Maybe you've seen Major League Baseball in America played on television, with those big stadiums, colourful uniforms, pitchers throwing the ball at 90 mph and batters hitting it 400 feet!
Well, in Britain, we don't have the big stadiums -- though we do now have our own dedicated baseball centre at Farnham Park near Slough, opened in July 2013 -- and pitchers and batters here are not quite so scary. But we do have baseball clubs all around the country with adult teams (primarily men but women are also welcome) and with youth teams at different age levels. These teams play in leagues that range from social and recreational to very competitive, and most clubs will welcome new players and teach them the game.
There are also Regional and National Academies for youth baseball players, open to anyone aged 10-25 who wants to attend. You can find dates and details in the Events section on the BSUK website or on the Academy Page.
The 2014 baseball season has now started, so the emphasis is on playing rather than recruiting or training. But many clubs still run open training sessions where new players are welcome, and these are listed below.
We will add to this list as we get more information, so re-visit this page from time to time.
The following clubs are running open training sessions during the 2014-15 winter off-season where new players are welcome:
Newton Aycliffe Baseball Club will hold open indoor baseball training sessions every Tuesday evening (during term time) from 7.00-9.00 pm in the main Sports Hall at Woodham Academy, Washington Crescent, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham DL5 4AX. All players, including beginners, are welcome. For further details contact Mike Holton on: email@example.com.
Kent Mariners Baseball Club will be holding 11 weekly indoor sessions starting from 4 January 2015 at Aylesford Sports College, Teapot Lane, Aylesford, Kent ME20 7JU. All players, including beginners, are welcome. Please visit www.kentmariners.co.uk for more details.
Redbacks Baseball & Softball in Essex will begin preparations for the 2015 season on Friday 21 November at Chelmer Valley High School from 8.00-10.00 pm. Everyone -- including new players -- is welcome to attend. The session will be the first of three scheduled for senior players before Christmas, with the next training on Sunday 7 December at Chelmsford Sports and Athletics Centre from 4.00-6.00 pm before another evening session at Chelmer Valley High School on Friday 12 December. Equipment for new players who attend these sessions will be provided. Meanwhile, junior training for players aged 4-16 will start on Sunday 30 November at James Hornsby School in Laindon for the fifth consecutive season. For more information about the Redbacks contact Sean Briscomb on: firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07877-580474.
Manchester. Manchester Baseball Club is running indoor training on Sundays from 2.00-4.00 pm at the Platt Lane Complex, Yew Tree Rd, Manchester M14 7UU. All players, including beginners, are welcome. For more information, contact John Eaton.
Leeds. Leeds Beckett University's baseball team is training on Thursdays from 5.00-6.00 pm at Leeds Beckett University, Sports Office, Headingley Campus, Leeds, LS6 3QS. All players, including beginners, are welcome. For more information, contact Dale Bottomley.
Horsham. Horsham Junior Baseball Club is running fortnightly training sessions at Billingshurst Leisure Centre, Station Road, Billingshurst, West Sussex, RH14 9RY (next to the Weald School) on Wednesday evenings from 6.00-7.00 pm, with a fun wiffleball game each time. New players are very welcome! The last session before Christmas is 10 December, but sessions will resume in the new year. For more information, contact Robin Banerjee.