Spring arrives in Herts (spring weather not guaranteed)

We’re all used to the haphazard nature of the ‘Great’ British weather.  Two weekends ago many of us were battling with snow, last weekend was relatively mild for most, and the forecast for this coming weekend for some parts of the country is to revert back to freezing temperatures.

Such conditions rarely blunt the enthusiasm of those in British baseball and this will be put on show this weekend as the Herts Spring League gets underway.

Grovehill ballpark in Hemel Hempstead has been the home of the HSL since 2008, providing an opportunity for teams to get some game practice under their belts before their league campaigns begin in April.

This year’s edition includes 19 teams from different league levels and age groups. Foremost among them will be the Birmingham Bandits who are stepping up into the top-tier of British baseball: the National Baseball League.  As with MLB Spring Training, we should not draw any conclusions from the stats and game results at this time of year, but it will still be interesting to see the Bandits going up against some of their NBL competitors.

One big question has been raised on Twitter in the lead up to this year’s event: what should the league be called? Florida’s league is represented by a grapefruit and Arizona’s by a cactus, so the search is on to find a suitable Herts-related item to name the league after. The Watercress League, Chalk League and Cereal League are among those that have already been thrown into the virtual hat. Send suggestions Herts’ way via Twitter.

There are 41 games scheduled over the next three weekends, so there will be plenty of opportunities for those in the local area to catch some baseball action. Check the weather forecast to see if you need woolly hat, scarf and gloves or a jacket and some suntan lotion.

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