Category: U17

No silverware but Herts youth teams put on strong performances in the national championships. U18s still in the hunt.

No silverware but Herts youth teams put on strong performances in the national championships. U18s still in the hunt.

Herts Baseball Club entered five teams into the BBF U18, U15, U13 and U11 National Baseball Championships. As expected, they came up against more experienced teams so the odds were stacked firmly against them, but that didn’t seem to faze the Herts boys and girls.

U11 Division

Two Herts teams competed in the U11 division – Herts Falcons U11 made up of players from its Hemel Hempstead branch and Herts Londoners U11 representing its NW London branch. Both had closely-fought encounters with LYBL U11 and London Mets U11 but those two teams made it to the final which the Mets won 8-7. It would have been interesting to see what the outcome would have been if Herts had entered an all-star team selecting the top players from the Falcons and Londoners.

U11 Division

DateHomeTime/ResultsAwayField
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark

U13 Division

LYBL U13 proved too strong for all teams that came up against them. They overcame the Mets U13 by 19-1 in the Final.  The Herts Falcons U13 was a combined squad with players from the club’s Hemel Hempstead and NW London branches.  Although they couldn’t cope with LYBL, they were in control against London Sports U13 in the first half of the game but four runs in the last inning cost them.

BBF (U13) Pool A

DateHomeTime/ResultsAwayField
Grovehill Ballpark
Combined B U13Combined A U13
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark

BBF (U13) Pool B

DateHomeTime/ResultsAwayLeagueField
BBF (U13), Pool B
Grovehill Ballpark
BBF (U13), Pool B
Grovehill Ballpark
BBF (U13), Pool B
Grovehill Ballpark

U15 Division

The Herts U15 team were expected to struggle as they were missing key players, but they came very close against both the Mets and London Sports, losing 8-13 and 7-10, respectively.  Once again LYBL dominated and they went on to lift the trophy.

DateHomeTime/ResultsAwayField
Williams Field
Williams Field
Williams Field
Williams Field
Williams Field
Williams Field
Williams Field
Williams Field

U18 Division

Heavy downpour in Surrey halted the U18 contest with the semi-final between Herts Falcons U18 and LYBL U18 finely poised at 0-0. The game was suspended in the bottom of the third inning with one out and it will resume on a date and at a venue which will be confirmed by the BBF in the coming days. There are signs that the Herts team, led by co-managers Colin Barrett and Duane Badenhorst, could cause an upset and progress to the Final.

DateHomeTime/ResultsAwayField
ACS Cobham
ACS Cobham
Game 1 LoserGame 2 Loser
ACS Cobham
Game 1 WinnerGame 2 Winner
ACS Cobham

Herts launched its own Herts Youth Baseball League this year which saw an influx of new youth players join the club, the majority of whom are playing baseball for the first time in their lives this year.  The weekend’s action showed that there is enormous talent in the Herts youth teams and it is now for the club, the coaches and the players to realise that potential in the coming years.

Five Herts teams go into the national youth baseball championships this weekend

Five Herts teams go into the national youth baseball championships this weekend

Five Herts teams go into the 2021 British Baseball Federation (BBF) National Youth Baseball Championships this weekend.

The club launched its own Herts Youth Baseball League this year which saw a new generation of boys and girls join the club. The club currently has over 80 registered youth players with the majority playing baseball for the first time in their lives this season.

The five Herts teams go into the weekend as the underdogs but it will be interesting to see if they can put on a good performance and maybe even cause an upset.

The BBF selected Herts to host the U13 and U11 divisions at its Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead, while the U15 bracket will be hosted by the Kent Buccaneers and the U18s by ACS Cobham.

The U11 Division will play a double-elimination format where teams are eliminated if they lose two games until only two teams remain and those two teams will play in the final to determine the national champion.

U11 Division

DateHomeTime/ResultsAwayField
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark

The U13 Division has been divided into two pools.  The winners of each pool meet in the final.

BBF (U13) Pool A

DateHomeTime/ResultsAwayField
Grovehill Ballpark
Combined B U13Combined A U13
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark

BBF (U13) Pool B

DateHomeTime/ResultsAwayLeagueField
BBF (U13), Pool B
Grovehill Ballpark
BBF (U13), Pool B
Grovehill Ballpark
BBF (U13), Pool B
Grovehill Ballpark

The U15 Division is also base don double-elimination.

DateHomeTime/ResultsAwayField
Williams Field
Williams Field
Williams Field
Williams Field
Williams Field
Williams Field
Williams Field
Williams Field

The U18 Division will see four teams play semi-finals with the winners meeting in the final.

DateHomeTime/ResultsAwayField
ACS Cobham
ACS Cobham
Game 1 LoserGame 2 Loser
ACS Cobham
Game 1 WinnerGame 2 Winner
ACS Cobham
Herts youth baseball teams about to commence preparations for the 2021 National Championships. New players can still join.

Herts youth baseball teams about to commence preparations for the 2021 National Championships. New players can still join.

As the end of the school summer holidays nears, the Herts youth baseball teams will be returning to training on Saturday, 4 September, in preparation for the 2021 National Youth Baseball Championships (NBCs) which is scheduled for 18 and 19 September. 

Herts Baseball Club submitted a bid to host some or all of the age divisions  at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead and is awaiting the decision of the British Baseball Federation (BBF).

The club is planning to enter teams in all four age divisions, and the coaching staff of the five teams has been confirmed.

U18 Herts All Stars

Co-Manager – Colin Barrett

Co-Manager – Duane Badenhorst

U15 Herts All Stars

Manager – Will Zucker

Coach – Bryan Mencias

Coach – Aspi Dimitrov

U13 Herts All Stars

Co-Manager – John Kjorstad

Co-Manager – Donnie Parsons

Coach – Aspi Dimitrov

U11 Herts Falcons

Co-Manager, Jordon Fox

Co-Manager, Nick Barnaby

Coach – David Sanok

Coach – Joe Brown

Coach – Aspi Dimitrov

U11 Herts Londoners

Manager – Cory English

Deputy Manager – Marshall Stark

Coach – Marko Petromarkov

Coach – Mo Milosavljevic

Coach – Aspi Dimitrov

Preparatory Training Sessions

The training schedule ahead of the NBCs has also been confirmed as follows (note venues alternaing for some of the teams):

U18 Herts All Stars

DAYDATETIME (START)TIME (END)VENUE
Sat11-Sep-2109:4512:00Grovehill Ballpark

U15 Herts All Stars

DAYDATETIME (START)TIME (END)VENUE
Sat04-Sep-2109:4512:00Grovehill Ballpark
Sat11-Sep-2114:3016:30Basing Hill Ballpark

U13 Herts All Stars

DAYDATETIME (START)TIME (END)VENUE
Sat04-Sep-2109:4512:00Grovehill Ballpark
Sat11-Sep-2114:3016:30Basing Hill Ballpark

U11 Herts Falcons

DAYDATETIME (START)TIME (END)VENUE
Sat04-Sep-2109:4512:00Grovehill Ballpark
Sat11-Sep-2109:4512:00Grovehill Ballpark

U11 Herts Londoners

DAYDATETIME (START)TIME (END)VENUE
Sat04-Sep-2114:3016:30Basing Hill Ballpark
Sat11-Sep-2114:3016:30Basing Hill Ballpark
Tue14-Sep-2117:0019:00Basing Hill Ballpark

Team Rosters

The five teams currently have a total of 75 registered players with three additional players on standby. Click here to view the full roster.

There are a few available places in some of the teams so new players can still register in time to play in the National Championships.  They can also come to try baseball at the upcoming training sessions to help them decide before they register.  Those interested to register or to try baseball before registering should contact the club.

Herts to battle on all fronts in the national youth baseball championships. Badenhorst and Barrett to manage the U18s.

Herts to battle on all fronts in the national youth baseball championships. Badenhorst and Barrett to manage the U18s.

The Herts adult league teams may be struggling to qualify for the playoffs, so the club’s youth teams may have to carry the flag in the national baseball championships (NBCs) this season.

Herts is preparing to enter teams in all age divisions, U18/U17, U15, U13 and U11.  The club has submitted a bid to host the Youth NBCs at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead.  The event is expected to take place on 18 and 19 September.

The Herts youth baseball programme was restructured this season and has seen significant growth from 21 registered players last year to over 70 this season and that number is continuing to grow as new players are still registering to play in the NBCs.

The majority of these players are playing baseball for the first time in their lives so they will have the difficult task of competing against the more experienced teams from around the country, but 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 U18/U17 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.

Five Herts teams go into the national youth baseball championships this weekend

Behind the scenes of the newly launched Herts Youth Baseball League

Last month, Herts Baseball Club elected Will Zucker and Aspi Dimitrov as Co-Directors of Youth Baseball. We asked them about the launch of the brand new youth baseball league.

What can young players look forward to when the new league commences?

How many of the children and their parents watching MLB on their TVs have wondered what it would be like to wear those uniforms and play for a team on a beautiful baseball diamond? Or compete in playoffs surrounded by cheering fans enjoying the food and unique atmosphere of the ballpark? Even without MLB’s multi-billion dollar budget, we want to offer the players and families of our new league an experience as close to  MLB as possible.

Where will the league games be played?

Our club has two ballparks: one in Hemel Hempstead, another in North West London. They are conveniently located within a thirty minute drive from each other. Substantial investment has gone into Grovehill Ballpark, making it one of the best baseball venues in the UK.  Crowdfunding is underway to repeat that success story at Basing Hill Ballpark.

What will the league schedule and format be?

Though we have two ballparks, the league will minimise travel for families so that around 75% of the season will be played at the team’s nearest ballpark. The season will start in May and end in the middle of July. Each team will play around twelve games: four home single games, two home doubleheaders and two away doubleheaders. Similar to MLB, teams will be in a race to qualify for the postseason playoffs which will determine the league champions.

We are still considering whether the champions will win the privilege to represent Herts at the National Baseball Championships in September or whether the club will select an All-Star team from all of the Herts teams in the league.

What will game days look like?

Our goal is to recreate that special baseball atmosphere in our ballparks with food, music and a lot more. We want children and their families to enjoy game days, allowing developing players the incredible feeling of playing in front of fans – similar to the superstars of MLB.

The two home and two away doubleheaders will be large scale events, bringing all teams to the same venue. Grovehill Ballpark may even be able to stage games for teams from all age groups – eight or more in total.

We are mindful of the increasing pressures on families to balance work, school and other commitments. Game days will run no longer than two hours, though team managers have discretion to extend that time a little if the players would benefit from extra practice before or after games.

League games are to be played on Saturdays, but we are also considering youth team games in NW London on Sunday mornings before the adult league plays. In this way, Herts adult players can be spectators for the youth league and the younger leagues and their families would feel welcome to stay after their games to watch adult league action in the afternoon.

What age groups will the league cover?

Players aged  6 to 14 with an Under-11, Under-13 and Under-15 league. Initially, the Under-13 and Under-15 leagues will be combined until we accumulate a sufficient number of players for separate U13 and U15 leagues.  Players over the age of 14 move up to the Herts adult league teams and we hope to select Under-17 players to represent Herts at the BBF U17 national championships.

What level of coaching can the players expect?

The league already has five coaches in place all of whom have either played or coached in America, Japan, Britain’s National League or the Great Britain National Teams. The league is looking to recruit more coaches. Those interested in getting involved, or who would like more details should contact the club.

How much will it cost to play in the league?

We want baseball to be affordable for every family. We have set membership fees very low – £49 for the U11s and £59 for the U13s and U15s – probably the lowest in the UK.

The club provides all of the baseball equipment such as bats, balls, helmets, including fielding gloves for kids that don’t have their own. The uniform is not included in the membership fee, but to reduce that cost, youth players joining the club for the first time will be given a £6 voucher which they can use when buying a Herts New Era 9FORTY baseball cap.

How many teams will play in the league?

Our aim is to have four league teams in each age group – two based in Hemel Hempstead and two in NW London. We’re assessing the option to add interleague games with teams from neighbouring clubs, with a possibility of external teams joining the league. However, it’s essential that these teams are no more than around 30 minutes from either  ballpark. At the moment there are just one or two other clubs that meet that criteria as our two ballparks are the only ones in the region.

Have the team names been announced and what uniforms will they wear?

The teams have adopted the names of the Herts adult league teams. For example, Herts Falcons U11, Herts Londoners U15. This is an approach more common with Premier League football teams and we felt that the young players would enjoy playing under the same Herts team names and they can progress through the age groups and into the big leagues in the coming years. We will be announcing more details about the teams’ uniforms in the coming weeks.

How will coaches select the players for their respective teams?

This league welcomes everyone from complete beginners to advanced players.  Everyone plays and will have an important role in the team.  Children will be invited to the Open Days in Spring Training to prepare for the season, a great way to introduce newcomers to the game of baseball. 

The managers will select players for their teams adopting a system similar to the MLB Draft. This should ensure that all the teams are of equal strength, which should make it an exciting and a close race for the playoffs.

The number of youth players was very low last year. Will you be able to grow fast enough before the start of the season and do you have a backup plan if you don’t?

Despite a significant drop of youth players in the previous three years, we are already seeing a lot of interest from both former and new youth players and their families. We started our discussions with schools in Hemel Hempstead and in North West London; we are fortunate to have a newly appointed Head of U13/U11, Cory English who is an active member of his local school working as both parent governor and freelance teacher. Even if a particular age group does not have enough players for a 4-team league, we have alternative options such as a best-of-7 World Series format and interleague games similar to MLB.

Can Herts fans and the wider community help with the launch of the league?

It’s crucial that the league inspires support from the community to spread the word. We are asking Herts baseball families to share news of our league on social media and with their friends, colleagues and neighbours. If every club member recommends the league to two friends, we will reach our target. 

How does Covid affect the league’s plans?

The NHS and the government have done tremendously well with the vaccination roll out. It’s encouraging to see the statistics already proving it is effective in controlling Covid. Of course, the virus remains unpredictable and we will ensure government guidance is strictly followed.  The government already approved a Covid-secure protocol for baseball games last year so we are hopeful to welcome a full first season of Herts Youth Baseball League (HYBL).

Players are now registering for the 2021 season. More information about joining the league can be found here.

To come to try baseball at no cost at one of the upcoming Open Days, or if you require more information, contact the club.

New baseball league aims to give kids the MLB experience in Herts and NW London

New baseball league aims to give kids the MLB experience in Herts and NW London

With the success of the Covid vaccination roll out, families around England are looking forward to resuming outdoor activities in April. Today’s announcement by Herts Baseball Club gives them even more to look forward to this summer with the launch of a brand new youth baseball league in Herts and London.

The Herts Youth Baseball League (HYBL) aims to bring the MLB experience by incorporating as many of the features of Major League Baseball as possible.

Children and their parents watching MLB on their TVs must have wondered what it would be like to wear those uniforms and play for a team on a beautiful baseball diamond. Or compete in playoffs surrounded by cheering fans enjoying the food and unique atmosphere of the ballpark. Even without MLB’s multi-billion dollar budget, the HYBL aims to offer the players and families an experience as close to MLB as possible.

Boys and girls aged 6 to 14, from complete beginners to advanced players, are able to join the various teams which will play in the different age divisions.

Games will be played at the club’s two ballparks – Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead and Basing Hill Ballpark in North West London. They are conveniently located within a thirty minute drive from each other. Substantial investment has gone into Grovehill Ballpark, making it one of the best baseball venues in the UK.  Crowdfunding is underway to repeat that success story at Basing Hill Ballpark.

The regular season will comprise twelve games and around 75% of the season will be played at the team’s nearest ballpark to reduce travel for families. Similar to MLB, teams will be in a race to qualify for the postseason playoffs which will determine the league champions.

The 2021 game schedule for the Under-15 and Under-11 divisions of the league have been published. Visit the League website.

Last month, the Prime Minister unveiled a plan to come out of the Covid lockdown. As a sport which had a Covid-secure protocol approved by the government in July 2020, baseball clubs up and down the country are expected to restart activities from 29 March onwards.

Opening Day of the 2021 HYBL season has been scheduled for Saturday, 8 May. In the four weeks before that, children can come to the Open Days to try baseball and to help them decide if they would like to register for the season and play in the league. The Open Days will be held at both ballparks in Hemel Hempstead and in NW London.

The team managers will adopt an MLB-style Draft system to select the teams. This should ensure that all the teams are of equal strength, which should make it an exciting and a close race for the playoffs.

In an interview with the two joint Directors of Youth Baseball, Will Zucker and Aspi Dimitrov, they outlined their goal to “recreate that special baseball atmosphere in our ballparks with food, music and a lot more. We want children and their families to enjoy game days, allowing developing players the incredible feeling of playing in front of fans – similar to the superstars of MLB.”

HYBL is aiming to have four league teams in each age group – two based in Hemel Hempstead and two in NW London. This will not be an easy task as the nation is in the process of coming out a lockdown so there will be bumps along the way. But Zucker, Dimitrov and the rest of the youth baseball department are optimistic that, with support from club members and the wider community, the league has enormous potential to grow into something special, “it’s crucial the league inspires support from the community to spread the word. We are asking Herts baseball families to share news of our league on social media and with their friends, colleagues and neighbours. If every club member recommends the league to two friends, we will reach our target.”

Players are now registering for the 2021 season. More information about joining the league can be found here.

To come to try baseball at no cost at one of the upcoming Open Days, or if you require more information, contact the club.

MVP vote results are in

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Herts U18 MVP – Oliver Durer

Herts U15 MVP – Nicholas Durer

Herts U13 MVP – Leon Gutowski

Herts U11 MVP – Daniel Heal

Herts U8 MVP – Jake Walder-Davis
IMG_2358

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

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

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

British baseball teams have started entering the 2019 Herts Futures Tournament

Herts Baseball Club has announced that the 2019 Herts Futures Tournament will take place on Saturday, 21 September 2019.

The Herts Futures Tournament (HFT) has been held every year since 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 all 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 all the age groups.

This year’s edition is expected to cover the Under-18, Under-15, Under-13, Under-11 and Under-8 age groups.

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

Record-breaking 21 teams to compete for the HFT titles this Saturday

21 teams will be in action at the 2018 Herts Futures Tournament (HFT) which will take place this Saturday, 22 September 2018.  This is a new record for the tournament so Herts Baseball Club will have to stat looking into how to expand the venue somehow.

The opening ceremony will take place at 10:30am. The first games begin at 9:00am and the Finals will be played at around 4:30pm. To view the games schedule click here.

 

“Herts Baseball Club welcomes new players at any time of the year” said club president, Aspi Dimitrov. “Any children aged between 4 and 17 who are interested to give baseball a try should contact the club. It is not too late to take part in this event.”

Traditional Baseball snacks will be on offer including chilli dogs, Krispy Kreme Donuts and more. Imported baseball merchandise will also be on sale at the Herts Baseball shop.

The HFT has been held every year since 2008 and is now a permanent fixture in the British baseball calendar. It brings together youth teams of all age groups 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.

British baseball teams have started entering the 2018 HFT

Herts Baseball Club has announced that the 2018 Herts Futures Tournament will take place on Saturday, 22 September 2018.

The Herts Futures Tournament (HFT) has been held every year since 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 20 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 all 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. During the Herts Futures Tournament additional diamonds are added to cater for all the age groups.

This year’s edition is expected to cover the Under-17, Under-15, Under-13, Under-11 and Under-8 age groups.

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