opportunity to see the Eagles and the other four Herts teams in action this year will be in the Herts Spring League which will be played over three weekends from 16 to 31 March.
Adult and youth players, from beginners to advanced players, are now registering for the 2019 baseball season. For more details about how to join any of the Herts adult and youth baseball and softball teams in Hemel Hempstead and in NW London or to try baseball at an upcoming open session, contact Herts Baseball Club.