Category: Club News

Britain’s Liam Carroll appointed as Boston Red Sox MiLB team manager

Britain’s Liam Carroll appointed as Boston Red Sox MiLB team manager

Yesterday, members of Herts Baseball Club were delighted to see the breaking news that former GB Baseball National Team Head Coach, Liam Carroll, has been appointed by the Boston Red Sox as an MiLB team manager.

Over the last 16 years Liam has supported Herts not only as a coach but in various other capacities on and off the field including the launch of the Herts youth baseball programme in 2007 (pcitured above, top row, first from right to left, wearing red) and the combined GB and Herts youth baseball exhibition event at Grovehill Ballpark in 2008, pictured below.

Herts members and fans have been posting their best wishes to Liam in this exciting next chapter in his amazing career.

We look forward to following Liam’s Red Sox MiLB team when the 2023 season commences in April.

Herts launches NBL Pilot Project

Herts launches NBL Pilot Project

Herts Baseball Club is launching a project hoping to take the club and the sport to the next level. A new business model is designed to grow the fan base, attracting spectators to its National Baseball League (NBL) games, generating revenue and building highly competitive teams by financially rewarding coaches and players.

This is not a new concept in sports and British baseball did have a professional league attracting up to 10,000 spectators in the golden era of the 1930s. But it has not been  achieved in the modern era, so this is an exciting challenge to see if it is viable and if there is demand in the market.

Herts Falcons applauding fans after the final NBL regular season game in 2013 finishing top with Win-Loss % of .857

Herts has grown from having one adult team with 19 members playing on one diamond in 2004 to an organisation with over 200 adult and youth players today with three diamonds – two in Hemel Hempstead and one in NW London. The size of the club is not far from some of the clubs in the German Bundesliga which feature players who are paid to play.

At its 2022 Annual General Meeting in November, Herts Baseball Club members considered a draft proposal, and asked the club’s executive board to make the final decision on it. The board assessed the project, the costs and the benefits and voted to give it the go-ahead. The eleven members of the board were unanimously in favour of going ahead, saying it deserved the full commitment of the club.

This comes after last week’s announcement that Herts and Legends have created a partnership with a view to entering two NBL teams in 2023 and the pilot project will play an integral part.

Baseball fans at the 2019 MLB London Series

Herts Baseball Club president, Aspi Dimitrov, said: “In 2023 you will hear us talk a lot about fan experience, game day product, attendance levels and off-field operations but this project won’t succeed unless we offer attractive and competitive baseball on the field – so we have a lot to do on and off the field between now and Opening Day in April 2023. This is a very challenging project and the odds may be against us but, if we succeed, this would take the club to another level. We want to share what we learn with the rest of the NBL, so that Britain can close the gap on the leading European baseball leagues. If this experiment is successful, it is expected to inspire more children and adults to play baseball and join the club with the additional motivation of being paid to play. The club hopes to create a game day atmosphere which players will revel in. The feeling of playing in front of large audiences is something which very few have the chance to experience in their lives and we want to give this opportunity to our members.”

Herts baseball fans at the 2017 MLB Battlegrounds event in Hyde Park

Players can express interest in trying out with the Herts Falcons and Herts Legends by completing this form.

The project will create a number of new off-field positions  which will need to be filled and more details of these will be published in due course but, those with experience in events, marketing, media, fan engagement, ballpark operations and food and beverage who are interested in getting involved in the project can contact us. This would also be a good opportunity for university students and aspiring entrepreneurs to gain firsthand experience.

Herts and Legends announce partnership ahead of the 2023 NBL season

Herts and Legends announce partnership ahead of the 2023 NBL season

Herts Baseball Club and Legends Baseball Club have announced that they will link up with a view to entering two teams in the National Baseball League (NBL) which is Britain’s highest league.

The  teams  will be known as  the Herts Legends and the Herts Falcons. Both teams will be affiliated with Herts Baseball Club. 

The two clubs worked closely together during the 2022 season. There were two Legends teams in the NBL – Lancashire Legends and London Legends – which were both hosted by Herts at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead. Herts had decided to withdraw its flagship team, the Herts Falcons, from the NBL after a difficult 2021 season.

The two organisations are delighted to now be working even closer together.

The Herts Legends will be managed by Great Britain U18 national team manager and president of Legends Baseball Club, Jonathan Rodriguez. Under his leadership, Legends have had more players selected by GB teams than any club in the country since 2020. Their mission statement is to give players a pathway to compete at the highest levels in the UK and Europe.

Candidates for head coach of the Herts Falcons are being considered at the moment and it is not too late for other candidates to put themselves forward and be added to the shortlist. To express interest in the Herts Falcons head coach position, contact us.

The coaching staff of both the Herts Legends and the Herts Falcons will be evaluating players and planning their rosters when Spring Training commences.  Apart from returning 2022 Lancashire Legends and London Legends players, we expect to see Herts and other players from around the UK and overseas try out for a place on these two NBL rosters. To express interest in trying out with the Herts Falcons and Herts Legends click here.

In 2022 the two  Legends rosters featured twelve players who have played for Herts in previous years so they will find themselves in familiar surroundings in 2023.

Legends President, Jonathan Rodriguez, said: “After reflecting on the past three years, it seemed like a no-brainer to merge with Herts Baseball Club. Working together, Herts and the Legends will be in a much stronger position to get to the next level. We hope the strong infrastructure Herts has built over the years will facilitate and grow the Legends project, which is to provide young baseball players in Great Britain a place to develop into national team, college or professional baseball players. We are excited to see what the future has in store for us.”

Herts president, Aspi Dimitrov, said: “We look forward to welcoming the Legends coaches and players to Herts as well as new players who decide to join us in this exciting project further details of which will be announced over the coming weeks. Our task as a club is to provide a professional environment for the teams to work and develop in and see a ripple effect across the entire club, including the Herts youth baseball teams.”

About Legends Baseball Club: The Legends Baseball Club was founded in 2012 by Jonathan Rodriguez. Today it comprises two teams in California, United States, and two teams in the United Kingdom. The Club has helped produce 17 MLB Draft selections. Jonathan Rodriguez currently serves as the Great Britain U18 National Team Manager and as an assistant coach for the Great Britain  U23 national team.  He also works for Burnley Football Club, is a lecturer in Sport Coaching & Leadership at the University of South Wales and is head coach of the University of Central Lancashire baseball team. For more information visit the Legends Baseball Club website.

About Herts Baseball Club: Herts Baseball Club was founded in 1996 in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, and has grown into one of the largest baseball clubs in the UK.  Its nine teams play in the various adult and youth leagues of the British Baseball Federation. Over the years, the club has invested into the expansion and upgrade of Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead and in 2019 the club opened a branch in north west London where they built Basing Hill Ballpark. Herts has featured  on BBC and other television channels and is frequently heard on several radio stations. For more information visit the Herts Baseball Club website.

Another record year for Herts Baseball Club after a 7% growth and improved performance on the field

Another record year for Herts Baseball Club after a 7% growth and improved performance on the field

Herts Baseball Club’s 26th Annual General Meeting was held on Sunday, 27 November, and it provided an analysis of the 2022 season, the club’s current position on and off the field and plans for 2023 and beyond.


It was confirmed that the club grew by 7% this year and currently has 214 adult and youth members.  This is a new high in the club’s history which means the club has now recorded new highs in three of the last four years.


At the previous AGM, competitiveness on the field of play was identified as an area which the club needed to improve after its five adult league teams had a combined record of 31 wins and 105 losses (W-L% .228).  There was a marked improvement this year with a combined regular season record of 56 wins and 72 losses (W-L% .438). The Hawks and the Londoners had a W-L% well above the .500 mark and both teams qualified for the postseason playoffs.

The AGM saw a lively discussion on the subject of how best to allocate Herts teams across the different league tiers of the BBF.


Off the field the club continues to be in a healthy financial position with a record level of net assets. It was noted that the club is preparing to operate in difficult economic conditions in 2023 as the Cost of Living Crisis will affect everyone and the challenge will be to keep baseball affordable while continuing the prudent management of the club’s finances.


Generous donations from club members and the wider community combined with grants from Sport England and Barnet Council enabled the club to implement most of the second phase of the Basing Hill Ballpark project comprising the installation of the backstop, infield cutout areas and pitcher’s mound. Although the crowdfunding campaign reached its target successfully, by the time that campaign was completed, the prices quoted by contractors for the installation of the backstop and infield perimeter fencing had gone up by around 30% as a result of the inflation affecting the entire world at the moment. The club went ahead with the installation of the backstop but the infield perimeter fence was put on hold while the club explores ways to fund the resulting shortfall of around £2,500.

Herts was also awarded £2,851 match-funding from the BSUK Facilities Fund to be invested in procedures to improve the Grovehill Ballpark playing surface.  The first stage of the work has already been completed with the installation of mound clay blocks for both pitching mounds at Grovehill. The remaining funding raised for investment into Grovehill Ballpark and Basing Hill Ballpark will be put into action in 2023.


The three high-profile Herts events – the HSL, the HFT and the Hunlock Series – were back in full swing after being disrupted by Covid in the previous two years. 

BBF news

Club members were updated about news coming out of the BBF AGM which took place a week earlier. The outstanding achievements of the GB U12, U15, U18, Women’s and the Senior teams were highlighted and for the first time we will see GB in the World Baseball Classic. They have been drawn in a pool with the USA and Canada who will feature some of the biggest MLB stars. Games will be played at the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix. Qualification means that GB has already earned a very large sum in prize money and that amount goes up the further they progress in the competition. A large portion of these funds are expected to be invested into British baseball.

The BBF also informed clubs of changes expected in 2023 such as the mandatory scoring of league games at all four league levels, stricter disciplinary procedures to tackle the abuse of umpires, adding the BBF Summer Cup to the calendar and exploring the option to move NBL and Triple-A games to Saturdays as there aren’t enough diamonds in the UK to fit all league games on Sundays.

A positive development has been the return of BSUK to the BBF AGM and the hope is that the BBF and BSUK will expand the level of collaboration which should give a boost to the growth of baseball in the UK.

For the first time ever, the BBF AGM was attended by representatives of MLB and they presented details of the work done so far and their future plans and strategy for the growth of the game in Europe and in the UK in particular as we prepare for the return of the MLB London Series in 2023.  This time it will be the St Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs.

Pilot Project

The AGM also considered a proposal for the club to run a pilot project to explore the viability of taking the club to the next level. Club members shared their views on the proposal and agreed to hand the decision to the executive board.

Board elections

With the AGM being held on Zoom, members will receive an email with details how to cast their votes over the next two weeks by email as it is not possible for members to vote anonymously via Zoom. A number of Board positions are up for election either as part of the annual retirement of a third of the Board positions or because they are vacant.

Outcome of disciplinary proceedings

Outcome of disciplinary proceedings

Herts Baseball Club has confirmed that, in accordance with its constitution and club regulations, it investigated an umpire report related to player conduct during a Hunlock Series game on 9 October 2022.

A disciplinary panel considered the report and imposed a ban on Mike Wakelam for failing to respect the decisions of the game official and engaging in public criticism of the official. The ban means that Mike Wakelam had to miss the remaining Hunlock Series games and will also be banned for the first two BBF regular season games of the 2023 season.

The club reiterated that, over the years it has had very few disciplinary matters to deal with but, it is still important to increase awareness among its members about observing the club and BBF codes of conduct.

Herts publishes AGM details

Herts publishes AGM details


In accordance with the Club’s Constitution, this is a notice of the upcoming 26th Annual General Meeting of Herts Baseball Club.  The AGM will take place as follows:
Sunday, 27 November 2022

10:30am (AGM expected to end at around 12:30pm-1:00pm)

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 2022 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 2022 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 in 2023.  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 2022 members. It will include information such as the AGM agenda, 2022 annual report, 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 term in brackets)

  • President (term ends 31.10.2025)
  • Secretary (term ends 31.10.2025)
  • Facilities Manager – Grovehill (term ends 31.10.2025)
  • Manager (NBL)2 Falcons (term ends 31.10.2025)
  • Manager (Triple-A)2 Cardinals (term ends 31.10.2024)
  • Manager (Single-A)2 Hawks (term ends 31.10.2025)
  • Manager (Single-A)2 Raptors (term ends 31.10.2023)
  • Manager (Single-A)2 Londoners (term ends 31.10.2024)
  • Manager (Single-A)2 Eagles (term ends 31.10.2025)
  • Head of U15-Hemel (term ends 31.10.2024)
  • Head of U13-Hemel (term ends 31.10.2023)
  • Head of U11-Hemel (term ends 31.10.2025)
  • Head of U15-London (term ends 31.10.2024)
  • Head of U13-London (term ends 31.10.2024)
  • Head of Softball (term ends 31.10.2023)


2 The leagues which Herts teams will enter in 2023 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 2023. 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. 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. 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 upcoming 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 17 November 2022, at the latest. You can find a copy of the Constitution on the club’s website (click to view).

Watford Sun-Rockets founder has passed away

Watford Sun-Rockets founder has passed away

We are sad to hear that the founder of the Watford Sun-Rockets, Peter Ash, passed away recently. 

He led the team to a national championship win in 1969 over the Liverpool Trojans – 8-7 after extra innings. This was the only Hertfordshire team to reach the NBL final until 2012 when the Herts Falcons lost in the final to the Harlow Nationals 6-3.  

Peter Ash was also selected by the Great Britain National Team and went on to win a silver medal in the 1967 European Championships in Antwerp, Belgium.

Herts Baseball Club was informed about the sad news by his granddaughter who saw this article from 2012. She is trying to find out as much as possible about him and his club. 

If any of our readers happen to have any further information about the baseball career of Peter Ash and the Watford Sun-Rockets, please contact us and we will forward it to his family.

Brent Cross Town funding to enhance baseball experience and activities at Basing Hill Ballpark

Brent Cross Town funding to enhance baseball experience and activities at Basing Hill Ballpark

Herts Baseball Club has confirmed that the Brent Cross Town Community Fund has awarded them £2,632 to fund the purchase of a baseball pitching machine for Basing Hill Ballpark.

Phase Two of Basing Hill Ballpark project nearing completion

Herts Baseball Club established its north west London branch in 2019. The playing field had deteriorated over many years. It was last used by football teams more than 15 years ago. The club ran two successful crowdfunding campaigns raising over £40,000 to level and resurface the field with new grass and also to install the baseball elements including the backstop, infield perimeter fence, infield cutouts and pitcher’s mound.

The club is now aiming to expand and enhance the baseball activities on offer for the local community. In addition to adult and youth league games, the club wants to bring the experience closer to the standard enjoyed in other countries where there are baseball batting practice places in every neighbourhood.

The BATA-2 is the type of pitching machine which the club will be looking to add to Basing Hill Ballpark.

This funding from Brent Cross Town will be used to purchase a pitching machine which will enable the club to offer an even better product and experience to children and adults to try baseball and fall in love with the game.

A Guide to Responsible Baseball Betting

Whether you are an avid fan of a US team and back them to win every match, or place the odd MLB bet now and then, ensuring you remain in control of your betting sessions is essential. As baseball betting continues to increase in popularity here in the UK, knowing how to remain in control when placing bets is paramount.

In this guide, we cover the most useful safe gambling strategies, tips, and tactics. So, if you’re trying to deal with a gambling problem or are worried about a friend or family member’s gambling activities, the following information will be of use.

Responsible gambling advice 

If you are passionate about remaining in control of your gambling, these tips will ensure you stay on the right track: 

  • Set a time limit: Limiting the amount of time you spend on online betting sites is a worthwhile task. This will reduce the risk you face of becoming addicted to online betting. 
  • Set a betting budget: It is important that you have a betting budget in place, ensuring you are not overspending and putting yourself and your family at financial risk. 
  • Take regular breaks: Taking regular breaks from gambling is an advisable move. This will make sure you are making sensible decisions and allow yourself time to regroup before logging back into your betting site. 
  • Only gamble when you are in the right headspace: Gambling when you are stressed, upset or intoxicated is ill-advised. This is because not being in the right headspace can cloud your judgement and lead you to make rash gambling decisions. 
  • When the fun stops, stop: All bettors must remember that gambling is a form of entertainment, not an avenue to generate money. This is why when gambling stops being fun and entertaining, you must log out of your betting account. 

Telltale signs of problem gambling

There are many signs that you are not gambling responsibly. These include: 

  • You are spending more and more money on online betting 
  • Friends and family members have passed comment on your gambling 
  • You find refraining from gambling hard or impossible 
  • You are spending an increased amount of time on betting
  • You are placing riskier bets with long odds
  • You are constantly seeking betting tips and free bets
  • You are loaning money to fund your gambling habits

Top responsible gambling services 

If you have taken the above tips on board and are still concerned about the amount of time and money you are spending then there are some responsible gambling services you can utilise. Many of these can be actioned via your chosen betting account. 

  • Deposit limit – A deposit limit is a feature that allows bettors to establish a deposit limit for themselves, allowing them to only gamble a specific amount of their own money. This restriction can be set on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
  • Loss limit – By establishing a loss limit, you are telling your betting site how much money you are willing to lose. As a result, the amount of actual money you may lose from deposits is limited. 
  • Time-Out – By making use of your gambling site’s Time Out feature you can lock yourself out of your account for a certain amount of time, restricting your access to betting products completely. 
  • Self-exclusion – Self-exclusion is a feature whereby gamblers can exclude themselves from gambling activities on all betting sites for at least 6 months. This option can usually be found on the ‘responsible gambling’ page of a website. Players can also enforce Self Exclusion via GamStop.

Leading safe gambling charities and organisations 

In the UK, we boast an incredible support network when it comes to gambling-related harm. If you are seeking professional help, the below organisations are there to aid you back to health and support you emotionally. 

  • GamCare – GamCare is a national organisation that helps those who have been harmed by gambling. It offers both free telephone counselling and face-to-face group sessions. GamCare can be contacted via phone – 0808 8020 133. 
  • Gamblers Anonymous – Gamblers Anonymous refers to itself as a “fellowship” dedicated to assisting compulsive gamblers in their recovery. Users can access details of local meetings on the Gamblers Anonym    ous website; gamblers
  • GamStop – GamStop gives consumers the option to join the National Self Exclusion Program, which allows them to exclude themselves from all online gambling activities for six months, one year or five years.
  • The Samaritans – The Samaritans provide a wide range of services to people who have been affected by gambling. These include counselling, mentoring and emotional support. The well-known charity works closely with the UK Gambling Commission to educate people about the dangers of gambling. Gamblers have the option to talk to a Samaritan on live chat at

This responsible gambling guide has been developed by; a UK online online betting sites portal. is part of a larger network of brands which also includes free bets comparison site, and casino sites portal,

Phase Two of Basing Hill Ballpark project nearing completion

Phase Two of Basing Hill Ballpark project nearing completion

The key components of the second phase of the Basing Hill Ballpark project have now been completed.

The first phase of the project was to level and resurface the playing field with new grass.  That was implemented last September and October by the contractor Inscapes and it was time to move to phase two.

The club, with the help of Sport England, club members and the wider community successfully reached the £20,068 crowdfunding target in April and the London Borough of Barnet planning department granted the planning permission for the project to commence.

Over the last three months the club secured the services of several fantastic contractors. Galldris Group, who have been busy across the street with the huge Brent Cross Town development, implemented the excavation of the infield cutout areas around the bases and the pitcher’s mound.

Working on a very tight budget, the club relied on its own members and volunteers to do the heavy lifting of laying the 20 tonnes of sub-base and 40 tonnes of infield mix onto the cutout areas.

They somehow managed to avoid disruption to the youth and adult league schedules by squeezing all of this work into the five days between two weekends packed with games.

The first games on the new infield was the Triple-A League clash between the Herts Cardinals and the Cambridge Monarchs on 26 June, pictured above.

The mound clay blocks were installed on the pitcher’s mound and the batters’ and catcher’s boxes a week later.

Today, the installation of the baseball backstop was completed by contractors Tate and Tonbridge Fencing.

The last remaining task in this phase of the project is the installation of the spectator rails on the first and third base side of the infield. With steel and fuel prices rising, the cost of this increased by 30% which pushed the total project cost above the amount which was raised and the club is now looking for solutions either to raise more funds or find a fencing contractor who is able to install the spectator rail fencing panels at a lower price, or hope that inflation will correct itself in the coming months but that looks highly unlikely at the moment.

Although the 2022 BBF regular season is over, players will have a chance to play at the upgraded Basing Hill Ballpark before 2023 as the first Hunlock Series game day is scheduled to be played there on Sunday, 2 October.