Author: Herts Baseball News Editor

Herts publishes AGM details

Herts publishes AGM details


In accordance with the Club’s Constitution, this is a notice of the upcoming 24th Annual General Meeting of Herts Baseball Club.  The AGM will take place as follows:
Sunday, 31 January 2021

10:30am (meeting room opens at 10:15am, AGM expected to end at around 2:30pm)

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this year’s AGM will be held online via Zoom. Club members will receive an email with details how to join the Zoom call.

Under the Club’s Constitution, members under the age of 14 on 31 December 2020 are classified as Junior Members and do not have voting rights at General Meetings. Regardless of this, if you are under the age of 14, you and your parents are very much invited to attend the AGM, especially as so many of the parents of our youth members are involved as players, coaches, volunteers and members of staff.
Although only 2020 paying club members have the right to vote at this AGM, the meeting is very much open to potential new members who are considering joining the club or who have already registered for 2021 as club members.  This is a good opportunity for new players, volunteers and members of staff to learn more about the club and meet its members.  If you fall into this category and wish to attend the AGM, please contact the club.
The meeting is also open to observers who are not members of the Club. If you fall into this category and wish to attend the AGM please contact the club.
Ahead of the meeting, the AGM Information Pack will be sent out to 2020 members. It will include information such as the AGM agenda, 2020 report, financial statements, election details and more. 
In accordance with the Constitution, a number of Board positions will be up for election at the upcoming AGM either as part of the annual retirement of a third of the Board positions or because they are vacant.
The club is now inviting nominations for the following Board positions:  
BOARD POSITIONS (appointment duration in brackets)

  • Club Secretary (term ends 31st December 2022)
  • Communications Director (term ends 31st December 2023)
  • Shop Manager1 (term ends 31st December 2021)
  • IT Director (term ends 31st December 2023)
  • Facilities Manager – Basing Hill (term ends 31st December 2023)
  • Manager Single-A or Double-A2 – Hemel Hempstead (term ends 31st December 2023)
  • Manager Single-A or Double-A2 – NW London (term ends 31st December 2022)
  • Director of Youth Baseball (term ends 31st December 2023)
  • Head of U15 Baseball – Hemel Hempstead (term ends 31st December 2021)
  • Head of U13 Baseball – Hemel Hempstead (term ends 31st December 2023)
  • Head of U11 Baseball – Hemel Hempstead (term ends 31st December 2022)
  • Head of U15 Baseball – NW London (term ends 31st December 2021)
  • Head of U13 Baseball – NW London (term ends 31st December 2021)
  • Head of U11 Baseball – NW London (term ends 31st December 2023)
  • Head of Softball (term ends 31st December 2023)


1 Current Shop Manager, Mark Caress, is happy to continue in his role, but also happy to make way if a new candidate wishes to put themselves forward.

2 The leagues which our teams will enter in 2021 will not be known until after the AGM. The Club may also decide to add or remove teams from the BBF leagues depending on the number of players registering for 2021. If the club enters fewer teams than expected, one or more of these board positions may be removed after the AGM.
Current Board members are eligible to stand for re-election. All members are invited to consider any of the Board positions and put their names forward for one or several of them. 
Being a Board Member is an excellent opportunity to be involved in shaping the future of Herts Baseball Club. If you are considering applying for any of the positions, but are unsure about it, you can get in touch with current or past Board members who can give you more information about what the role involves and what to expect if elected. If you require more information about any of the above Board positions please contact the club.
If you decide to run for any of these Board positions please confirm your candidacy by posting a message in the Herts Baseball Online Forum (Click here to view). If you have difficulties accessing the forum with your username and password please contact the club.
Nominations require two votes – nomination and second.  Nominations of Board members can be received at any time, including during the AGM. Nominations can only be accepted from persons eligible to vote at the AGM. If you are concerned about the nomination process, members of the current Board would be happy to consider supporting your nomination and giving you the necessary two votes to be able to stand for election, so feel free to get in touch with current Board members. To nominate or to second a candidate, post in the Herts Baseball online Forum.
Ahead of the Board elections, a reminder that, in consideration of the time and effort which Board members give in performing their Board roles and which effectively means that they are unable to enjoy the full benefit of their membership, they will be entitled to a membership fee rebate. The Board reviews the rebate system from time to time. Here is an example of how it is likely to be applied during the 2021 season:

  •  members of the Board are expected to be entitled to a rebate of around 50% or more of the respective membership fee payable by them during the year. 
  • if one Board role is held by two or more individuals, such individuals can share the rebate between them as the burden of performing the role is shared between them.

In accordance with article 14.3 of the Club’s Constitution “Additions to, or alterations of the constitution shall be submitted to the Secretary not less than 10 (ten) days before the date of the meeting. No resolution involving an amendment to the constitution may be proposed or amended from the floor of a meeting.” If any members wish to propose a constitutional amendment please send it by contacting the club by 23:59 on 21 January 2021, at the latest. You can find a copy of the Constitution on the club’s website (click to view).

Provisional 2021 HSL dates

Provisional 2021 HSL dates

Over the last few weeks, Herts Baseball Club has been in discussions with the British Baseball Federation to co-ordinate the best way to approach the scheduling of the 2021 Herts Spring League.

Prior to the government’s announcement of the current national lockdown, the BBF indicated that, subject to Covid restrictions, the Opening Day of the 2021 BBF league season is likely to be Sunday, 11 April, and that this date would be revised, if and when required.

Monday’s announcement by the Prime Minister has added further uncertainty. 22 February was mentioned as a date when the government may review the current lockdown guidance, but the outcome of that review is not certain.

Herts has confirmed that, if the relevant regions move to Tier 3 or lower by early March and if the Covid-secure protocol for playing baseball games outdoors is reactivated, they will be looking to stage the Herts Spring League on the provisional dates listed below.

Sat, 27-Mar-21Herts Spring LeagueGrovehill Ballpark, Herts
Sun, 28-Mar-21Herts Spring LeagueGrovehill Ballpark, Herts
Sat, 03-Apr-21Herts Spring LeagueGrovehill Ballpark, Herts
Sun, 04-Apr-21Herts Spring LeagueGrovehill Ballpark, Herts

These dates may be revised if the BBF changes its Opening Day plans or if there are Covid or other constraints. The HSL is usually played over three weeks, but it is likely to be reduced to two weeks this year due to Covid.

Players now registering for the 2021 baseball season

Players now registering for the 2021 baseball season

Player registration for the 2021 season has commenced.

2020 was a difficult year for everyone but yesterday’s announcement that the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine has been approved has given us a reason to look ahead to Spring with increasing optimism that we will be able to play a full baseball season in 2021.

Despite the pandemic, last year the club welcomed 59 new members which could see the club go into 2021 even stronger than the year before.

As members start to register for the 2021 season, they would want to know whether the club has measures in place in the event that Covid-19 disrupts the league schedule and how that would affect membership fees. In July 2020, the UK government approved a Covid-secure protocol to allow baseball games to be played. Despite this, some events in 2021 may be affected if the government imposes stricter Covid restrictions in which case the club will do its best to minimize its own costs and pass the savings back to club members in the form of reduced membership fees. For example, when the 2020 league season was scaled down, membership fees were reduced to £20 for adult league play. In view of the effect of Covid-19 on the economy and on the finances of many families, the club has already reduced its 2021 membership fees by around 12% by removing many peripheral costs and focusing spending on the core elements of the membership packages.


How many teams will represent Herts in 2021? The next few weeks will be crucial as the number of players registering will determine how many teams will be entered before the league entry deadline; how many will play in Hemel Hempstead and how many will play in London; which leagues the teams will play in.


(events and dates are subject to change depending on Covid-19 restrictions)

  • 7 February – players report for Spring Training
  • 27-28 March – Start of the 2021 Herts Spring League (subject to confirmation of the BBF League Opening Day)*
  • March-April – Great Britain National Team Tryouts (senior and youth teams)*
  • 11 April – BBF League Opening Day (subject to confirmation)*
  • May – Midweek Evening Baseball commences
  • August-September* – BBF Postseason Playoffs and National Championships
  • September-October – Hunlock Series

* – these are preliminary dates. The BBF will be making its official announcements in due course.

Click here for more details of the 2021 membership packages


As reported earlier today (click to view article), in the coming weeks, we are expecting announcements regarding developments in the club’s youth baseball department and, in particular, details about plans for a new regional youth baseball league which will feature teams from both Herts branches in Hemel Hempstead and in North West London with a regular season schedule of around 12 games for each team. The proposal covers the U15, U13 and U11 age groups, while the Under-17 players will play their regular season as part of the Herts teams in the adult leagues. Around 75% of the regular season games of this proposed new youth league will be at home, with only 2 or 3 away games within a 30-minute drive from the home ballpark.


(events and dates are subject to change depending on Covid-19 restrictions)

  • March – players report for Spring Training
  • March-April – Great Britain National Team Tryouts (senior and youth teams)*
  • May – Start of the new regional youth baseball league season
  • May-July – Midweek afternoon/evening baseball sessions
  • June – UK Little League Qualifiers
  • July – European Little League Qualifiers
  • mid-July – Playoffs and Finals of the new regional youth baseball league
  • September – BBF Postseason Playoffs and National Championships
  • September – Herts Futures Tournament

Click here for more details of the 2021 membership packages


Now that the club has two ballparks, the online registration form will ask players to indicate whether they prefer to play their home league games in Hemel Hempstead or in NW London, or whether they would be happy with either. This will provide important information to club management when they configure the adult and youth team rosters for the new season.


Those who already have a Herts Online Clubhouse account will be prompted to register when they log on next time (click here to go to the Herts online Clubhouse and log on with your existing username and password). Those who are new to Herts Baseball Club and do not have an online account can register as members by completing this form. For more details about joining our teams in 2021 and the membership packages click here or contact us.

Changes expected in the Herts youth baseball department for 2021

Changes expected in the Herts youth baseball department for 2021

Herts Baseball Club is looking to unveil plans for the launch of a new regional youth baseball league for 2021.  The pandemic disrupted the youth baseball season last year and the club is determined not only to turn things around but to put in place a model which has good potential to develop and grow in the coming years.

Director of Youth Baseball, Lee Manning, has been heading the department since 2018 but, due to a change in his circumstances, the club is inviting candidates for the role ahead of the board elections at its annual general meeting on Sunday, 31 January 2021.

Two candidates have already expressed interest. Aspi Dimitrov and Will Zucker have indicated that they intend to put themselves forward as joint candidates for the role. The club would also welcome other candidates.

Dimitrov served in that role between 2012 and 2014 and has been a board member since 2004. Zucker was the co-founder of the very successful Durham University Baseball programme and his work was recognised when he received the BSUK Young Coach of the Year Award in 2017. He currently plays in Britain’s top league with the Herts Falcons and has also been selected by the Great Britain Under-19 and Under-23 National Teams. 

In the coming weeks, Dimitrov and Zucker will be providing more details of their plans for the new regional youth baseball league but we understand that the league aims to include teams from both Herts branches – in Hemel Hempstead and in North West London – with a regular season schedule of around 12 games for each team. It covers the U15, U13 and U11 age groups, while the Under-17 players will play their regular season as part of the Herts teams in the adult leagues. Around 75% of the regular season games of this proposed new youth league are expected to be at home, with only 2 or 3 away games within a 30-minute drive from the home ballpark.

The club has just launched its 2021 player registration and the youth membership package is based on this new model proposed by Dimitrov and Zucker. This gives club members the opportunity to vote on it and on proposals which other candidates may put forward ahead of the AGM.

There are several other board positions in the youth department which the club will be looking to fill, including heads of the different age groups at the Hemel Hempstead and the North West London branches. We understand that Cory English plans to put himself forward for the role of Head of Under-11 for the NW London branch. He is a member of the Herts Londoners and played a key role last year in the very successful launch of the youth baseball programme at Basing Hill Ballpark. We also understand that Cory English has been involved in the process of developing the new regional league model which Aspi Dimitrov and Will Zucker will be proposing.

Candidates interested in these and other board and non-board positions in Hemel Hempstead and in NW London can contact the club for more details.

Details of the 2021 membership packages for adult and youth members and how to register for the upcoming season can be found here.

First rainout of 2020

First rainout of 2020

All five games involving Herts baseball teams tomorrow, Sunday, 16 August, have been cancelled due to waterlogged diamonds.

The fields were desparate for water but the sheer volume of rain over the last few days has saturated the ground causing drainage complications.

All five Herts teams will be back in action next Sunday, 23 August, with another round of games in the Herts Development League while the Herts Falcons will travel to Kent for an exhibition game with the Buccaneers. See next week’s games schedule below.

Players, from beginners to advanced, can come and try baseball this month (with social distancing). Contact us for more details.

Government approves Covid-secure return of baseball

Government approves Covid-secure return of baseball

The UK government has confirmed that they have approved the British Baseball Federation and BSUK guidance for the return of baseball games.

The guidance complies with the requirements outlined in the government advice for team sports and enables games for up to 30 participants to resume in England.

The number of participants in baseball training sessions can also increase from 6 to 30 while continuing to follow social distancing and the other Covid-19 measures.

Herts Baseball Club will shortly be announcing the format and schedule for the league and other games for the Herts adult teams which will be played in August and September.

Adult and youth baseball training sessions are continuing. Any adult or youth players who are interested to try baseball can contact us for details.

Herts adjust 2020 BBF league entries due to Covid-19

Herts adjust 2020 BBF league entries due to Covid-19

As the world gradually starts to come out of the lockdown, the British Baseball Federation is assessing options to start the 2020 baseball season if and when the government gives clearance for league games to restart. Further easing of restrictions is likely to be considered in July and the BBF is currently looking at game scheduling scenarios.

As part of that process, they have asked teams from the four leagues to confirm if the impact from Covid-19 has affected their ability to participate.  We understand that several teams including Bournemouth Bears and Oxford Kings have already withdrawn themselves from the league.

Over the last few weeks Herts Baseball Club has been asking its members if they have been affected in a way which would prevent them from playing league games this year. Players have been trying to delay that decision for as long as possible but some have reported that they will not be able to play until health and economic risks reduce further. This has affected the club’s NBL, Triple-A and Double-A rosters in particular.

Yesterday, the Herts executive board had to make the difficult decision of withdrawing one of its five teams from the 2020 league season. That team was the club’s Triple-A League team. Players who were previously on the Triple-A roster are most likely to be assigned to the club’s NBL and Double-A teams. The rebalancing of the rosters has also prompted the club to move its Double-A team from Basing Hill Ballpark to Grovehill Ballpark.

The Herts Eagles remain in the Single-A League but for the remainder of the 2020 season they will adopt the Herts Londoners’ name as the club’s primary team in north west London.  Most of the players who were previously on the Double-A roster will most likely be assigned to either the Herts Londoners Single-A roster or the Herts Hawks Double-A roster if they have indicated that they can travel to Hemel Hempstead for home games. The precise changes to the Herts rosters will be announced in due course, depending on whether and when the BBF league season will go ahead.

The adjusted league entries of the four remaining Herts teams are as follows:

Herts Falcons National Baseball League Grovehill Ballpark, Hemel Hempstead
Herts Hawks Double-A League Grovehill Ballpark, Hemel Hempstead
Herts Raptors Single-A League Grovehill Ballpark, Hemel Hempstead
Herts Londoners Single-A League Basing Hill Ballpark, London

The club will continue to monitor the status of its players and teams in the event that any further adjustments become necessary.

Herts Falcons manager, Cris Hiche, emphasised that ‘the measures that are being taken are temporary and that everyone at the club looks forward to having all players and teams back to full capacity next season when we hope the pandemic will be behind us’. He added that ‘this year the priority is to stay active, healthy, and enjoy some sense of normality which baseball can bring at a difficult time for everyone’.

Herts players resumed training two weeks ago working in groups of up to six people, in accordance with government guidelines. The club continues to receive enquiries from new players interested to try baseball. They are able to book a place for one of these sessions to help them decide if they would like to join Herts. They can book their place for the next session by contacting the club,

All time greatest Herts starting lineup

All time greatest Herts starting lineup

Over the last few weeks Herts fans as well as those from the wider baseball community have been casting their votes to determine the all time greatest Herts starting lineup from players that have worn the Herts jersey since the club was founded 24 years ago.

When the club invited fans to nominate players for the nine fielding positions plus designated hitter, the intention was to have four nominees for each position, however the panel of experts struggled to narrow the list down to four per position and, instead of removing players, ended up expanding the shortlist. This forced the club to change the format and added a playoff semi-final round.

(click image to expand it)

There were some titanic clashes and some big names were eliminated including Darrin Ward, Mike Osborn and Jim Denison, among others. Round after round, fans were given a taste of just how difficult it is to be in the managerial hot seat and make these decisions.

Unlike the semi-final, each position was voted one after the other in the finals.  Some players made it to the final of more than one position and, if they accumulated the most votes for one position, they were removed from the final of any other positions. This meant that some big names that just missed out on the final re-entered the race, including Geoff Hare which set up a father-versus-son clash in the shortstop final. It also meant that we were not able to see the outcome of a head-to-head between Xavi Gonzalez and Robbie Unsell at shortstop.

Everyone who cast their vote applied their own criteria about who should be selected. Some may have put more weight on a player’s length of service and contribution to the club. Others simply went for what they thought would be the strongest team that could be fielded in a game 7 of a championship series.

When all the polls closed, the end result was a formidable starting lineup featuring national team players, and players decorated with multiple National Baseball League Most Valuable Player and Gold Glove Awards over the years.

(click image to expand it)

So, did the fans select ‘The Greatest” lineup from the hundreds of players they could cherry-pick and, if they did, does this mean that in the future we may as well dispense with team managers and simply run a poll to make managerial decisions?

We didn’t want to put current and former Herts managers on the spot but we are sure that they may disagree with some of the choices made by the fans and the batting order which was formulated without applying any scientific methodology.

There were some notable players such as Abelardo Salas, Dan Kerry, Darrin Ward, Gary Davison, Edwin Alcantara, Luis Goncalves, Matt Gilbert, Nic Goetz, Phil Clark, Roberto Almanzar and Ryan Hackel all of whom have received NBL awards over the years but who didn’t make the starting lineup and, surely, there must be a place in the batting lineup for Ryan Bird who leads the NBL in career batting (.508), on-base (.578) and slugging (.822) average in the British baseball modern era. Thankfully, in real life the team roster can include a lot more than the nine starting players.

Herts Baseball Club was founded in 1996 and is still in search of its first NBL championship title, but this lineup would certainly fancy its chances against any NBL champions over the previous 129 years of top-tier baseball in this country.

A look at the 2020 BBF league lineup while we wait at home

A look at the 2020 BBF league lineup while we wait at home

Last Sunday would have been the Opening Day of the 2020 British baseball season. For now, the hundreds of baseball players around the country can only stay at home, follow advice about coronavirus and wait for the moment when the government gives the leagues an approval to start the season.

Leagues around the world, from the English Premier League to MLB, suspended their seasons last month and the British Baseball Federation (BBF) was one of them. The suspension came just as the BBF was about to announce the 2020 league lineup and schedules for the four league tiers.

The details are now published on the BBF website and provide fans with a preview of what they can expect when the season begins.


Essex Arrows
Herts Falcons
London Capitals
London Mets

There are no changes in the NBL. The four teams from last year are back to battle it out. Each team will play a regular season of 28 games (14 doubleheaders).

View the NBL schedule



East London Latin Boys
Essex Redbacks
Herts Hawks
Kent Buccaneers
London Mammoths
London Marauders
Bournemouth Bears
Oxford Kings
Oxford Lightning
Richmond Knights
The Rebels

The Triple-A League has expanded from seven to eleven teams.  They have been divided into two pools based on their geographic location. The expansion teams are Bournemouth Bears who have been promoted after winning the Double-A League last year. Herts Hawks and London Marauders are two other teams promoted from the Double-A League. Herts Hawks move up a league after switching places with Herts Londoners who move down to Double-A. Oxford Lightning is a newly formed club which we understand will draw most of its players from the Oxford University baseball programme. The last expansion team is The Rebels. They are based in Taunton. There is no confirmation but this appears to be a rebirth of the Taunton Tigers who were disqualified from the league in 2018. If this is the case, this news would appear to suggest that they have now served the penalties which were imposed on them.

Herts Hawks will play 26 regular season games (13 doubleheaders).

View the Triple-A schedule Pool A and Pool B



Birmingham Bandits
Birmingham Outlaws
Bournemouth Bears (AA)
Brighton Brewers
Bristol Badgers
Bristol Vetra
Cambridge Monarchs
Croydon Pirates
East London Latin Boys (AA)
Guildford Mavericks
Herts Londoners
Leicester Blue Sox
London Musketeers
London Sidewinders
Long Eaton 2
Long Eaton Storm
Milton Keynes Bucks
Norwich Iceni
Richmond Dragons
South Coast Pirates

The Double-A League appears to have undergone a major revamp. It was previously divided into three pools. In 2020 all 20 teams will instead be competing in one pool. Ordinarily, with such a vast number of teams, the league would take advantage and divide them geographically into several pools. From the games schedule it appears that the BBF has tried to schedule games between teams which are located relatively close to each other so that may address the important issue of minimizing travel to some extent. However, that still leaves the issue of an unbalanced schedule as teams will not be able to face each of their 19 opponents in the league.

Despite two of last year’s teams moving up to the Triple-A, the Double-A League has expanded considerably. Six teams from the Central Division have now merged into this combined league including the two Birmingham teams, Cambridge Monarchs, Leicester, Long Eaton Storm and a second team from Long Eaton which has been formed this year.

Bournemouth Bears and East London Latin Boys have teams in the Triple-A League and they have also unveiled two new teams which have entered the Double-A League.

Another new club on the British baseball map is Bristol Vetra.  We have very little information about them but we understand that they are predominantly made up of players originating from Lithuania.

It is good to see that baseball is back in Croydon after the club disappeared from the league several years ago.  They are back not with one but two Pirates teams. There was a real concern that the two diamonds in Croydon will be lost with no teams using them so the resurrection of the club is a major cause for celebration for British baseball.

The London Musketeers and South Coast Pirates have been promoted from Single-A to complete the lineup.

Herts Londoners will have a regular season of 23 games (11 doubleheaders and 1 single).

View the Double-A schedule



Bracknell Inferno
Essex Archers
Forest Glade Redbacks
Herts Eagles
Herts Raptors
London Minotaurs
London Mustangs
Richmond Dukes.

Teams TBC

At the time of publishing this article the BBF website displays only one of the two Single-A pools so we will update this article when Pool B is confirmed.

The only change in Pool A is the addition of the London Minotaurs – the latest in the long list of London teams. They take the place of the London Musketeers who have been elevated to the Double-A League this year.

Teams will play a regular season of 28 games (14 doubleheaders), including four games between the Herts Raptors and Herts Eagles. Two of these games are to be played on the last day of the regular season.  Could these games determine who qualifies for the Postseason?

View the Single-A schedule – Pool A



The postseason format and schedule has not been announced so it will be interesting to see what the playoffs will look like.

Of course, the regular season and postseason schedules will be affected by coronavirus and the BBF will have the important task of finding the best solution when the planet starts to return to normality after coronavirus.

Until then, there is one very important thing which British baseball players and fans can do to help – Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives.

Note: This article aims to analyse the changes to the league lineup compared to last year, however last year’s standings and scoreboards are not currently available on the BBF site so the comparison is done using only the information available to us about 2019.

Herts confirms outcome of disciplinary proceedings.

Herts confirms outcome of disciplinary proceedings.

Herts Baseball Club has confirmed that, in accordance with its constitution and club regulations, it investigated complaints related to conduct during the Herts Falcons’ European Federations Cup games played in 2019. A disciplinary panel considered the evidence and imposed a 4-game ban and termination of club membership of Herts Falcons player, Miguel Sarmiento, for misconduct and for bringing the club into disrepute.  The 4-game ban was served in full during the European Federations Cup campaign last year. The termination of club membership is in accordance with article 12.1 of the club’s constitution.

The club confirmed that the appeal deadline has now passed and Sarmiento has not appealed the decision.

We understand that this is the first time in its 24-year history that the club has had to terminnate the membership of a club member.