Category: Events

Hunlock Series managers announced. The Live Draft is this Tuesday night.

Hunlock Series managers announced. The Live Draft is this Tuesday night.

We are counting down to the 2021 Hunlock Series Draft which will take place this Tuesday, 14 September at 8:00pm. Players and fans can follow the Draft picks here as they happen. Participants will also be able to interact and chat about the Draft on the Herts Facebook Page and Herts Twitter as the managers make their picks. We understand the Draft may also be streamed live and viewers will be able to listen in on the discussions between the managers. If so, we will post an update with the live stream link.

Five teams go into this year’s competition. The mystery team, Formosa Islanders, were announced a few days ago and there will be four other teams. The managerial appointments have just been announced.

  • Mike Wakelam – Blue team
  • Brad Charalambous – Grey team
  • Matt Bell – Black team
  • Aspi Dimitrov – Red team
  • Formosa Islanders – (manager to be confirmed)

Fans will see some new faces in the Hunlock Series this year who have joined the club in the last few weeks, so there will be an element of surprise in Tuesday’s Draft. Some of them may be new to Herts fans but they are not new to the game. The Hunlock Series could be a glimpse at some of the new players who will be wearing the Herts uniform for the first time in 2022.

HOW TO REGISTER

All Hunlock Series players will be drafted into teams. To be eligible for the Draft players will need to update their availability for all the Hunlock Series dates in the online Clubhouse by 6pm on Tuesday, 14 September. If you miss the deadline or the first one or two weeks of games, don’t worry. New players will still be eligible to play but will have to be assigned as free agents after the Draft.

If you already have a Clubhouse account you can update availability by logging on with your existing username and password. Click here to go to the Clubhouse.

If you do not have a Clubhouse account but wish to play in the Hunlock Series, please register here and select “Play Hunlock Series” in the membership category list. After registering you can log on and mark your availability.

To be eligible to play in the Hunlock Series, players must be 14 years of age or above on 31 December 2021.

ENTRY FEE
2021 club members do not have to pay an entry fee as the Hunlock Series is part of their membership package. If you don’t have a Hunlock Series team shirt, you can buy one before your first game. The cost is £6.

New players or players from other clubs can play by paying the £12 entry fee which includes a free Hunlock Series shirt of the team which has drafted them.

Mystery team enters the 2021 Hunlock Series

Mystery team enters the 2021 Hunlock Series

The opening day of the 2021 Hunlock Series is approaching and it has just been announced that a mystery team named the Formosa Islanders has entered the Series.

What do we know about them? We have very little information but a quick search on the internet indicates that The Republic of Formosa was a republic that existed on the island of Taiwan in 1895 between the formal cession of Taiwan by the Qing dynasty of China to the Empire of Japan by the Treaty of Shimonoseki and its being taken over by Japanese troops. That’s as much as we have at the moment but our investigative journalists are on the case and we will keep you updated as we find out more but we may have to wait until the Hunlock Series games to get a first look at the Islanders.

The LIve Draft is next week
For those who are new to the Hunlock Series, in the days leading up to the Draft, the 100+ Herts players (aged 14 and over) and newly registered players are listed as available to pick in the Hunlock Series Draft. The team managers then take turns picking players one by one over 20 or so rounds of the Draft. It will be interesting to see which players among the club’s 100+ players will be picked in the first round and who will be the very first pick.  In previous years, that honour has gone primarily to Conner Brown. Who will it be this year? The Draft will be done live on Tuesday evening, 14 September.  We will provide more details in due course.

Make sure you are in it
Historically the Herts adult league team managers have used the Hunlock Series games to evaluate current and new players in preparation for the new season, to populate their rosters and positions and to decide which leagues the Herts teams should go into in 2022.

HOW TO REGISTER

All Hunlock Series players will be drafted into teams. To be eligible for the Draft players will need to update their availability for all the Hunlock Series dates in the online Clubhouse by 6pm on Tuesday , 14 September. If you miss the deadline or the first one or two weeks of games, don’t worry. New players will still be eligible to play but will have to be assigned as free agents after the Draft.

If you already have a Clubhouse account you can update availability by logging on with your existing username and password. Click here to go to the Clubhouse.

If you do not have a Clubhouse account but wish to play in the Hunlock Series, please register here and select “Play Hunlock Series” in the membership category list. After registering you can log on and mark your availability.

To be eligible to play in the Hunlock Series, players must be 14 years of age or above on 31 December 2021.

ENTRY FEE
2021 club members do not have to pay an entry fee as the Hunlock Series is part of their membership package. If you don’t have a Hunlock Series team shirt, you can buy one before your first game. The cost is £6.

New players or players from other clubs can play by paying the £12 entry fee which includes a free Hunlock Series shirt of the team which has drafted them.

Players have started registering for the 2021 Hunlock Series

Players have started registering for the 2021 Hunlock Series

The 2021 BBF league season will soon be coming to a close, but arguably the best part of the season is still to come.

Every year, just when the MLB season enters its most exciting stage, players come to Grovehill Ballpark for a competition in memory of Herts Baseball Club’s number 36, the late Kyle Hunlock.

This is the fifteenth year of the Hunlock Series. In its inaugural year in 2006 two teams were involved, the Falcons and the Hawks. Herts Baseball Club has been growing rapidly since then and the format of the competition has evolved. As players sign up over the next few weeks we will know how many teams will enter the Series this year.

SERIES FORMAT

This year’s competition will be played over three Sundays. The opening games will be played on 26 September. The second round of games will take place on 3 October, with the final round scheduled for 10 October.

In 2014 we introduced “The 9th Inning Games” where games are played over a single inning. We will be doing this again this year. This format recreates the tension and drama of the ninth inning. Can the teams manufacture the all important go-ahead run? Can they deliver the walk-off hits? Can the pitchers and defence execute with the game on the line?

THE DRAFT

As in previous years, the teams will be selected by the team managers during the Hunlock Series Draft. Who will be the first round picks? How will minor league players and newcomers perform alongside NBL players?

Over the years we have seen how decisions made during the Draft can shape the outcome of the Series before a pitch has been thrown. The managers will have to make carefully calculated decisions if they are to put together a team which can compete for the Hunlock Series title, otherwise they face miserable few weeks.

With all of the club’s managers and coaching staff observing these games, players who have been pushing for promotion to a higher league team will have the perfect opportunity during the Hunlock Series to make a claim to play on the bigger stage in 2022. The club has also received enquiries from many potential new members over the last few weeks and this event is the ideal opportunity for them to come and play.

HOW TO REGISTER

All Hunlock Series players will be drafted into teams. To be eligible for the Draft you will need to update your availability for ALL the Hunlock Series dates in the online Clubhouse by Tuesday, 14 September. If you miss the deadline or the first one or two weeks of games, don’t worry. You will still be eligible to play but will have to be assigned as a free agent after the Draft.

If you already have a Clubhouse account you can update availability by logging on with your existing username and password. Click here to go to the Clubhouse.

If you do not have a Clubhouse account but wish to play in the Hunlock Series, please register here and select “Play Hunlock Series” in the membership category list. After registering you can log on and mark your availability.

To be eligible to play in the Hunlock Series, players must be 14 years of age or above on 31 December 2021.

ENTRY FEE
2021 club members do not have to pay an entry fee as the Hunlock Series is part of their membership package. If you don’t have a Hunlock Series team shirt, you can buy one before your first game. The cost is £6.

New players or players from other clubs can play by paying the £12 entry fee which includes a free Hunlock Series shirt of the team which has drafted them.

Herts Spring League kicks off 2021 season in style

Herts Spring League kicks off 2021 season in style

Like everything else at the moment, the 2021 Herts Spring League was a bit different. It was quick as a flash. It was more knock-out blow than drawn-out battle.

The usual three weeks of competition were condensed into one weekend on the baseball diamonds of Grovehill. The impact of the pandemic had cut short the time available for pre-season.

One of the other points that made it different this year was the arrival of the first women’s team in the history of the tournament. Belles Baseball made a big noise and splash in the Single-A competition, bringing a lot of energy to the event.

The Herts Spring League provides a great opportunity for teams to finalise their preparations for the upcoming British baseball season. This year, it saw 22 teams play 21 games on 2 diamonds over 2 days. Single-A and Double-A were on Saturday, Triple-A and NBL on the Sunday.

The sun shone gloriously for both days, which we have decided must be a good omen for the season ahead. Yes, it was on the cool side but, hey, it’s the Spring.

Let’s start with the Belles, who opened their HSL account against a Herts side, the Eagles. The visiting team fell behind early on, but fought back with some patient at-bats and aggressive stealing to make it 9-5. The Eagles ran out winners, and the Belles then took on the London Mustangs. Another tight contest ended 9-7 to London.

Top slot in the league was shared by the MK Bucks 2, and the Londoners — who were undefeated. The Eagles, Raptors, Mustangs and Bracknell Inferno each took a split from their weekend. Minotaurs fought hard and scored well but couldn’t secure a W.

If the Belles Baseball were something new, the presence of the Croydon Pirates in the Double-A division was a blast from the past. The team is a revival of what was a stalwart of British baseball a few years back. They won 8-2 over Sidewinders, and then defeated London Musketeers 9-2 to claim the title. London had beaten the Hawks 10-2, and Hawks went down by the same score to Sidewinders in the third place playoff.

Sunday saw the Triple-A action first, with Essex Redbacks finally breaking open a tight contest against the London Mammoths to win 7-2. It was a game with several double plays stifling an offensive threat. All the games were tight in this division. London Marauders took the title with one-run wins over BC Vetra and the MK Bucks.

London Mets dominated the NBL tournament, putting down a marker they intend to defend their title again. They opened their account with a 3-2 win over the Essex Arrows, as the London Capitals saw off the Herts Falcons 10-2. In the second round of rubbers the Mets beat the Caps, while Falcons secured a split on their weekend with a victory over Essex.

The BBF league schedule starts this coming weekend, so the HSL gave a last chance to hone strategies and test players under game conditions. Everyone will have come out of the weekend with a greater sense of what they need to do for success.

Signs are good that the summer of 2021 will see plenty of baseball. Herts thanks all the players who came down and took part, and everyone who made it happen.

It’s game on for 2021.

Countdown to HSL – first chance to see the teams ahead of the 2021 British baseball season

Countdown to HSL – first chance to see the teams ahead of the 2021 British baseball season

The Herts Spring League (HSL) will see 22 teams play 21 games on the weekend of 24 and 25 April. Organised by Herts Baseball Club, it is Britain’s version of MLB’s Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues, and it signals that the season is just around the corner.

FORMAT

The 22 teams have been placed into four HSL divisions – NBL, Triple-A, Double-A and Single-A – based on the ranking of the teams going into the 2021 baseball season.

Most of the teams have been placed into pools of four teams. The semi-final pairings have been confirmed and the winners will face each other in the final, while the losing teams in each pool will also play each other in their second game of the day.

The teams finishing at the top of their respective division will be the HSL champions.

THE VENUE

The action will take place at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead, the home of Herts Baseball Club.

SCHEDULE

The HSL is usually played over three weekends, but the national lockdown reduced the time available for Spring Training ahead of Opening Day on 2 May.

21 games will be played on two diamonds. The competition begins on Saturday, 24 April, with the Double-A division followed by afternoon and evening games from the Single-A division. Among the Single-A teams are the Belles who will make history as the first ever all-women’s baseball team to play in the HSL.

On Sunday, 25 April, the NBL and Triple-A divisions will be in action with several interesting matchups including the London Archers and BC Vetra, a team which will play in the BBF Triple-A league for the first time this year.

Click to view full 2021 HSL schedule

EXCITEMENT BUILDING UP

The Herts Spring League adds a competitive edge to Spring training. It’s the time for managers to work out their winning formula going into the BBF league season. It is an opportunity to evaluate existing and newly recruited players. Which players will earn a spot in the pitching rotation and who will be batting where in the batting order? Who will make the first team and who will have to work their way up through the minor leagues? Not forgetting, it’s a chance to size up your rivals for the year ahead. It’s the first big challenge and the first big excitement of the baseball year. Don’t miss it.

GET IN THE GAME

Players, from beginners to advanced, are now registering for the 2021 baseball season. For more details about how to join the Herts 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 to help you decide whether to join the team contact Herts Baseball Club.

22 teams enter the 2021 HSL

22 teams enter the 2021 HSL

Herts Baseball Club has confirmed that 22 teams have entered this year’s Herts Spring League (HSL). The teams come from all British baseball leagues including the National Baseball League (NBL), Triple-A, Double-A and Single-A Leagues.

The London Archers are also back for their third year in the HSL. They made history in 2019 year by becoming the first British team to win the Pony European Championships and qualified for the Pony World Series which was played in Pennsylvania. 

The HSL teams will be divided into four divisions as follows:

HSL – NBL
TEAMCLASSHSL RANKING
Essex Arrows 3
Herts Falcons 4
London Capitals 2
London Mets 1
HSL – Triple-A
TEAMCLASSHSL RANKING
BC Vetra 8
Essex Redbacks 6
London Archers 7
London Marauders 9
London Mammoths 5
Milton Keynes Bucks 10
HSL – Double-A
TEAMCLASSHSL RANKING
Croydon Pirates 13
Herts Hawks 14
London Musketeers 12
Sidewinders 11
HSL – Single-A
TEAMCLASSHSL RANKING
Bracknell Inferno 15
Herts Eagles 22
Herts Raptors 18
Herts Londoners 21
London Mustangs 16
London Minotaurs 20
Milton Keynes Bucks 2 17
Southern Belles 19
Spring Training groups announced

Spring Training groups announced

As announced by Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, yesterday, organised outdoor sport can now restart. 

The five Herts adult league teams will report for Spring Training this week. The teams will initially be divided into three groups. Those trying out to play in the National Baseball League and in the Double-A League will be in one group. There will be two further groups – Single-A League for players based in Hemel Hempstead and a separate Single-A group for the teams based at the club’s ballpark in North West London.

NBL / Double-ASingle-A Hemel HempsteadSingle-A NW London
Amane SobueAdam ScalesAdam Collins
Andy CornishBradley CharalambousAlex Plehn
Antonio LourencoCameron SchultzAlexander Trautman
Antony LavenderCharlie BeachAndrew Slater
Charlie ObrienConnor LunnAndy Stratford
Charlie PlausinDale HardwickArnold Longboy
Cristobal HicheDaniel ShawAspi Dimitrov
Daniel BartramDanny PrestonBenjamin Markscheffel
Daniel GippleDeclan CarleanCory English
George MorganDowan BelleroseDan Taylor
Gilberto MedinaEfthymios RizoglouEllie Page
Jack ObrienGeorge GreenstreetGreg Bochan
Joe GippleGregory ClarkJames Hawes
Kai RajahHarry McmenaminJamie Lang-Richards
Laurence Currington John KjorstadKevin Abioye
Lee ManningKennet PikeKumail Jaffer
Matthew JacksonLauren DutchMax Trautman
Michael CresswellLee OdellMichael Wakelam
Michael JohnsonLuis MartinsMohamed Abdule
Noah TaborMichael CunninghamNicolas Goetz
Paul BartonMichael LongNorman Peng
Rene TorcatoMichelle GreenRob Jones
Robert SmithNick ClohessyRyan Bartlett
Tetsuro ShinkawaPaul Le GuillouSaira Smith
Theo ClarkPavneet PurewalSam Kumar
Will DavisPedro MartinsZack Case
Will ZuckerTaysir Barakat 
Yasu IchigeTom Lock 
 Troy Mayer 

All three groups will report at 10am at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead this Sunday, 4 April. In the following two weeks the groups will continue preparations at their respective ballparks on 11 and 18 April. To comply with Covid procedures, registered players are required to mark their availability for these events in the online Clubhouse.

All of these sessions are open to anyone aged 14 and over to come and try baseball and to help them decide whether they would like to join the teams for the 2021 baseball season.

Later in April, the managers will announce the preliminary rosters for the 2021 Herts Spring League which will have a condensed format with games being played over the weekend of the 24 and 25 April at Grovehill Ballpark.

The Opening Day of the 2021 BBF league season is Sunday, 2 May. The schedule for the various leagues is expected to be published later this week.

Midweek evening baseball will return to both Grovehill Ballpark and Basing Hill Ballpark in the first week of May. The teams may have midweek evening sessions even earlier and the managers will communicate this with their players.

The youth league players will report for Spring Training at their resepctive ballparks a week later than the adult teams on 10 and 11 April.  See more details here.

Training sessions and games will follow the Covid-secure protocol for baseball which was approved by the government.

Teams starting to enter the 2021 Herts Spring League

Teams starting to enter the 2021 Herts Spring League

The Herts Spring League (HSL) has confirmed the game dates for the 2021 edition of the competition.

The government announced a tentative timetable which indicated that baseball games could resume from 29 March 2021 in accordance with the approved Covid-19 protocol.

In order to give teams three weeks of training to prepare for HSL games, this year the HSL has reduced the length of the competition from three weeks to one week.

The HSL dates are:

  • Saturday, 24 April 2021
  • Sunday, 25 April 2021

They are based on the expectation that the BBF league season will start on 1 or 2 May 2021 for all senior leagues (NBL, Triple-A, Double-A, Single-A).

The schedule may be subject to change in line with government guidance on Covid.

Spring is the time when managers put together their teams and aim to turn them into winning machines ahead of Opening Day. Similar to the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues in MLB, the HSL provides a competitive edge to spring training. This is the fourteenth year of the HSL. Every year this competition keeps growing. The geographic spread of participating teams seems to be expanding too. For more details visit the HSL site.

LEAGUE FORMAT
Teams will be placed in two or more divisions based on the teams’ ranking going into the new season. The exact format will depend on the number of teams entering the HSL. Full details will be published when the league line-up is confirmed.

TEAMS
Over the years the HSL has featured teams from the National Baseball League (NBL), Triple-A, Double-A and Single-A Leagues, as well as international teams such as the GB Under-19 and Under-16 National Teams and the ASL Eagles.

Teams from around the United Kingdom will be submitting their entries over the next few weeks and the HSL lineup and games schedule is expected to be published in mid-April.

VENUES

All games will be played at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead, but if there are too many teams to fit all of the games, some may be played at the club’s other ballpark in NW London.

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.

DATEEVENTVENUE
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.

Herts Spring League postponed

2020 Herts Spring League postponed

Due to the Corona Virus Covid-19 pandemic, Herts Baseball Club has made the difficult decision to postpone all 37 Herts Spring League games which were scheduled to be played over the next three weeks.

The decision is being taken as a precaution because our top priority must be the safety and wellbeing of the 19 teams and the umpires, officials and staff involved in the HSL. The Club does not have any reason to believe that any of the participating teams is affected by Corona Virus.

Herts Baseball Club will continue to monitor all guidance offered by the NHS, the UK government and other relevant bodies and, if feasible, will explore the option to re-schedule HSL games, depending on how the 2020 British baseball league season is affected by Corona Virus.

The Club is determined to make sure that baseball activities resume as soon as possible.