At its Annual General Meeting on Sunday, 5 January 2020, Herts Baseball Club announced that it has been awarded a £3,000 grant by Dacorum Borough Council. The club will add £5,000 of its own funds which it has raised over the years and the total amount of around £8,000 will be invested into repairing and upgrading the perimeter, backstop, outfield and dugout fencing at Grovehill Ballpark which has suffered from vandalism in recent years.
After a year when the club recorded a 54.7% growth in the number of its players coinciding with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees coming to play MLB league games in London, this investment in Grovehill Ballpark is expected to increase participation, wellbeing and enjoyment of the hundreds of baseball players and fans who are using the venue.
Dacorum Borough Council’s Community Grant scheme was set up to support community, voluntary, arts and sporting projects which meet the Council’s vision to create a borough which enables its communities to thrive and prosper. 2020 is Hertfordshire Year of Culture and, in support of this, the Council was particularly interested in receiving applications for projects that have a cultural theme.
Herts Baseball Club has been based at the baseball venue in Grovehill, Hemel Hempstead, since 1996. Up until 2009 the venue had only one baseball diamond. In 2009 the club raised funds and built a second baseball diamond to satisfy demand from the growing number of youth and adult baseball and softball players which were joining the club every year. In 2012 additional funds were raised from BaseballSoftballUK to upgrade the venue by adding home and away team dugouts on each of the two diamonds and perimeter fencing to make the facility fully enclosed in line with baseball requirements.
NBL Postseason Playoff game at Grovehill Ballpark in 2013
In recent years the facility has suffered from serious vandalism. Also some of the fencing dates back to 1996 and needs to be replaced due to wear and tear. This investment will make the venue safe and will deliver several upgrades to reduce the risk of future vandalism.
The project is expected to commence soon with the aim of completing installations in time for the first games of the 2020 British baseball season. Players, from complete beginners to advanced, are now registering for the new season. Click here for details.