The British Baseball Federation’s (BBF), Opening Day at Farnham Park, occurred on 2nd April 2017. During the day, the weather remained at a sunny 19 C degrees.
National Baseball League (NBL) games were between the Southampton Mustangs and the London Mets. The NBL games consisted of some great baseball with the teams splitting the doubleheader (game one: London 13, Southampton 9. Followed by game two: Southampton 5, London 4).
"The great sportsmanship that both teams demonstrated and ensured that the day was enjoyable for all. Both teams professionalism has provided a great example for the next generation of youth baseball players in attendance," said Gerry Perez, President of the BBF.
Mix-n-Match competitions enabled youth players from across the UK to be organised into three separate teams: Minors (Under 11U), Majors (Under 12U) and Seniors (Under 16U). There were eight games played throughout the day, which drew record levels of participation from the players and coaches alike.
Coach Robin Banerjee from Brighton Baseball Club noted that "We had a big group of Brighton kids, and they all had a blast. I heard lots of positive feedback on the Elite training sessions. Everyone worked well together, and it was fantastic to see players and coaches from so many different clubs having such a positive attitude."
The Elite Training (http://www.elitebaseball.tv) sessions were headed by Justin Stone, who has recently concluded spring training with the Chicago Cubs. He provided elite instruction on a variety of skills on the day. Justin utilises advancements in technology for teaching progressive fundamentals and is one of the most in-demand clinicians and private lesson instructors in the United States. Also, club coaches gained some key insights into educating their players.
"The day’s aim was to bring the baseball community together by offering three events on the same day to our affiliated members (at no cost): NBL competition, Elite Training sessions and Mix-n-Match games at our national complex Farnham Park. We achieved the above because we came together as a Federation, with support from the BSUK. I would also like to extend my thanks to everyone who worked behind the scenes. Your contributions ensured that the occasion was a success." said Gerry Perez
During the day’s conclusion, the BBF received a generous pledge of £5000. We express our deepest gratitude to the donor. The bequeathed money will contribute towards the BBF’s ultimate goal of raising £10,000 for other similar events.
On behalf of the BBF many thanks go to Baseball-Softball UK (BSUK), the London Mets and Southampton Mustangs for providing top level competition, the many volunteers, youth players, umpires, and fans, as well as to Justin Stone for the Elite Training sessions.
Remember that the seniors’ league is in full swing this weekend, so ensure that you do not miss the upcoming action! No tickets required to attend any of the fixtures.