British Baseball Beat: 2017 Spring Stirrings

As MLB Spring Training continues, and the World Baseball Classic reaches a climax that will be the one bit of the event us in the UK will be able to watch, attention turns to our own shores and the early throes of the British baseball calendar.

Spring has sprung in Britain (sort of)

The Herts Spring League gets underway today (Saturday) at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead, with 16 teams taking part in the event across the next three weekends.

The full schedule can be found here. Hopefully the weather is kinder to those attending than the hardy Herts faced last Sunday.

Three weeks to NBL Opening Day

The final Sunday (2 April) of the HSL will include a National Baseball League season-opening double-header between the hometown Falcons and the Brighton Jets.

Whilst that’s taking place at Grovehill, the London Mets and Southampton Mustangs will be staging a repeat of the 2016 NBL Championship at Farnham Ballpark near Slough.

There will be a full day of events at Farnham alongside the NBL clash and attendees will be able to enjoy the new combination baseball and softball field and, perhaps even more importantly, a new clubhouse, the ‘Home Plate Bar and Kitchen’.

University Baseball and Softball

The first excuse to check out the improvements at Farnham Park comes today with the first of two weekends of university action.

The Spring National University Baseball Championship takes place this weekend with 15 teams taking part. The following weekend is the turn of the Spring National University Softball Championship. Updates can be found by following the new @unibaseball account.

Up North, and South West

There have been major developments over the off-season within northern baseball, with eight teams deciding to opt out of the BBF and forming an independent league. Details about the new British Baseball League can be found on their Facebook page.

Meanwhile the independent South West Baseball League has recently published its fixture list for the 2017 season.

Bristol’s Field of Dreams

The SWBL’s Bristol Baseball Club are making great progress with their exciting new facility at Somerdale Pavilion in Keynsham between Bath and Bristol. The CrowdFunder page for the project can be found here.

Norwich Iceni

The Norwich Iceni Baseball Club has found a home at Locksley School, just south of the city centre. They will be getting ready for their first season in the BBF leagues with two fixtures against the Cambridge Monarchs and then the latest installment in the #BattleOfTheBroads with the UEA Blue Sox.

New logo, new mojo?

Finally, the NBL’s South London Pirates are looking to gain some ground on their competition after three consecutive finishes at the bottom of the NBL standings. If their new logo is anything to go by, they certainly mean business!

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