Author: Boo Matthews

Leading the Raptors into the new season

The Board of Herts Baseball are delighted to confirm the appointment of Rob Jones (above left) and Geoff Thomas as the co-managers of the Herts Raptors.

The Raptors will play in the Single-A League for 2014 after the BBF rejected their application to be promoted to Double-A.

This managerial role has been vacant since the club’s AGM last November.  On advertising the role, a large number of candidates expressed an interest, which gave the Board some real encouragement in the commitment at the club.  However, it also left them with a lot of thinking to do and choices to make!

The club now believe that, in Rob and Geoff, they have the right men for the job.

Rob Jones has considerable experience, having been with Herts since the early days when the club had only one team.  Rob has played a key role in the remarkable growth of Herts Baseball.

As a player, Rob was 2005 Batting Champion with the Herts Falcons second team playing in Division 1 (now AA) and in 2008 was Batting Champion for the Herts Raptors (Single-A league) and in the same season was awarded the Outfield Gold Glove.

Geoff Thomas is a knowledgeable player, with over 10 years playing experience.  Geoff has been a member of the Herts Eagles for the last 2 seasons, having previously played and been on the Board at Bristol.

Together, Rob and Geoff have outlined their vision for developing a team culture and have a strong coaching ethic to ensure the players understand all aspects of the game.

The timing of the appointment is key as the managers of the adult league teams will shortly be going through the process of determining their preliminary 2014 rosters.  The Raptors will be active in the Spring League series, commencing on 22 March with a home fixture against London Musketeers.

All at Herts Baseball are behind Rob and Geoff for a great season ahead.

GB call up for The Magnificent Seven

The Great Britain Under-16 National Team Manager has confirmed that the forthcoming 2014 season will have SEVEN members of Herts Baseball on the roster.

Conner Brown, Brodie Caress, Carlos Casal Jr., Tom Everex-Armstrong, Zack Longboy, Callum Vangundy and Dan Whitton have all received confirmation of their inclusion into the GB squad. Each are members of the Herts U17 team, currently preparing for the start of the British U17 league season which opens on 12 April.

Herts U17 manager, Cristobal Hiche, said: “Once again Herts has the privilege to have players considered for the GB squad. They should be very proud of their accomplishment so far.”

With a trip to Florida included in this year’s GB Under-16 schedule from 31 July to 10 August, these Herts players may miss quite a large number of games for their club in the U17 league and the adult leagues.  Whilst this is a major setback for the club, at the same time it is an opportunity for others to take their place and compete for that spot in the roster, hopefully developing their aspirations to be chosen as part of the National Team in the future.

The progress of Herts players with the GB teams is a tremendous boost for Herts Baseball as an organisation. The Club is even more excited by the fact that there are many more talented players coming through the various age groups of the Herts youth system, from the U11 and U14 teams through to the U/17 age group. It proves that the opportunity is there for any young players who want to get involved in baseball to progress and wear the GB Team jersey.

Of course, you don’t have to be a GB National Team player to play baseball.  Any interested players, boys and girls, between 6 and 16 years of age, from complete beginners to advanced players can join the Herts baseball youth teams.  Please get in touch if you would like to come and see what the club offer.