Category: U12

2022 MVP vote results are in

2022 MVP vote results are in

The Most Valuable Players (MVP) of the thirteen Herts adult and youth teams have been announced.  The players of each team voted to determine their team’s MVP so the results reflect who the players consider to have been the most influential members this year.

The Cardinals voted for Tyler Cote (pictured above) who proved to be one of the team’s most effective pitchers picking up 3 wins, one of which included an outing where he went five innings without allowing a hit. He led the pitching staff with 29 strikeouts. He also put up good offensive numbers including 2 home runs.

From the five Herts teams in the BBF adult leagues, the Herts Hawks had the best regular season record reaching the playoff semi-final and Harry McMenamin was one of the driving forces behind that success.  With a .594 batting average and .844 slugging average he was among the top three batters in the team. But his contribution was in all aspects of the game including an ERA of 2.00* on the mound and one of the team’s most reliable gloves in the infield (Fielding % .967). This is only McMenamin’s second season in the BBF leagues and he has now been voted MVP in both. Last year he was the Herts Raptors MVP. What will he do in 2023?

The Londoners also qualified for the postseason and there were a number of strong candidates for MVP, but it was first baseman Kenny Liao who led the team in so many different statistical categories including batting average (.646) and RBI (37). Whenever he stepped up to the plate there was the confidence that Kenny Liao will get on base and drive runs home. Pitcher and infielder Nic Goetz was a close second in the MVP vote.

Last year the Eagles were the club’s best performing team but they were missing some key players in big games which certainly cost them a number of wins this year. However, there is real excitement about the prospect of seeing 17-year-old pitcher Alex Trautman develop over the next few years. He was chosen as the MVP. He had the most wins and his 7.88 ERA came second behind Mike Wakelam’s 6.30. Trautman recorded 32 strikeouts – a phenomenal rate of 2 strikeouts per inning. He is now also starting to put up high offence numbers.

The Raptors voted John Kjorstad as their MVP.  He led the team in RBIs, home runs (3) and slugging average 1.000 and came second in batting average (.481) behind Thomas Browne (.556). It was Kjorstad’s two home runs and 7 RBI in the Raptors’ win against the Eagles that helped the team end a 21-game losing streak. 

Kjorstad’s performance on that day was also nominated for Play of the Year and it received the most votes in that category coming ahead of Zak Beller’s Grand Slam in the deciding game versus the Mustangs and the Eagles comeback from 1-9 to win 12-11 against the Londoners.

The Herts youth team coaches had the difficult task of breaking a number of ties in the MVP voting for the eight Herts teams.  The MVPs were:

  • Ben Peters, Herts U15
  • Chi Laam Wong, Herts U13
  • Kieran Mucklow, Herts Falcons U11
  • Emmett Rose, Herts Hawks U11
  • Joseph Kjorstad, Herts Raptors U11
  • Violet Jones, Herts Cardinals U11
  • Dimitri Petromarkov, Herts Eagles U11
  • Isabel Jones, Herts Londoners U11

Surprisingly, there were only two nominations for Nob-Out. Londoners Eddie Wang was nominated after calling time halting their away game in Guildford to walk over to the opponents’ dugout to claim the game ball which he hit over the fence for his first home run of the season a minute earlier. But it was Aspi Dimitrov who received the most votes. On the final weekend of their regular season, the Herts Londoners won two hard-fought games against Herts Eagles to ensure that London Mustangs are not able to overtake them in the Playoff race thanks to a better head-to-head record in a 2-way tie, only for Aspi Dimitrov to put the celebrations on hold when he informed the team several hours after the win that there is a peculiar scenario where other games could produce a 3-way tie which would bizarrely take Mustangs above Londoners. Celebratory social media posts had to be amended or put on hold over the course of that nail-biting week.

With 2022 award-winners confirmed, attention is already turning to preparations for the 2023 season. What will the new year bring? How many Herts teams will we see and which leagues will they play in? Which players will be challenging to move up the leagues and will a Herts team bring a national championship trophy home.

New players who are hoping to play in 2023 or would like to try baseball to help them decide, should contact the club so they stay updated about 2023 Spring Training.

* – based on the games that we have stats for.

Kids from around the UK enjoy October baseball in Hemel Hempstead

Kids from around the UK enjoy October baseball in Hemel Hempstead

The Herts Falcons won the U15 division of the Herts Futures Tournament and the Herts Hawks won the U11 bracket but all the teams played their part in making this another successful edition of this competition.

The number of teams who entered the tournament was considerably lower than previous years but it is in the context of the BBF national youth baseball championships being cancelled a week earlier due to lack of teams so this is positive news that teams from Essex, Hertfordshire, London, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire came to play.

This was the first time that the Herts Futures Tournament is played in October but the weather conditions were ideal for baseball.

The day started with the traditional opening ceremony introducing the teams and umpires. With Great Britain U18 Head Coach, Jonathan Rodriguez, being present, this was a perfect opportunity for the players and fans to mark what has been a very successful year for the GB U12, U15, U18, GB Women’s team and of course for the GB senior team who made history by qualifying for the 2023 World Baseball Classic just a few weeks earlier. 

IMG_0423

The playing of the national anthem was followed by players and fans chanting “Let’s go GB”.

The first U15 game of the day was closely fought between the Herts Falcons and Essex Redbacks. The Falcons came out on top but by the narrowest of margins winning 4-3.  Redbacks put on another great performance in their second game of the day against the Northants Centurions but were once again edged out, this time 2-3.

This set up a clash between the Falcons and the Centurions for the U15 title. The Falcons came out on top.

WATCH: Highlights of Herts Falcons U15 vs Essex Redbacks U15

WATCH: Highlights of Herts Falcons U15 vs Northants Centurions U15

In the U11 division, the Herts Londoners put up a good fight against the Nottingham Rebels and Herts Hawks but were on the losing side in both games. That set up a dramatic match-up between the Hawks and Rebels.  The hometown team seemed to be in control but a grand slam by the Rebels in the penultimate inning tied the game. 

There was little room for error in the bottom of the final inning.  The Hawks managed to drive the winning run across the plate to win an edge-of-the-seat encounter.

Since its creation in 2008, the Herts Futures Tournament has been a great day for the youth baseball community to get together at the end of the year. The club was delighted to see so many players, parents and coaches come along to enjoy it once again.

Our full photo album from the day can be seen on our Flickr page – please feel free to find yourself!

View the HFT scoreboard and final standings.

photos by Rob Jones

Herts Futures Tournament this Saturday.

Herts Futures Tournament this Saturday.

7 teams will be in action at the 2022 Herts Futures Tournament (HFT) which will take place this Saturday, 1 October 2022. The number is considerably lower then in previous years but it is in the context of the BBF national youth baseball championships being cancelled last week due to lack of teams so this is positive news and an opportunity to end the 2022 youth baseball season on a high.

U15 Division

  • Essex Redbacks (U15)
  • Herts Falcons (U15)
  • Northants Centurions (U15)

U11 Division

  • Essex Redbacks (U11)
  • Herts Hawks (U11)
  • Herts Londoners (U11)
  • Nottingham Rebels (U11)

The opening ceremony will take place at 10:45am. The first games begin at 11:15am and games will be played right up to around 3:30pm.

To view the games schedule click here.

“Herts Baseball Club welcomes new players at any time of the year” said the club’s co-Director of Youth Baseball, Aspi Dimitrov. “Any children aged between 6 and 14 who are interested to give baseball a try should contact the club. It is not too late to play in these games, regardless of whether you are a complete beginner or an advanced player.”

The HFT was first held in 2008 and is now a permanent fixture in the British baseball calendar. It brings together youth teams from across the country for a day of baseball at one of the best baseball venues in the United Kingdom.

For more information about the event visit the Herts Futures Tournament homepage.

Falcons U15 and Cardinals U11 are the 2022 Herts Youth League champions.

Falcons U15 and Cardinals U11 are the 2022 Herts Youth League champions.

The Herts Youth Baseball League Finals had everything – drama, home runs, walk-off, web gems, comebacks, pitching duels, and most importantly lots of smiles on the faces of players, parents and fans.

These were the first youth league games since the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the teams and fans held a minute of applause to express their gratitude and respect, which was followed by the playing of the national anthem.

A large number of fans came out to enjoy this occasion and they were not disappointed as the boys and girls put on a show.

First up were the Herts Cardinals and Herts Falcons in the U11 final.  Both teams dominated in the regular season with records of 8-3 and 7-3, respectively. The Cardinals took an early lead and in the first three innings it looked like they would cruise to victory but in the fourth the Falcons U11 struck back with four runs to reduce the deficit to 8-4. This included a home run by debutant Flynn Dunn.

Cardinals U11 responded immediately in the bottom of the inning to extend their lead to 13-4 and their defence shut the Falcons down in the final inning to clinch the Herts U11 championship.

In the U15 Final, we saw a proper pitchers’ duel.  Ben Peters started on the mound for the Falcons U15 and Chi Laam Wong for the Hawks U15.  The Falcons put up one run in the first and one in the fourth but every other inning had a zero on the scoreboard until the fifth inning when the Hawks hit back – Sammy Assael-Francis with the head-first slide beating the tag at home to tie the game at 2-2.

Relief pitchers Kobby Kofuor Darteh and Yaroslav Yefimov continued the dominance which we saw from the starting pitchers and no runs were scored in the next inning.  

This final had to be decided in extra innings.  The rule putting runners on second base was in force.  With one out, the Hawks advanced that runner to third base and put a second runner on first base, but an outstanding double play by the Falcons defence ended the threat and the inning.

It was time for a hero to emerge and that hero was 11-year-old Violet Jones.  With runner on third base and one out, she drove the ball up the middle to bring the winning run home prompting wild celebrations to end the 2022 Herts Youth League season on. 

Next up is the season-ending Herts Futures Tournament on Saturday, 1 October, at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead. New players can still register in time to play at this event.

Herts youth baseball league U15,U13 and U11 finals moved to 24 September

Herts youth baseball league U15,U13 and U11 finals moved to 24 September

Herts Baseball Club received the news that only one other baseball club is likely to enter teams in the BBF national youth baseball championships which were expected to be played on 24-25 September. In view of the difficulties which this presents, Herts has decided not to enter its teams in the various age divisions of the tournament.

In place of that event, the club has now moved the finals of the Herts U15, U13 and U11 leagues to Saturday, 24 September. All games will be played at the newly upgraded Basing Hill Ballpark in London.

In the U15/U13 division, the Herts Falcons and the Herts Hawks find themselves tied in the standings and they will meet in the final at 12:15pm to determine the champion.

HYBL U11 Standings

PosTeamWLPctGBRSRADiffStrkNext Game
1930.7500855035W9-
2420.667223203W1-
3740.6361.576733L1-
4540.5562.550437L1-
5660.50036678-12L6-
6280.20065471-17W1-
6280.20064665-19L7-

In the U11 division the final will be contested between the Herts Cardinals (8-3) and Herts Falcons (7-3) who are in first and second place in the standings, respectively. The winner will become the U11 champion. The game will start at 10:30.

British youth baseball teams have started entering the 2022 Herts Futures Tournament

In the following week, the Herts U15, U13 and U11 teams will be joined by teams from around the United Kingdom to play in the 2022 Herts Futures Tournament.  All the games will be played at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead on Saturday, 1 October.

British youth baseball teams have started entering the 2022 Herts Futures Tournament

British youth baseball teams have started entering the 2022 Herts Futures Tournament

Herts Baseball Club has confirmed that the 2022 Herts Futures Tournament will take place on Saturday, October 1st.

The Herts Futures Tournament (HFT) was first held in 2008 and is now a permanent fixture in the British baseball calendar. The number of teams entering the tournament has been going up. The highest number of entries which we have managed to accommodate in previous years has been 21 teams. It will be interesting to see how many teams will enter this year. If the number continues to increase the club will have to consider ways of expanding the venue further.

The event brings together youth teams of various age groups from across the country for a day of baseball at one of the best baseball venues in the UK. Grovehill Ballpark is the home of Herts Baseball Club. Over the years the venue has been selected to host some of the biggest events in the British baseball calendar including the National Baseball Championships and Great Britain National Team events.

During the Herts Futures Tournament additional diamonds are added to cater for the different age groups.

This year’s edition is expected to cover the Under-15, Under-13 and Under-11 age groups.

For more information about the event, how to enter your team in the Tournament or how players can join the Herts teams to play in the HFT, visit the Herts Futures Tournament homepage or contact us.

Herts youth teams gear up for the National Baseball Championships. Badenhorst and Barrett to manage the U19s.

Herts youth teams gear up for the National Baseball Championships. Badenhorst and Barrett to manage the U19s.

Herts is preparing to enter teams in all age divisions of the of the 2022 National Youth Baseball Championships – U19, U15, U13 and U11.  The event is expected to take place on 24 and 25 September.

New players are continuing to register to play for the Herts teams in these games which will give them the opportunity to represent the club and compete with teams from around the UK for the national title.

The majority of these players are playing baseball for the first time in their lives this year so it will be interesting to see how they will respond to the challenge.

The club has also confirmed that Duane Badenhorst and Colin Barrett (pictured above) will be the joint managers of the Herts U19 team. Both bring a wealth of baseball experience having played and coached in South Africa and Great Britain, including at international level with the South Africa U12 National Team, South Africa Men’s Softball Team and, currently, the Great Britain Men’s Softball Team.

Duane Badenhorst (centre) with the Herts U17 team in the Youth NBC

Six members of the Badenhorst and Barrett families have worn the Herts jersey over the years and fans of the club will be delighted to see them back.

For more details about joining the Herts youth baseball teams for the upcoming national youth baseball championships contact us.

Herts Baseball Club looking for volunteers and paid coaches to host the pilot MLB First Pitch school baseball event in Hemel Hempstead

Herts Baseball Club looking for volunteers and paid coaches to host the pilot MLB First Pitch school baseball event in Hemel Hempstead

As part of Major League Baseball’s investment in the UK and the London Series, a pilot programme in association with the Youth Sport Trust was introduced where a hub of around 15 schools is created in a number of regions to run the MLB First Pitch programme. One of these hubs is in Hemel Hempstead and the surrounding area. 

The programme culminates with an end-of-school-year baseball event bringing all the schools from the hub together.  Herts Baseball Club was approached to host the end of year baseball festival scheduled for the summer of 2021, however that event could not take place due to Covid restrictions in schools.

Grovehill Ballpark has previously hosted baseball and softball events as part of the Herts School Games

Steps are being taken now to stage this event this summer on Tuesday, July 12, at Grovehill Ballpark, the home of Herts Baseball Club in Hemel Hempstead. The event is likely to feature a skills session from 9:30 to 12:00 and games from 12:30 to 14:45. It is expected to cover students aged 9 to 11 – school years 5 and 6.

The club is inviting Herts club members or players and coaches from other clubs who would be interested and available to act as event staff volunteers and as paid coaches on that day. The fee for the coaches will range between £12.50 and £23.75, depending on the role and the level of the coach.  For more details and to express interest contact us.

Adult and youth league players now registering for the 2022 baseball season

Adult and youth league players now registering for the 2022 baseball season

Player registration for the 2022 season has commenced.

In 2021 Herts Baseball Club grew by 44% introducing many newcomers to the game of baseball. The goal for 2022 is to bring performance levels of all Herts adult and youth league teams up and to move up the league standings.

ADULT BASEBALL LEAGUES

How many teams will represent Herts in 2022? The next few weeks will be crucial as the number of players registering will determine how many teams will be entered before the league entry deadline; how many will play in Hemel Hempstead and how many will play in London; which leagues the teams will play in.

KEY DATES – ADULT TEAMS

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

  • 30 January – players report for Spring Training
  • 19-20 March – Start of the 2022 Herts Spring League (subject to confirmation of the BBF League Opening Day)*
  • March-April – Great Britain National Team Tryouts (senior and youth teams)*
  • 3 or 10 April – BBF League Opening Day (subject to confirmation)*
  • May – Midweek Evening Baseball commences
  • August-September* – BBF Postseason Playoffs and National Championships
  • September-October – Hunlock Series

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

Click here for more details of the membership packages

YOUTH BASEBALL LEAGUES

Last year saw the first season of the Herts Youth Baseball League. The number of registered youth players rose from 21 in 2020 to 75 in 2021 which is the highest in the club’s history. 2021 was just the starting point. In 2022 and subsequent years the club will aim to enhance and develop the programme further to make Herts one of the leading clubs for youth players.

KEY DATES – YOUTH TEAMS

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

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

Click here for more details of the membership packages

WHICH BALLPARK WILL YOU PLAY YOUR HOME LEAGUE GAMES AT?

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

HOW TO REGISTER FOR THE 2022 BASEBALL SEASON

Those who already have an account with the club will be prompted to register when they log on next time (click here to go to the Herts online Clubhouse and log on with your existing username and password). Those who are new to Herts Baseball Club and do not have an online account can register as members by completing this form. For more details about joining our teams in 2022 and the membership packages click here or contact us.

2021 MVP vote results are in

2021 MVP vote results are in

The Most Valuable Players (MVP) of the ten Herts adult and youth teams have been announced.  The players of each team voted to determine their team’s MVP so the results reflect who the players consider to have been the most influential members  this year.

The Falcons voted for Will Zucker who led the team not only as a player but also stepped in as interim co-manager alongside Mike Cresswell in what was a very challenging year for the team. Jack O’Brien has made big strides over the last few years and this has been recognised as he was voted the Hawks MVP. 14-year-old Harry McMenamin was the Raptors MVP in what was his debut year in the BBF senior leagues. There could be no question about the Eagles MVP where Mike Wakelam led not just the team but the entire league with 9 home runs.  He also led the team with a .667 batting average and 1.444 slugging average. Cory English was the Londoners MVP. He made his BBF league debut with Herts this year and in just a few months has become one of the most popular players around the league, not to mention his spectacular fielding which produced multiple nominations for Play of the Year.

The Herts U18 team voted Josh Badenhorst as the MVP after his outstanding pitching performance in the Semi-Final of the U18 National Championships. That game was suspended halfway through and is expected to resume in the Spring so he has some unfinished business. Harry McMenamin was the U15 MVP while Lucas Hao was the U13 MVP after a dominant display which almost gave Herts a win over LS.  The Herts U11 league home run leader Connor O’Neill-Thompson was voted Herts Falcons U11 MVP and Cosmo English of the Herts Londoners U11 became the second member of his family to be voted MVP this year.

Dale Hardwick’s canon throw from centerfield was voted Play of the Year in a close race with Connor O’Neill-Thompson and Rory Graham and Cosmo English and Simon Painvin who turned a triple play in the U11 national championships group stages.

The winner of the not-so-coveted Nob-Out Award was Mike Cresswell who managed to fall on his face while being filmed by a high-tech 2-man camera crew and a microphone attached to him for a promotional video. The club is trying to obtain the video from the tv crew.

The club doesn’t have a personality of the year award but, if it did, it surely would have gone to 6-year-old Mason Barnaby. He was already recognised during the trophy presentation at the end of the Herts Youth Baseball League season for an outstanding act of sportsmanship. During one of the championships-deciding games he asked the umpire for time in order to run to the team bench area to encourage his teammate Owen Ridgway to rejoin the game after he had picked up a knock earlier in the day. He is one of the youngest members from the new generation of players who joined the Herts youth baseball programme this year and after the end of the season he has been involved in raising awareness of diabetes. He was on BBC radio to talk about diabetes and playing baseball. (Click to listen on BBC Sounds)