Category: Featured

CLUB STATEMENT: Herts Falcons vs London Capitals to be played behind closed doors

CLUB STATEMENT: Herts Falcons vs London Capitals to be played behind closed doors

Last month the British Baseball Federation (BBF) released the 2023 league schedules. The Herts Falcons were scheduled to play their home opener on 22 April versus the London Mets. On March 28th, due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the BBF’s control the schedule of the National Baseball League (NBL) had to be redrafted. On March 29th, Herts Baseball Club notified the BBF that, when redrafting the schedule, the earliest date when Grovehill Ballpark will have the facilities to host an NBL game is 22 April – the date of their home opener in the original NBL schedule.

On 6 April the BBF released the revised NBL schedule informing the Herts Falcons that it has not been possible to fit all the games at other venues on 16 April and as a result have scheduled the Herts Falcons to play the London Capitals at Grovehill Ballpark on that date. Herts submitted a number of solutions to the BBF to address the issue including a swap of Falcons vs Capitals home and away fixtures.

Last night the British Baseball Federation confirmed its decision that all of those solutions are not feasible and the Herts Falcons have been ordered to play their NBL doubleheader versus the London Capitals on Sunday, 16 April, at Grovehill Ballpark.

This week contractors are carrying out renovation work at Grovehill Ballpark which is expected to affect all toilet facilities and as a result the games will be played behind closed doors. Fans are advised not to come to the venue. The event will not feature any of the game day elements planned for the NBL Pilot Project.

Another reason why Grovehill Ballpark will not be able to host fans on 16 April is that key components of the NBL Pilot Project such as spectator seating, catering supplies and contactless card terminal are scheduled for the week of the original Falcons NBL home opener on 22 April.

Opening Day is a celebration to mark the start of the new season, however it is not possible to celebrate it behind closed doors without the fans. The doubleheader this Sunday will not be treated as Opening Day.

For the Herts Falcons, the official Opening Day of the 2023 baseball season will be on Saturday, 22 April, when they will host the London Mets. The event will be ticketed and will feature all of the elements of the NBL Pilot Project and the festivities of Opening Day.

Now that the revised NBL schedule has been finalised, ticket sales for the remaining Herts Falcons home games will be launched shortly.

When we announced the NBL Pilot Project we received positive feedback from members of the BBF Board and we also noted that a semi-professional NBL was one of the goals in the “Our Future 2023-2035” BBF document. In the future we very much hope that the BBF will be able to recognise when clubs and their members are making an enormous sacrifice and are investing resources and time to raise the level of British Baseball on and off the field, and support those clubs rather than making it more difficult for them to make that step up.

This huge setback and disappointment does not diminish our enormous gratitude and respect for all of the work and time which BBF Board members and staff put into the running and development of British Baseball.

Changes to NBL game schedule. Falcons ticket sale launch delayed.

Changes to NBL game schedule. Falcons ticket sale launch delayed.

Last week the British Baseball Federation reported that changes will need to be made to the 2023 National Baseball League (NBL) game schedule.

The number of games and the dates of those games may be affected and as a result the launch of the 2023 ticket sale for Herts Falcons home games has been delayed.

In December Herts launched its NBL Pilot Project which aims to take the club and the sport to the next level. The new business model is designed to grow the fan base and attract spectators to Herts Falcons NBL games by creating a special game day experience.

The BBF has indicated that the revised NBL schedule is expected to be released over the next few days.  Ticket sale will commence shortly after that.

NEWS UPDATE: All HSL games on Saturday April 1st cancelled due to weather

NEWS UPDATE: All HSL games on Saturday and Sunday April 1st and 2nd cancelled due to weather

All Herts Spring League games on all three diamonds on both Saturday, 1 April, and Sunday, 2 April, have been cancelled due to adverse weather and ground conditions.

HSL (Double-A)
Grovehill D1
HSL (Single-A)
Grovehill D2
HSL (Single-A)
Grovehill D2
HSL (Single-A)
Grovehill D2
HSL (Single-A)
Grovehill D1
Basing Hill Ballpark
HSL (Double-A)
Grovehill D2
Basing Hill Ballpark
Grovehill D1
Roundshaw Playing Fields
HSL (Single-A)
Grovehill D2
HSL (Double-A)
Basing Hill Ballpark

Although the weather will stay dry on Sunday, the heavy rainfall over the last few weeks has saturated the diamonds and there is standing water in many areas and the ground is so soft that feet are sinking into it and is simply not possible to play baseball at the moment.

It looks like most diamonds around the UK are in a similar predicament judging by the above tweet from Farnham Park and the one below from the Bristol Badgers.

The weather forecast is more promising over the next few days and the club is hopeful that next week’s HSL games can be played as scheduled.

Herts Falcons go back to their roots as they unveil new logo

Herts Falcons go back to their roots as they unveil new logo

To mark the return of the Herts Falcons to the National Baseball League (NBL) this year, the team is unveiling its new logo which incorporates features from the club’s early years in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Herts Baseball Club was founded in 1996. At that time the official club name in its constitution was Falcons Baseball Club. The team’s name was the Bushey Falcons as the team’s home field was located in Bushey, Hertfordshire, near Watford.

In their first year they played a series of friendly games to prepare for entry into the BBF leagues in 1997.  Their ignominious start was a crushing 51 – 6 loss against the Old Timers on 17th July 1996. It was not until 3rd November 1996 that they recorded their first ever victory, winning 4 – 9 against the Southend Piers.

In their first league season, they played in the BBF Southern Conference Division Three.

From the photo archives we can see that, in the years between 1996 and 2000, the official uniform was a white pinstriped jersey with what appear to be the letters “B” and “F” on one side of the chest. They wore black baseball pants and a navy blue baseball cap with a red logo which is difficult to see the details of in photos available to us. Perhaps there are club members who still have that cap and jersey and can send us a photo.

In 2000 the team introduced a new jersey.  It was still white with black pinstripes but this time it had the team name “Falcons” in red letters across the chest written in a classic baseball script font and a tail under it. It is this insignia which the team has now adopted as its logo – an opportunity to celebrate its history. The baseball cap worn at the time was black with a red letter “F” on the front.

At its Annual General Meeting at the end of 2001, members decided to change the club’s name under its constitution to Herts Baseball Club and since then the team has competed in the BBF leagues under the name Herts Falcons.

As the number of players increased, the club decided to form additional teams. Its second team was launched in 2005, initially adopting the name Herts Falcons 2. As more teams were added, it was decided to give them their own names and so the Herts Hawks, Herts Raptors and Herts Eagles were born.

In 2008 the club unveiled a new uniform.  Gone were the black pants and pinstripes and in their place was an all white uniform with black piping and the name “Herts” in red across the chest. The logo on the baseball cap also changed from the letter “F” to the letter “H”. This will be the sixteenth season that Herts teams wear this uniform and this year there is a record number of seven Herts teams in the BBF leagues.

With their new logo, the Herts Falcons will be making their return to the NBL when the league starts next month. It’s a pivotal season for the Falcons for many reasons. The team needs to find a way to compete and re-establish its position in Britain’s top league. The club, as a whole, is also making a big push with its NBL Pilot Project to see if British baseball is ready to start bringing fans to the ballparks. The NBL Opening Day is on April 16 when the Falcons travel to the Sheffield Bruins.

Herts teams announce preliminary 2023 rosters for the HSL

Herts teams announce preliminary 2023 rosters for the HSL

The seven Herts teams have announced their preliminary rosters for the 2023 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 2023 Opening Day rosters.

The HSL games commence on April 1st.

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.

Herts Falcons (National Baseball League)

  • Alex Deacon
  • Alexander Paterson
  • Ben Morris
  • Ben Moruzzi
  • Benjamin  Sporleder
  • Cole Nakazawa
  • Daniel Moran
  • Dylan  Lawler
  • Eli Belizaire
  • Fraser Duggan
  • Harry Quixley
  • Jack Mccarthy
  • Jack Warrington
  • Kaden Horwood
  • Leo  Nakazawa
  • Leon Gutowski
  • Matthew Moran
  • Max Manoff
  • Michael Cresswell
  • Nathan  Simmons
  • Nicholas Effingham
  • Rene Torcato
  • Samuel Sporleder
  • Tasuku Ishihara
  • Tetsuro Shinkawa
  • Will Clayton

Herts Cardinals (Triple-A)

  • Andy Cornish
  • Arik Raviv
  • Brian Dearing
  • Chun Hung Wong
  • Erik Gustafson
  • Giorgio Ferroni
  • Hiroki Fujimoto
  • James Cavanagh
  • James Hicks
  • Javier Tomas
  • Joshua Pines
  • Naohiko Kumagai
  • Osvaldo Badia Rivero
  • Robert Laflamme
  • Roberto  Hernandez
  • Sean Bennett
  • Tyler Cote
  • Vytas Macenas
  • Will Davis

Herts Ducks (Double-A)

  • Alexander Trautman
  • Bradley Charalambous
  • Bryan Mencias
  • Danilo Machado
  • David Mas
  • Evan Robins
  • Hang Li
  • Jake Spicer
  • John Del Riccio
  • Kumail Jaffer
  • Max Trautman
  • Miguel Gibson
  • Mohamed Abdule
  • Paras Patravale
  • Prime Mencias
  • Sebastian Cheng
  • Taysir Barakat

Herts Hawks (Double-A)

  • Antonio Lourenco
  • Callum Ferrier
  • Cameron Schultz
  • Declan Carlean
  • Gerrod Taylor
  • Giuseppe Basilea
  • Harry Ewen
  • Harry Mcmenamin
  • Jack Obrien
  • Kennet Pike
  • Michael Johnson
  • Noah  Tabor
  • Peter Hogg
  • Thomas Hill
  • Todd Neville

Herts Eagles (Single-A)

  • Ahmed Hassan
  • Boran Sahin
  • Daniel Gipple
  • Eleni Xintaras
  • Francesco Meduri
  • George Llewelyn Thomas
  • James Tappenden
  • Jamie Lang-Richards
  • Joe Gipple
  • Joseph Flores
  • Mark Vidler-Connaughton
  • Michael Green
  • Neil Chilton
  • Peter Wilson
  • Reece Crawley
  • Reece  Williamson-White
  • Saira Smith

Herts Raptors (Single–A)

  • Abdul Elhamri
  • Adam Scales
  • Billy Perry
  • Danny Preston
  • David Howard
  • Hamza Chowdhree
  • Jack Burkett
  • Jamie Berlofsky
  • Jamie Wise
  • John Kjorstad
  • Jordon Fox
  • Lauren Dutch
  • Lee Dunn
  • Lewis Auchterlounie
  • Martin Kuszewski
  • Max Farmbrough
  • Maxymus Kuszewski
  • Michael Cunningham
  • Nicholas Hine
  • Paul Auchterlounie
  • Rufus Lloyd
  • Steve Kis
  • Swar Panchal
  • Thomas Browne

Herts Ravens (Single-A)

  • Andrew Slater
  • Arnold Longboy
  • Cory English
  • Dan Taylor
  • Ed Moore
  • Eric Ferng
  • Gilberto Medina
  • Greg Bochan
  • Henry Bell
  • Hunter Devine
  • Jack Page
  • Joseph  Field
  • Matthew Bell
  • Matthew Jackson
  • Nicolas Goetz
  • Norman Peng
  • Rob Jones
  • Sonam Lama
  • Wei Chieh Wang
  • Zak Beller

Players, from beginners to advanced, are continuing to register for the 2023 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 in this competition contact Herts Baseball Club.

2023 BBF league lineups and schedules released. Tough Opening Day opponents for the 7 Herts teams.

2023 BBF league lineups and schedules released. Tough Opening Day opponents for the 7 Herts teams.

The British Baseball Federation has published the 2023 line-ups and schedules for the four league tiers.

National Baseball League

The Herts Falcons are making their return to the NBL which will feature seven teams this season. Arrows, Bruins, Capitals, Falcons, Mets, Vetra and the East London Latin Boys who are the other new team to enter the NBL following their promotion as the Triple-A national champions last year.

Each team will play 24 games in the regular season – 12 doubleheaders – facing each of the other six teams home and away. The postseason format and playoff qualification has not been announced yet but it is expected that the top four teams in the regular season standings will qualify for the playoff semi-finals on August 20th with the winners meeting in the NBL championship best-of-3 series on 26 and 27 August.

The Falcons will make the long trip to Sheffield on Opening Day to face the Bruins on Sunday, April 16th. Their home opener is a week later on Saturday, 22 April, when they host the reigning NBL champions, London Mets.

We understand the Falcons and the Latin Boys have submitted a request to the BBF to switch their series from June 18th to Sunday July 23rd at Grovehill Ballpark to enable the Latin Boys to take part in the Croydon Tournament. If the BBF approves this request, Herts plans to make this a special event. There are no games in any of the four BBF leagues on that weekend and Herts current and former club members and fans are advised to save the date – Sunday, 23 July.

As announced back in December, the 2023 NBL season will feel very different for Herts Falcons players and fans as the club is running the NBL Pilot Project and all their home games will be ticketed. Now that the game schedule has been published, ticket sales will be launched in the coming days.

The Herts Falcons go into the season as the rank outsiders but it is difficult to make any predictions at this stage as the roster has not been announced. We may have more information about their chances after we see the team in action for the first time in the HSL next week.

Triple-A League

Similar to the Falcons, the Herts Cardinals start the season by making the longest trip of the year away at the Bristol Badgers on Sunday, 16 April. Their first home game of the season is on April 30th when they welcome their cross-town rivals, the London Metros.

Last year the Triple-A league consisted of two pools. This year it has been merged into one pool of eight teams. The Croydon Pirates are the new addition after they won the Double-A national championship last year.

Each team will face their opponents home and away in a regular season with a total of fourteen doubleheaders which will continue all the way into September.

Double-A League

Herts Baseball Club was not represented in the Double-A league last year. This year they will have two teams in that league.  The Herts Hawks have been promoted after reaching the Single-A national semi-final last year.  They will be joined by the club’s expansion team – the Herts Ducks – who will play their home games at the club’s Basing Hill branch in north west London.

The offseason saw a surge of teams moving up from Single-A to Double-A and some moved down from Triple-A to Double-A so there will be four Double-A pools this year.

The Herts Hawks are in the “Central & East” pool alongside the Cambridge Lancers, Essex Archers, Milton Keynes Bucks and the Norwich Iceni. The Herts Ducks are in the “South” pool where they will compete against the Latin Boys (AA), Formosa Islanders, London Musketeers, London Meteors and the Sidewinders.

The Hawks open their season away at the Archers on 23 April while the Ducks are at home on 16 April against the Meteors. There will be no inter-pool matchups in Double-A so there will not be a Herts derby between the Ducks and the Hawks but they can hope to meet in the postseason.

Single-A League

With the Hawks promoted to Double-A, Herts will have three teams in the Single-A league this year.  The BBF has chosen to minimize travel for teams and has allocated all three Herts teams in the same pool where they are joined by the Essex Redbacks (A) and the Milton Keynes Bucks (A). Surprisingly, the BBF has also decided to remove the inter-pool games from the regular season schedule which will reduce the variety of opponents in favour of less travel.

The Herts Eagles open their season away at the Bucks on 23 April. Raptors’ first game is on 7 May at home against the Eagles while the Herts Ravens will have to wait until 14 May to get their season underway at the MK Bucks.

With three Herts teams in the same pool, there will be nine Herts derbies to look forward to. We have to wait until the postseason format is announced to see whether having three Herts teams in the same pool will reduce the probability of seeing Herts teams in the playoffs.


But before the BBF league season commences, we will have the opportunity to see 17 of the teams play their first games of the year in the 2023 Herts Spring League which is played over two weeks starting on 1 and 2 April (see HSL preview article).

New players

New players are still able to join six of the seven Herts teams. A waiting list system is in effect for the Herts Raptors, but players can be assigned to the other Herts teams while they are on the Raptors waiting list. For more details, contact us.

Reece Crawley appointed as Herts Eagles manager

Reece Crawley appointed as Herts Eagles manager

The Herts Eagles have confirmed that Reece Crawley is the team’s new manager.

The 41-year-old Londoner joined Herts last month having played at the London Mets organisation over the last few years. Like most British players, his interest in baseball came about after watching MLB games on TV. This prompted him and his friend to go and watch a British baseball game in Enfield and that was enough to convince him to start playing.

That first British baseball game which he saw was a Triple-A league game which apparently featured many of the players on the Herts Cardinals roster so Reece had the opportunity to reconnect with those players when he reported for Spring Training at Basing Hill Ballpark a few weeks ago.

His primary position is catcher. He also plays other infield positions. He now has to combine playing with managing and he is looking forward to that challenge.

These may be new surroundings for Reece but he will be able to count on the support of highly experienced players like Matt Jackson and Jamie Lang-Richards, who have previously managed the Herts Raptors and the Herts Eagles, respectively.

Upcoming HSL games for the Eagles

HSL (Single-A)
Grovehill D2
HSL (Single-A)
Grovehill D2
HSL (Single-A)
Grovehill D2

The team has five weeks of Spring Training remaining including three games in the Herts Spring League against the Richmond Dukes, Formosa Islanders and the MK Bucks.

Last year the Eagles finished the season with a 7-18 record (.280 winning percentage). Can the team move up in the league standings this year?

Countdown to HSL – first chance to see the teams ahead of the 2023 British baseball season

Countdown to HSL – first chance to see the teams ahead of the 2023 British baseball season

The biggest pre-season baseball competition in Britain is back. Commencing on April 1, the Herts Spring League (HSL) will see 17 teams compete over the two weeks of the HSL. Organised by Herts Baseball Club, it is Britain’s version of MLB’s Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues currently under way in the US, and it signals that the season is just around the corner.


The 17 teams will be entered into three HSL tiers – NBL, Double-A and Single-A.

The organisers considered the possibility of a tournament format, but ultimately adopted a league format in the same way as the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues in MLB. “The objective of the HSL is to enable the teams to prepare for the new season and we have noticed that teams are increasingly starting to approach the HSL in the same way as MLB teams approach the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues” said HSL Commissioner, Aspi Dimitrov. He added “we have taken this into account when formulating the schedule putting greater emphasis on the preferences and preparatory requirements of the teams over the format of the competition”.

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

The Venue

The action will take place at both Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead, and Basing Hill Ballpark in north west London.


Over the two weekends 27 games are scheduled to be played on the three diamonds. The competition begins on April 1 with a morning clash between the Herts Hawks and the Single-A national champions, Bracknell Inferno. Both teams have been promoted to Single-A this year. At the same time on Diamond 2, there is a HSL Single-A match-up between the Herts Ravens and the Formosa Islanders.

The HSL NBL division teams play their frst games on Sunday, 2 April. This will be the first opportunity to see the Herts Falcons as they prepare to make their return to the NBL. There will be many new faces for Herts fans to meet for the first time as well as some fan favorites from previous NBL seasons. The preliminary Herts Falcons roster for the HSL will be announced later this month.

Some of the HSL NBL and Double-A games will be played at Basing Hill Ballpark, starting with the Herts Cardinals encounter with the Essex Redbacks who merged with the Essex Arrows earlier this year to create a much larger club with three diamonds in three different Essex towns which is expected to make them a major force in British baseball.

Click to view full 2023 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 league system? 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

Adult and youth players, from beginners to advanced, are now registering for the 2023 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 in this competition contact Herts Baseball Club.

17 teams will signal the arrival of Spring in the 2023 HSL

17 teams will signal the arrival of Spring in the 2023 HSL

Herts Baseball Club has confirmed that 17 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 HSL teams will be divided into three divisions as follows:

HSL (NBL) Teams
HSL (Double-A) Teams
HSL (Single-A) Teams

Schedule and Format

The HSL will be played over two weeks commencing on the weekend of 1-2 April and ending on 8-9 April. The HSL format and games schedule are expected to be announced shortly and will bring this and all other HSL news as they happen.

2023 Herts Baseball Fan Survey – chance to win tickets

2023 Herts Baseball Fan Survey – chance to win tickets

During the 2023 NBL season Herts Baseball Club will be running a pilot project to grow its fan base and bring supporters to the ballpark. Spectators will be able to enjoy a special game day experience supporting the Herts Falcons in the NBL – Britain’s top baseball league.

To help the club plan and deliver the best possible game day product, we are inviting those who may be considering coming to a Herts Falcons home NBL game to complete the 2023 Herts Baseball Fan Survey.

Everyone completing the survey will automatically be entered into a prize draw with a chance to win tickets to a Herts Falcons home game. Ten winners will each receive two tickets to a Herts Falcons NBL regular season home game.