Category: Hawks

Players now registering for the 2020 baseball season

Player registration for the 2020 season has commenced. Last season Herts Baseball Club unveiled two new teams in NW London giving it a total of five teams playing in the BBF senior baseball leagues. The number of adult team players rose by a staggering 54.7%. In 2020 the club will be on a mission to turn this army of new players into teams that can compete in the playoff races of the various British baseball leagues.


How many teams will represent Herts in 2020? The next few weeks will be crucial as the number of players registering will determine how many teams will be entered before the BBF league entry deadline of 31 January; how many will play in Hemel Hempstead and how many will play in London; which BBF leagues the teams will play in.


  • 26 January- players report for indoor Spring Training
  • 1 March – teams return to the ballpark for the for the first time in 2020
  • 14-15 March – Start of the 2020 Herts Spring League (subject to confirmation of the BBF League Opening Day)*
  • March – Great Britain National Team Tryouts (senior and youth teams)*
  • 5 April – BBF League Opening Day (subject to confirmation)*
  • May – Midweek Evening Baseball commences
  • 13-14 June – MLB London Series (see details below)
  • 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.


The Herts youth players are probably suffering the most without baseball this winter, but they will not have to wait much longer. Registration for youth baseball players will be launched next month.


Following 2019’s incredible sold-out slugfest between the Red Sox and the Yankees, 2020 will see the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs going toe-to-toe. On June 13-14, London Stadium will be transformed into Europe’s largest ballpark as it becomes MLB’s home once again. These are regular season games with everything on the line. Get ready for a day to remember both on and off the field. Various events and activities will take place as part of the MLB London Series and details will be announced in due course.


The two Herts baseball teams based in North West London made their BBF League debut in 2019 and the club is implementing the gradual process of adding the baseball infrastructure at Basing Hill Ballpark. 2020 player registration has just commenced (see details below). 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 vital information to club management when they configure the team rosters for the new season.


For those who already have a Herts Online Clubhouse account they will be prompted to register when they log on next time (click here to go to the Herts Online Club House 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 2020 click here or contact us.

MVP vote results are in

The Most Valuable Players (MVP) of the ten Herts adult and youth teams have been announced.  This year the club opened the voting up to include not only Herts club members but the wider public, similar to MLB’s All Star voting.

The Herts Falcons made history this year playing in the European Federations Cup for the first time and despite a disappointing season in the National Baseball League, there wasn’t a shortage of candidates. In a very close race fans decided that this year’s Falcons MVP is Jarrod Pretorius (17% of the votes) who was among the team leaders in a number of categories including home runs and slugging average.

There was less doubt about the Herts Londoners’ MVP. Pitcher Chris Gregory won it convincingly with 29% of the votes after a phenomenal debut season at the club during which he had the most wins, best ERA and was also at or near the top of many offence and defence categories. He was also the starting pitcher who recorded the only Falcons’ win in the five European Federations Cup games.

Mike Cresswell was the driving force for the Herts Hawks this season as the team’s player-manager and he was voted MVP (31% of the votes). He has made huge strides since joining Herts in 2012 starting at Single-A and moving rapidly up the leagues. This year he even earned a call-up to play for the Herts Falcons in the European Federations Cup.

Similar to the Hawks, fans decided that the Raptors MVP is its player-manager, Matt Jackson, with 22% of the votes. He led the team in most of the batting categories. With so many young players making their debuts for the Raptors this season and performing better with each passing week, it is expected that Jackson will have a lot more competition in the MVP voting in the years to come.

There were many credible candidates for Herts Eagles MVP but Rob Gibson was the one who stood out in every aspect of the game and this was reflected in the MVP poll which he won convincingly with 28% of the votes. It is rare to see a 5-tool player in the Single-A League and Gibson is not far from being certified as one.

The MVP poll for the Herts youth teams attracted the largest number of votes and it looks like friends, family members and school mates took part in vast numbers which the club was very pleased to see. Involving the wider community was one of the reasons for opening the voting up to the public.

Herts U18 MVP – Oliver Durer

Herts U15 MVP – Nicholas Durer

Herts U13 MVP – Leon Gutowski

Herts U11 MVP – Daniel Heal

Herts U8 MVP – Jake Walder-Davis

There was a tight race in the vote for Play of the Year. Eight of the nine nominees were Eagles or Raptors, but it was the Herts Falcons’ semi-nude antics in Bulgaria that won it.  Originally, this was nominated for the Nob-Out Award and it was added to the Play of the Year category in the last minute, but the fans have spoken and it looks like they felt that, despite lacking in baseball skill, it had an abundance of flair. Over 30,000 viewed the video on social networks which reaffirmed its credentials.

It was an even bigger surprise that it didn’t win the Nob-Out Award.  That accolade went to Herts Raptors’ Mantas Poderys who nominated himself for falling face-first a few feet short of first base in the Herts Derby away at the Eagles. Herts Hawks’ Gilberto Medina just missed out in second place. He was nominated for reporting for duty at the ballpark on the wrong day of the week.

The 2019 season may have ended but the start of Spring Training is not far away and the Herts adult and youth league teams in Hemel Hempstead and North West London will be starting their preparations for the 2020 season. New players interested to find out more about playing baseball and joining Herts in 2020 can contact the club.

It’s time to cast your votes

It has been a record year for Herts Baseball Club with 116 players appearing for the five Herts adult league teams and 49 players for the Herts youth teams.

We have seen some outstanding individual and team performances and plays this year and now it’s time to cast your vote for the 2019 Most Valuable Players (MVPs) of the Herts adult and youth baseball teams as well as the Play of the Year and Nob-Out Awards. We even have the unusual case of a play being nominated for both Play of the Year and Nob-Out Award at the same time.

This year we are opening up the vote to everyone. You can vote regardless of whether or not you are a club member. Also, unlike previous years, you can vote for the MVP of all of the Herts adult and youth teams, not just of your team.

Cast your vote now here.  Voting closes at 23:59 on Sunday, 20 October 2019.

Hawks bounce back, take two from Mavericks

The story of the Hawks is usually one of solid defence, powerful hitting, and regular wins. Last week, they suffered a knock. But this Sunday they returned to their winning ways, writes Brian Morgan, sweeping the Guildford Mavericks 11-1 and 5-3 at Grovehill.

Game one featured excellent pitching by Zack Longboy, despite him getting a black eye in practice before taking the hill.  He worked through it and kept the Mavericks off the board after the first batter.  

Jon Lewys at bat (file photo)

There was excellent defence across the board with a diving play in centre field by Hunter Devine, several plays by Antony Lavender in left, and solid infield play all around. 

The offence was led by Jon “Yard” Lewys who smashed one over the left field fence to get the Hawks going.  Darrin Ward, Andy Cornish and Greg Bochan all had big hits to put the Hawks well ahead and end the game early.

Game two featured another pitching gem by Ward.  The Mavericks hitters could not keep up with the movement on his pitches and he gave up only 2 earned runs over 7 impressive innings.

The Hawks defence was led by a solid infield of Gilberto Medina, Andy Cornish, Brian Morgan and Jon Lewys, with Hunter Devine now behind the plate.  The outfield featured Bochan, Longboy and newcomer Michael Long.

Darrin Ward in 2018 action

The offence threatened throughout, with runners getting in scoring position in most frames.  A combination of heads-up base running and key hits kept the Hawks ahead the whole game.

Greg Bochan took over managerial duties this week for the injured Mike Cresswell who, in turn, took over umpiring duties where he could yell at everyone and not just the Hawks! 

 The Hawks have next week off and then travel to Guildford on June 2nd for two games against the Mavericks.  Hawks are now 5-1 on the season and looking very strong.

Hawks tour bus hits a bump in the road

Baseball is a fickle game.  Momentum can change from inning to inning and the Herts Hawks saw this happen on Sunday, as Brian Morgan reports from Richmond.

The Herts AA-division team had started the 2019 season undefeated, and were hoping to keep rolling when they travelled to the Richmond Dukes.

Andrew Slater pitching (file photo)

Clutch hitting, stolen bases, patient batters drawing walks — a total team effort — helped the Hawks jump out to a 9-1 after the top 2 innings. 

 Bats quieted a little as the game went along, but the Hawks kept threatening each inning, while Richmond batters scratched out additional runs.

 Playing excellent error-free baseball for the first 5 innings behind solid pitching from Andy Slater on his return to the team, Hawks took a 9-7 lead into the 6th.

 And then the momentum switched. 

The wheels fell off the bus and the Hawks gave up 15 runs in the 6th to the home team.

Texas leaguers, swinging bunts, easy balls mishandled by a solid infield, diving outfielders just missing the catch, all combined to make the Richmond team simply tired of batting.

Giuseppe Basilea pitching in 2018

A pitching change to Giuseppe Basilea helped slowed things down and get Herts out of the inning – finally. The Hawks battled in the 7th to add 2 more runs but it was too late and not enough.

Manager Mike Cresswell reminded the team that this needs to be a “one off” and is not “Hawks or Herts baseball”.  It was an uncharacteristic inning for the team this season and the team looks forward to getting back on the right road on Sunday against Guildford.

Red-hot Hawks continue their unbeaten run

Brian Morgan reporting from Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead as Herts Hawks sweep Brighton.

Game one saw crafty veteran Darrin Ward take the hill throwing a solid complete game for the victory.  His command of the zone and mix of pitches left many Redhawks guessing.  Solid defence for all but one inning helped the effort.

Great work in the outfield from Antony Lavender, Mike Cresswell and Josh Morgan tracking down the balls from the heart of the order.  Equally solid was a mix of utility players in the infield of Charlie Mayhew, Giuseppe Basilea, Jon Lewys and Brian Morgan.  Andy Cornish was behind the dish keeping everything in front and the runners not wanting to test his arm.

Hawks bats were alive with a mix of singles and doubles to score 11 runs.  Big hits from Jon, Andy and Darrin led the charge.  Game one ended with a rough inning making the final score of 11-8 much closer than the rest of the contest.

In game two lefty ace Charlie Mayhew took his turn working through the Brighton batting order.  Impressive speed and knee buckling movement on the ball held the visitors to only 6 runs.  Several key strikeouts made the work for the defence easy.

Hawks veteran Manager Mike Cresswell made limited defensive changes in game two and that proved to be a key decision.  Key defensive plays by Giuseppe, Jon and Charlie on the mound kept the visitors frustrated.

Strong hitting again in game two from the Hawks order and aggressive base running by Josh and Antony sealed the victory early, 16-6.  Overall the team played very well together in both games and showed resilience when it was needed.  A great start to the new season extending their unbeaten run to four games. The Hawks go on the road next Sunday, 12 May, away at the Richmond Dragons. Game starts at 12pm.

Teams ready for Opening Day of a huge season for baseball in the UK

Millions of MLB fans are enjoying the Opening Week of the 2019 baseball season and British Baseball fans will do the same this Sunday, 7 April, as the NBL and Triple-A League seasons get underway, followed by the Double-A and Single-A Leagues on 14 April.

The BBF schedules have been published and the five Herts teams have difficult opponents on Opening Day.


The Herts Falcons start with games against London Capitals and the Essex Arrows in a 3-team day at Finsbury Park. In the second week they travel to the reigning NBL champions, London Mets. This will be the first opportunity to see if the Falcons have been able to close the gap between them and the Mets since the end of the 2018 season which was dominated by the NBL champions.

The Falcons will have to wait until 28 April for their home-opener, and it is set to be a special occasion as all NBL teams will be in action at Grovehill Ballpark with four games on the two diamonds.

The NBL regular season will be played over 13 weeks, ending on 18 August. The Playoff Semi-Final and National Final will be played at Farnham Park on 24 and 25 August. The postseason is usually played in September, but it has been brought forward to August due to a clash with the European Championships where many NBL players will receive an international call-up from the GB Team and other European national teams.

Herts Falcons Schedule


The Herts Londoners go into their inaugural season as one of three expansion teams in the Triple-A League.  The other two are the East London Latin Boys and the Kent Bucs, both promoted from the Double-A League which the Latin Boys won last year.

Similar to Tottenham Hotspurs and their newly-built stadium this year, the Herts Londoners will have to wait a few weeks for their first home game at their new Basing Hill Ballpark in North West London which is being built at the moment. Until then, they will play their first two home games at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead starting with a doubleheader versus Kent Bucs on Opening Day, 7 April. Their first game at Basing Hill Ballpark will be on 19 May.

The Triple-A League Playoffs will be played on 24-25 August alongside the NBL postseason.

Herts Londoners Schedule


After reaching the Playoff Semi-Final last year, the Hawks will be hoping to go one better this time around. They open the new season on Sunday, 14 April, at home against the Richmond Dragons.

They have been placed in a division which looks very different this year as the geographic boundaries had to be redrawn after the addition of the Bristol Badgers who were the 2018 runners-up having previously played in the Central Division.

The Double-A Postseason will be played over three weekends starting with the Quarter-Finals on 25 August, Semi-Finals on 1 September and ending on 8 September with the National Final.

Herts Hawks Schedule


Herts will be represented by two teams in the Single-A League.  The Herts Raptors will play their home games at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead and the Herts Eagles will be based at the club’s new Basing Hill Ballpark in North West London.

Both teams open their campaigns at home on 14 April – Raptors versus London Musketeers and Eagles versus London Mustangs which will be the first ever baseball game to be played at Basing Hill Ballpark.

Both Herts teams are in the same division which brings the mouth-watering prospect of the Herts derby, which is always a special occasion for Herts baseball fans. Mark 14 July and 11 August in your diaries when the two teams will play at Grovehill Ballpark and Basing Hill Ballpark, respectively. The last Herts derby took place in 2016 when the Raptors were drawn to play against the Herts Hawks in the Single-A Playoff Quarter-Final.

The Single-A Playoffs will be played over three weekends – Wild Card games on 25 August, Quarter-Finals on 1 September, Semi-Finals on 7 September and the Final on 8 September.

Herts Raptors Schedule

Herts Eagles Schedule


There will be no games in any of the four BBF leagues on the weekend of 29-30 June to make way for the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees who will play two regular season games at the London Stadium as part of the MLB London Series.


It is not too late to register and play for the Herts adult and youth league teams based in Hemel Hempstead and North West London. In fact, the club has intentionally left extra capacity in the team rosters to accommodate the anticipated increased interest from new players on the back of the excitement surrounding the MLB London Series. Contact us for more details how to join or to come and try baseball at an upcoming open session.


Falcons, Sidewinders and Bobcats are the HSL champs



The Herts Falcons won the NBL/Triple-A Division of the HSL convincingly with a 100% record (4-0). The London  Mammoths were tied with the Herts Londoners both with a .500 record, but the Mammoths took second place based on their two wins over the Londoners in the head-to-head games.  The Falcons and Londoners rosters were mixed for the HSL games as the managers of the two teams were assessing their squads for the 2019 season. We expect the Opening Day rosters of the two teams to be announced shortly. The London Archers impressed everyone and they now head to the Czech Republic where they will represent Great Britain in the PONY Tournament in Prague.

There were some flame-throwers on show and coaches came prepared (photos by Rob Jones)


In the Double-A Division the Sidewinders overcame all challengers to clinch the HSL title. MK Bucks and the London Marauders were not not far away which suggests that we will see a very competitive race in the BBF Double-A League this season. The Hawks finished in last place, but don’t write them off. Over the last few years they have been one of the front runners in Double-A.


There was a very close three-horse race in the Single-A Division and the tie-break rule had to be applied to determine the HSL winner. Tonbridge’s superior head-to-head record against the London Musketeers nudged them into first place. We saw a large number of new players in the Eagles and Raptors rosters during the HSL and the managers of both teams experimented with various lineups, trying players in different positions.  This would have given them valuable information and, as the league games commence, players will get a clearer idea of the positions and roles which they will be playing this season.

View HSL scoreboard

View HSL standings


The HSL schedule also featured the Great Britain National Youth Team Trials which Herts has now hosted for a second consecutive year. We saw around 100 young players take part and they impressed. The GB coaches will now have the difficult task of whittling the list down before announcing the National Team squads for the upcoming international competitions. Many of the candidates were members of the Herts youth and adult teams and we hope to see them in action around the world this year.


We saw home runs, spectacular defence, lights-out pitching, many players who will be making their BBF league debuts in 2019 and a whole lot more over the last three weeks of the HSL.

With Spring Training completed, British baseball teams up and down the country will hope that this will be their year. Stay tuned as we build up to the 2019 Opening Day in the coming days. Also follow us on Twitter and Facebook for a comprehensive coverage of the 2019 baseball season.

Herts teams announce preliminary 2019 rosters for the HSL

The five Herts teams have announced their preliminary rosters for the 2019 Herts Spring League .

We understand that these rosters are not fixed and it is likely that there may be movement between teams over the course of the HSL. Some players may play for more than one team as managers look to evaluate them ahead of the announcement of the 2019 Opening Day rosters. The Falcons and Londoners rosters are combined for this reason and it is expected that there will be a large amount of crossover between the two teams throughout the HSL.

The HSL games commence on 16 March 2019.

New players are registering every week, therefore some new names may be added to the rosters over the course of the HSL and throughout the league season.



Aaron Witter
Alex Deacon
Andrew Roberts
Carlos Casal Jr
Christopher Gregory
Colin Whitton
Cristobal Hiche
Daniel Whitton
Darrin Ward
Dennis Grogan
Dominic Hill
Duane Badenhorst
Gary Davison
Hector Miguel Sarmiento de la Cruz
Jamie Warren
Jarrod Pretorius
John Blose
Kimiyoshi Saionji
Lucas Lebrato
Marco Pestana
Matthew Moran
Miguel  Rodriguez
Moise Vasquez
Nicolas Goetz
Petar Kikel
Phil Clark
Robert Gibson
Sebastian Molina
Tetsuro Shinkawa
Tom Carson
Tyler Badenhorst
Wade Lynch
Walter Bates
Yosdany Bueno


Andrew Slater
Andy Cornish
Antony Lavender
Brian Morgan
Charlie Mayhew
Dan Bartram
Edoardo Lisi
Gilberto Medina
Giuseppe Basilea
Greg Bochan
Hunter Devine
Jamie Lang
Jonathon Lewys
Josh Morgan
Louis Hare
Michael Cresswell
Rod Naghar
Sonam Lama


Alex Coakley
Bobby Gould
Callum Barwick
Daniel Gipple
Daniel Moran
Daniel Shaw
David Grindstaff
Francois Earp
Jay Curtis
Jack O’Brien
James Emblow
John Kjorstad
Jordon Fox
Kai Rajah
Laurence Currington
Lee Manning
Mantas Poderys
Matthew Jackson
Michael Johnson
Nicholas Durer
Oliver Durer
Paul Barton
Rob Jones
Stephen Patmore


Adam Collins
Adam Scales
Alessandro Antonini
Alexander Trautman
Andy Stratford
Antonio Lourenco
Arnold Longboy
Aspi Dimitrov
Clive Johnson
Darren Priest
Kumail Jaffer
Max  Trautman
Mohamed Abdule
Robert Gibson
Tom Lock
Trevor Clissold


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 teams in Hemel Hempstead and in NW London or for more details about the HSL or if you are interested to give baseball a try in this competition contact Herts Baseball Club.

Deadline Day bombshell – not 3, not 4, but 5

With just a few minutes remaining before midnight on Deadline Day for registration of teams for the 2019 league season of the British Baseball Federation, Herts Baseball Club submitted five team entries, adding two new Herts teams to the three which played in the BBF leagues last season.

The Herts Londoners were unveiled three weeks ago, so their league entry was expected.   The question which everyone was asking was which league the Londoners would play in. The club has now confirmed that they will play in the Triple-A League – the second league tier of British baseball.

A Triple-A team has been the missing piece in the Herts team lineup. There hasn’t been a Herts Triple-A team since 2015 and the last time they won the Triple-A National title was in 2008 (pictured right). The club now has a team in all four league tiers which gives them the opportunity to offer baseball to players of all levels from beginners to players of the highest calibre.

The Triple-A League is seen as the stepping stone for players aspiring to play in the National Baseball League (NBL). Triple-A teams are monitored closely by the Great Britain National Team coaching staff as they feature many players who are bidding for a place in the various GB National Teams.

It is a very competitive league so the Londoners will probably be seen as the underdogs in 2019, but with two months remaining until Opening Day and new players registering to play for Herts every week, they may surprise their opponents.

We thought that this would be the only news today but, without any advance notice, Herts also confirmed that they will be entering a fifth team, reviving the Herts Eagles who played in the Triple-A and Single-A Leagues in the past. Like the Londoners, the Eagles will also be based at the club’s new Basing Hill Ballpark in North West London.

This season they will play in the Single-A League which is the fourth tier of the British baseball league system. “Since player registration commenced for the 2019 season we have seen players of all levels registering to play at our new ballpark in NW London and having two teams there in Triple-A and Single-A enables us to offer the right baseball experience to players of all levels” said a club spokesperson.

Herts Baseball Club has had five senior league teams only once in its history. That was back in 2013. The difference this time around is that three of the teams will play their home games in Hemel Hempstead and two in NW London.

Herts Falcons NBL Grovehill Ballpark, Hemel Hempstead
Herts Londoners Triple-A Basing Hill Ballpark, NW London
Herts Hawks Double-A Grovehill Ballpark, Hemel Hempstead
Herts Raptors Single-A Grovehill Ballpark, Hemel Hempstead
Herts Eagles Single-A Basing Hill Ballpark, NW London

We understand these decisions were made by the club late into the night at a conference call which was originally scheduled to last only 45 minutes, but ended up being a tense discussion which took nearly three hours to come to a conclusion. They had to consider a vast number of factors such as roster size and competitiveness at the two ballparks, how many more players are likely to join the club between now and Opening Day, and how many more will do so throughout the six months of the baseball season.

Then there is the MLB London Series factor. The club is already seeing the positive effects of this, and it is likely to be felt even more as we approach the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees games at the London Stadium on 29 and 30 June. Deadline Day for team entries has now passed, but Herts has left sufficient room in its five team rosters to be able to welcome new players throughout the year.

We now wait to see what surprises the BBF will have for us, what the four league lineups will look like in 2019, and what opponents will stand in the way of the five Herts teams.

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.