GB baseball history by xiaopangnv


									                  HISTORY OF THE
                  Originally written by Josh Chetwynd Former Great Britain player

                  Updated and maintained by Joe Gray Statistics and Research Director

                  For updates and contact details, visit

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1901   1902      1903       1904       1905       1906       1907        1908       1909   1910

1911   1912      1913       1914       1915       1916       1917        1918       1919   1920

1921   1922      1923       1924       1925       1926       1927        1928       1929   1930

1931   1932      1933      1934        1935       1936       1937       1938        1939   1940

1941   1942      1943       1944       1945       1946       1947        1948       1949   1950

1951   1952      1953       1954       1955       1956       1957        1958       1959   1960

1961   1962      1963       1964       1965       1966       1967       1968        1969   1970

1971   1972      1973      1974        1975       1976       1977        1978       1979   1980

1981   1982      1983      1984        1985       1986       1987       1988        1989   1990

1991   1992      1993      1994        1995       1996       1997        1998       1999   2000

2001   2002      2003      2004        2005       2006       2007       2008        2009   2010


                                                      1907           NEXT (1911)

INTERNATIONAL MATCH VERSUS LONDON-BASED                     Leyton all participated in the competition. The
“AMERICAN-BORN” PLAYERS IN GREAT BRITAIN                    following year an “international match” between
In   1906,   the   British   Baseball   Association   was   “English-born” and “American-born” players occurred
established featuring baseball teams affiliated with        on 15 July. The Evening Standard reported the line-
top association football clubs in the London area.          ups for the contest on 9 July, but no score
Baseball squads connected to Tottenham Hotspur,             is available.
Woolwich Arsenal, Fulham, Clapton Orient, and               RESULT: UNKNOWN

                             LAST (1907)       1911            NEXT (1927)

INTERNATIONAL MATCH VERSUS LONDON-BASED               was reported in the Hackney Spectator to have
“AMERICA” REPRESENTATIVE TEAM                         “pitched and played exceedingly well” and to have
IN GREAT   BRITAIN                                    shown “all his old cunning with his out curves and
Over 1000 fans assembled to watch this game           up and down shoots.” “America” scored the first
between select squads of English- and American-       run,   in the   second      inning,   but   England   had
born players from the British Baseball Association,   assembled a 4−1 lead by the middle of the fifth.
in the London area. MARSH made good contact with      “America” chipped one off the lead in the eighth
the ball on three occasions for England but each      and plated a run in the ninth; however, JG LEE
time had his drive pulled in by Bauer, who was        made a “fine catch” to finish the game.
stationed in centre-field for the Americans. JARMAN   RESULT: “AMERICA” (W 4−3)

                                 LAST (1911)      1927            NEXT (1934)

SERIES VERSUS “ALL-AMERICAN” TEAM IN GREAT BRITAIN       least one game in July was played, in which the
Following World War I, US and Canadian troops            British team prevailed 12−11 at the ground of Chelsea
stationed in Great Britain began playing baseball        Football Club. According to the 24 July edition of the
games against each other. After a time, a circuit        New York Times, the US team scored 6 runs in the
named    the    “International     Baseball    League”   first two innings, but the British squad stormed back,
developed, complete with a number of native British      taking the lead for good in the seventh with a 5-run
players. During the summer, a series between “All-       outburst. In August, The Times recorded results for
British” and “All-American” sides was organized and      that match and mentioned the outcome of a second
included members of this league. It is unclear how       match-up, which the US players won.
many games were played in the series in total, but at    RESULTS: “ALL-AMERICAN” TEAM (W 12−11, L)

                              LAST (1927)      1934               NEXT (1938)

ENGLAND VERSUS SCOTLAND IN GREAT BRITAIN               America.     Likewise,   the   English   team,   which
Before the constituent countries of Great Britain      comprised players from England’s National Baseball
came together as a unified team, this contest, which   Association, was decidedly non-British. By way of
took place in Edinburgh, was heralded as the first     illustration, LANCE CARR, a South African who played
international baseball game between England and        association football for Liverpool Football Club, was
Scotland played under American rules. Scotland         described as the “star” for England, in the 3 June
prevailed easily, beating the English squad 24−3.      edition of the New York Times.
Scotland scored 6 runs in the second inning and held      Two further games were played between the
the English team scoreless until the ninth. The        teams, the latter of which took place at Belle Vue in
Scottish team’s players were recruited from the        Manchester. The three-game series was part of Sir
University of Edinburgh and University of Scotland     John Moores’ baseball promotion campaign.
and were, presumably, mainly students from North       RESULT: SCOTLAND (L 24−3, UNKNOWN)
                                           HISTORY OF THE GREAT BRITAIN BASEBALL TEAM

                                                  LAST (1934)          1938         NEXT (1952)
                      BACK TO MENU

                  WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP VERSUS USA IN GREAT BRITAIN               Great Britain, who mainly comprised players
                  Initially planned as a Test series between the US         competing   in   the   Yorkshire−Lancashire     league,
                  Olympic   Team     and   England,   the   International   dominated the series. They shut out the US team
                  Baseball Federation later crowned the England squad       twice, including a 3−0 win in front of 10 000
                  (since referred to as Great Britain) as the first World   spectators at Wavertree Stadium in Liverpool.
                  Amateur Champions for their commanding four-                 Team USA, who were preparing for the 1940
                  games-to-one victory in the August matches (played        Olympics (which were planned for Tokyo but were
                  in Halifax, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, and Rochdale).        cancelled because of World War II), featured players
                                                                            picked at the National Amateur Baseball Trials in
   The England                                                              Lincoln, Nebraska, in July. The US team contained a
  team of 1938
                                                                            mixture of college and high-school players and
                                                                            included Mike Schemer, who went on to play for the
                                                                            New York Giants in the Major Leagues, batting .330 in
                                                                            32 games.

                                                                                                                                      The programme
                                                                                                                                      cover from the
                                                                                                                                      fourth match in
                                                                                                                                      the 1938 World
   A handshake
  between the
 team captains
     before the
match at Leeds
   Great   Britain’s   top   performer   was   pitcher   A cartoon that
                                                         appeared in the
ROSS KENDRICK, described in a game programme as          Liverpool Echo
“pitcher with a very clean style of hooks, speed, and    during the
endurance”. He threw both of the team’s shut-outs,
striking out 16 in the first match-up and 12 in
the second.
RESULTS: USA (W 3−0, W 8−6, L 5−0, W 4−0, W 5−3)

More baseball glory might have come Great Britain’s
way the following year when a team was selected to
travel to Cuba to play in the second World Cup. But a
lack of funds forced Great Britain to stay at home.
Any hope for an immediate return to the world
baseball stage was, of course, dashed by the
outbreak of World War II.
   Still, during the war, Americans stationed in the
UK often played baseball and there were even some
examples of Great Britain teams joining in. For
example, in July 1943, there were advertisements
placed in the Liverpool Echo publicizing a series of
games between the “American Nite Sticks” and “Alf
Hanson’s All-England Nine” team. Nevertheless, the
war clearly drew attention away from re-forming a
true national squad.

                                 LAST (1938)      1952               NEXT (1965)

There was a spike in international baseball in 1952,      lead: Hoitzing walked the first two batters of the
with England (a full Great Britain side had not been      game and HANSON came round to score on a single off
formed yet) playing in a number of events. These          the bat of NICHOLSON. It was a lead that the visitors
games − while competitive − did underscore a              would hold until the bottom of the eighth. The Dutch
problem that would haunt efforts to put the best          scored all three of their runs in this inning and Great
national team on the field for decades: regionalism.      Britain could not respond with their final three outs.
                                                          According to the Evening News, “the first [Great
DUTCH JUBILEE CELEBRATION IN THE NETHERLANDS              Britain] error cost them the game.” BONNALLO did not
On 27 and 28 June, the England side were in The           go the distance, being replaced by LAMBRECHT towards
Netherlands to play in what the Evening News              the end of the contest.
described   as   “the   important”    Dutch    Jubilee       These were respectable performances against a
Celebration. The games were set up to honour the          strong international side, but the Great Britain
40th anniversary of baseball’s founding in The            players left The Netherlands “envious” of the Dutch
Netherlands. Although England lost both matches,          baseball set-up.
the games were close. Still, the Evening News             RESULTS: THE NETHERLANDS (L 5−3, L 3−1)
criticized organizers for having a bias towards players
from the north. According to the paper, the Sutton        MATCH VERSUS CANADIAN MILITARY
Beavers, which was a particularly strong team in the      PERSONNEL IN GREAT BRITAIN
London area, sent the names of its three top players      After the events of the Dutch Jubilee Celebration, it
but they were rejected. Ultimately, only one player       is probably not surprising that leagues in the south
from the south was named in the team.                     formed their own squad to play an international. On
   The first game was played at Ajax’s stadium in         26 July, a team representing England took on a squad
Amsterdam. HAL BONNALLO took the mound for Great          from the Canadian military at the ground of
Britain, and his opposite number was Han Urbanus,         Leatherhead    Football   Club.   The     English   team
who had attended Spring Training with the New York        comprised players from a trio of London-area clubs,
Giants that year (and would go on to record a no-         the Mitcham Royals, Mitcham Tigers, and Sutton
hitter and two one-hitters before the end of the          Beavers. The team was essentially an All-Star squad
season), such was his calibre. The Dutch got ahead        from the Western League, but it was given the
early in the game, holding a 3−0 lead after               “England” moniker to help publicize the contest, and
five innings. Both teams plated a run in the sixth, but   it worked. The game, which was played in Surrey,
the Dutch extended their lead to 5-1 going in the         attracted a sizable audience that included Walter
eighth frame.                                             Winterbottom, the England football coach, according
   Great Britain loaded the bases in the bottom of        to NORMAN ADAMS who played for England in the
the ninth, and 2 runs scored thanks to a double by        contest.
VIC LAMBRECHT, but the rally ended there. Urbanus            The All-Stars ultimately lost the contest in a
was The Netherlands’ “most impressive player,”            17−13 slugfest. The score was tied until the fifth
according to the Evening News.                            inning, when Canada jumped ahead and held the lead
   In the second game, which took place at the            despite “two beautiful homers” by English players
Sparta Stadium in Rotterdam, it was Great Britain,        FRANK ADEY and RAY REYNOLDS, according to the
with BONNALLO again on the mound, who took an early       Evening News. Nevertheless, the newspaper reported
that “the Canadians [...] told the British players they   expenses but “food and billeting [were] undertaken
have a long way to go yet.”                               by    the   U.S.A.F.,   who    [were]    hosts    of   the
RESULT: CANADIAN MILITARY PERSONNEL (L 17−13)             tournament,”      according       to    England    player
                                                          FRANK ADEY’S invitation letter.
SERIES VERSUS US AIR FORCE                                     England lost the first game of the Lakenheath
AND SPAIN IN GREAT   BRITAIN                              series 8−2 against the US Air Force team. Still, “the
Finally, in September, English officials put together a   score [did] not reflect the tough resistance put up
squad that brought together the best players from         against the Americans,” said the Evening News. “The
throughout the country. The team featured eight           airmen snatched a 2−0 lead in the first innings but
southern players and seven from the north. In the         England hit back with a [DAVID] SINCLAIR run in the
19 September edition of the Evening News, the All-        4th. U.S.A.F. scored four in the 5th and SINCLAIR
England side was described as “one of the best we         notched England’s other run in the 5th.” A day later,
have fielded.” The team played in what was                in their other match, England took a 1−0 lead into
originally called the “Four Countries Tournament”.        the sixth inning against Spain, but the Spanish scored
England were scheduled to be joined by Spain, a US        2 runs in that inning on two hits. The English levelled
Air Force team from Lakenheath, and a Royal               the score in the eighth only to lose 4−2. “Pitchers
Canadian Air Force side, but the Canadians dropped        ROBERTSON and [HAL] BONNALLO looked good, CONNOLLY
out. The three remaining teams played a round-robin       was a first-class catcher, and BILL DAWBER shone at
schedule on 13−14 September at Young Field on the         1st base,” wrote the Evening News about the England
US Air Force base in Lakenheath. (The field was           players. In the end, the highlight of the series did not
named after the designer, who was killed in an air        involve England, as Spain no-hit the US team in their
crash before the facility was completed.) English         match-up.
players were required to cover their travelling           RESULTS: US AIR FORCE (L 8−2), SPAIN (L 4−2)
                                                HISTORY OF THE GREAT BRITAIN BASEBALL TEAM

                                                       LAST (1952)         1965          NEXT (1967)
                          BACK TO MENU

                      FRIENDLY MATCH VERSUS                                      such as the 1938 World Championship, the game was
                      THE NETHERLANDS IN GREAT BRITAIN                           touted as “the first full International match ever
                      This event, which took place at Selhurst Park (the         staged in England.”
                      ground   of   Crystal   Palace   Football   Club),   was      The Great Britain team wore maroon uniforms,
                      described in the game programme as “a red-letter           white undershirts and socks, and blue caps, and at
                      day for British Baseball.” Forgetting previous events      second base featured JOHNNY BARRASS, who went on

    Great Britain’s                                                                                                                   The guests
starting battery of                                                                                                                   of honour are
Wally O’Neil (left)                                                                                                                   introduced to
 and John Thomas                                                                                                                      the Great Britain
     (right) before                                                                                                                   players by the
          the game                                                                                                                    team’s manager,
                                                                                                                                      A Abbott

     John Thomas                                                                                                                      Jan van Ewijk
takes a high pitch                                                                                                                    underarms the
  for a ball in the                                                                                                                   ball to Rudy
    second inning                                                                                                                     Doma, the Dutch
                                                                                                                                      pitcher, to retire
                                                                                                                                      the Great Britain

Wally O’Neil winds                                                                                                                    Wally O’Neill
up to pitch (there                                                                                                                    receiving and
   was no mound)                                                                                                                      standing with his
                                                                                                                                      Most Valuable
                                                                                                                                      Player trophy
                                                                                                                                      from the game
to represent the country 2 years later at the                aboard with a walk, but Doma held his nerve to retire
European    Championship.       Dennis     Newman,    who    the next three batters and end the game.
attended the game as a spectator, recalls that home                Despite    the   loss,     O’NEIL   threw   very    well,
plate was on the half-way line and that ground-ruled         according to William Morgan, a long-time executive
doubles were awarded for balls hit into the stands.          for    various    British      baseball   organizations   who
   After both teams went three-up, three-down in             attended the contest. However, JOHN THOMAS − Great
the first inning, Great Britain plated the opening run       Britain’s starting catcher in the game − recalled that
of the game in the bottom of the second, on three            The Netherland’s Doma was a fearsome pitcher.
straight   hits   off   Dutch    pitcher    Rudy     Doma:   RESULT: THE NETHERLANDS (L 3−1)
JERRY GORDON led off with a double, advanced to
third base on a single from BARRASS, and scored on a
                                                                                                                               The programme
single from JOHN MAHONEY of the Middlesex Athletics.                                                                           cover from the
                                                                                                                               1965 match
No player on either team got past second base again
through the seventh inning.
   In the eighth inning, WALLY O’NEIL of the Stretford
Saints struck out the first Dutch batter but then gave
his pitching rival Doma, the number-nine hitter, a
free pass. After a hit from M Stroker and another
strike-out by O’NEIL (his 11th of the game), The
Netherlands had runners on second and third with
two outs and centre fielder W van der Ster at the
plate. Unfortunately for the home side, van der Ster
connected for a single and drove in both Dutch
runners, although he was out trying to extend his
single into a double. In the bottom half of the eighth,
O’NEIL led off with a single, but Doma retired the top
three batters in the Great Britain line-up and
stranded the tying run at third. P van ‘t Klooster −
who had replaced M Hohlman in left field after he
struck out in each of his three at-bats − scored an
insurance run for The Netherlands in the ninth inning.
With three outs left for Great Britain, GORDON got
                                           HISTORY OF THE GREAT BRITAIN BASEBALL TEAM

                                                  LAST (1965)       1967            NEXT (1968)
                      BACK TO MENU

                  EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP A-POOL IN BELGIUM                                                                           The programme
                  Making their debut in the European Championship A-                                                                cover from the
                                                                                                                                    1967 European
                  Pool, Great Britain won the silver medal. Managed by                                                              Championship
                                                                                                                                    A-Pool, signed
                  Ted James, who played in Liverpool before World                                                                   by Great Britain
                  War II, the team had their share of nerve-wracking                                                                players

                     In the tournament opener, they fell behind 4-0 to
                  Spain in the first inning but scored 5 runs in both the
                  second and fourth innings to win 10−4. Great Britain
                  scored in the top of the first inning of their second
                  game, against Belgium, but by the time they scored
                  their second and last run of the contest, in the sixth,
                  their opponents had already amassed an 8-run lead.
                     Later, the British side beat Sweden 3−2 in
                  dramatic fashion. Down 2−1, JOHN BRINING hit a 2-run
                  home run in the top of the ninth inning to earn the
                  victory. Finally, the squad almost let a third win get
                  away against West Germany. Great Britain jumped
                  out to an early 6−0 lead but watched the West
                  Germans claw their way back into the game. In the
                  bottom of the ninth, West Germany scored twice to         .194, stand-out play came on the mound from
                  pull within 2 runs. Fortunately, the scoring ended        ROBBIE BAIRD, who earned two victories with a pair of
                  there, ensuring Great Britain’s second-place finish.      complete-game performances, and TERRY WARNER,
                     While the team batting average was a meagre            who went the distance to earn the win against

Great Britain’s                                                                                                                     Great Britain’s
 squad for the                                                                                                                      Pete Price
1967 European                                                                                                                       catching in the
 Championship                                                                                                                       1967 European
  A-Pool event                                                                                                                      Championship
                                                                                                                                    A-Pool event
Sweden. Although the overall performance was an          However, it was Great Britain who ultimately
accomplished one, it must be noted that Great            prevailed, breaking the tie decisively with a run in
Britain did benefit from the absence of the perennial    the eighth.
European powerhouses Italy and The Netherlands,          RESULT: “THE REST OF THE LEAGUE” (W 4−3)
who pulled out of the continent’s baseball federation
                                                                                                                The programme
before the tournament. Both nations returned in time                                                            cover from the
                                                                                                                game in 1967
for the 1969 tournament.                                                                                        against “The
                                                                                                                Rest of the
RESULTS: SPAIN (W 10−4), BELGIUM (L 10−2),                                                                      League”

Before their successful tournament in Belgium, Great
Britain took on a team that was composed of “players
who, through various reasons, had not been able to
be considered for selection to the Great Britain
Side,” according to the game programme. (It is not
clear what those reasons were.)
   Played at the Alderman Kneeshaw Centre in Hull,
the game saw the national team strike quickly,
scoring three runs in the top of the first inning, but
“The Rest of the League” battled well putting up
single runs in the second, third, and seventh innings.

                               LAST (1967)       1968             NEXT (1969)

FRIENDLY MATCH VERSUS                                                                      The programme
                                                                                           cover from the
                                                                                           game in 1968
The genesis of this match was attributed to the close                                      against The
relationship that a local British club, the Hull Aces,
had with the Dutch Federation. The Aces first played
in a series of games in The Netherlands in 1961, and
the team also toured the country on two other
occasions. As a result, the ties between the two
countries were “very strong,” according to the
game’s souvenir programme. Like the game against
the “Rest of the League” the previous year, the
contest was played at the Alderman Kneeshaw
Centre, which was designed based on the plans for
the New York Mets’ Shea Stadium. “It [was] the first
ground of its kind in the United Kingdom,” touted the
programme. The Great Britain side was experienced,
containing a number of players from the silver-medal
team from the previous year, including JOHN BRINING,
HUGH KING, and RAY REYNOLDS. Great Britain opened
the scoring in the top of the first inning with a run,
but The Netherlands took charge after that.              RESULT: THE NETHERLANDS (L 7−2)

                                 LAST (1968)         1969             NEXT (1971)

A lack of true international play in 1969 was                the foreign competition. When Zambia came, the
emblematic of the factional nature of the game at            country played All-Star teams from the Midlands, the
this time. Representative teams from both South              North-East and the North-West along with various
Africa and Zambia travelled to Great Britain for a           club teams. The South Africans competed against the
series   of   games.   Instead   of   British   baseball’s   National League Southern All-Stars in London and
governing body forming a single representative               then played against the National League Northern All-
squad, various regions put up All-Star teams against         Stars in Hull.

                                  LAST (1969)    1971             NEXT (1972)

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP A-POOL IN ITALY                    field and managing only a single hit at the plate
In the first European Championship A-Pool to include     (from JOHN BRINING). Still, the team bounced back in
eight teams, Great Britain struggled, placing seventh.   their match against San Marino. Although they lost
Their lone victory came in the game to decide            13−10, they did out-hit their opponents 12−8.
seventh and eighth place, in which they beat Sweden      KEITH MARSHALL    was    the   winning    pitcher   and
by a score of 10−7. The team was hindered by             KEN WILLIAMS picked up the save in the Sweden
squabbles between players from the north and from        triumph. DAVID JAMES delivered four hits in that game.
the south. “Last-minute friction between the north       RESULTS: WEST GERMANY (L 12−3), ITALY (L 21−0),
and south led to nobody from the south” joining          SAN MARINO (L 13−10), SWEDEN (W 10−7)
the team, according to the
team’s manager Clive Megson.                                                                                       Great Britain’s
                                                                                                                   team at the
Because the league in the                                                                                          1971 European
south broke away from the                                                                                          A-Pool, wearing
                                                                                                                   “England” on
governing body − a move led                                                                                        their shirts
by 1967 Great Britain player
PETER ASH − players in that
circuit were made ineligible
for international competition.
(This episode of controversy
was ultimately resolved, but
it occurred too late to help
Great Britain at the 1971
   The team’s performance
against Italy was a particular
disappointment, with Great
Britain making 13 errors in the

                             LAST (1971)       1972            NEXT (1973)

FRIENDLY MATCH VERSUS                                 games. What was particularly noteworthy about their
JONG ORANJE IN GREAT BRITAIN                          5−1 win over Great Britain (played in Hull) was an 18-
Jong Oranje were a Dutch team of 16- to 18-year-old   year-old named Win Remmerswaal, who started on
players who were members of The Netherlands’          the mound for the Dutch team. Remmerswaal would
highly successful Roel de Mon programme. The squad    go on to pitch as a reliever in the Major Leagues,
came to England in late September to play games       going 3−1 in 55.2 innings with a 5.50 earned-run
against a Great Britain representative squad and a    average for the Boston Red Sox in 1979 and 1980.
Yorkshire All-Star team. Jong Oranje won both         RESULT: JONG ORANJE (L 5−1)

                             LAST (1972)       1973             NEXT (1974)

MATCH VERSUS US ARMY PERSONNEL IN GREAT BRITAIN       was played “before a very large crowd.” Great
Great Britain took on a team of personnel from the    Britain triumphed 10–5 in the contest.
US Army at the base at Burtonwood. According to the   RESULT:
November 1973 issue of Baseball Mercury, the game     US ARMY PERSONNEL (W 10−5)

                                   LAST (1973)      1974           NEXT (1975)

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING                          single contest.) To raise money for the necessary
GAME VERSUS SWEDEN IN SWEDEN                              accommodation, ferry trips, and train rides (the one-
More than 10 years before the advent of the second-       game trip cost £54 per player in 1974 money), teams
tier    (or   B-Pool)   European    Championship,   the   in Hull staged sponsored walks, according to the
Confederation of European Baseball set up a single-       team’s manager Clive Megson. ALAN ASQUITH got the
game qualifier for the A-Pool tournament. The game        pitching start, a decision that was described as “a
was originally to be played in Leksand, northern          gamble” in the August 1974 issue of the publication
Sweden, but the cost of the trip would have been          Baseball Mercury. The reason: ASQUITH, who “for
prohibitive for Great Britain, so the match was           years [was] the country’s leading pitcher, had given
instead played in Stockholm. (The Confederation           up pitching” because “his arm was troubling him.” In
wanted the teams to battle in a three-game series,        the end, ASQUITH could not contain Sweden, who took
but in order to lower the costs and the time that         control of the game in the middle innings.
players would have to commit, the sides agreed to a       RESULT: SWEDEN (L 9−1)

                                LAST (1974)         1975            NEXT (1976)

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING GAME                      received no portion of the gate, but the match cost
VERSUS   WEST GERMANY IN GREAT BRITAIN                     £414.13 in 1975 money, while the Belgian umpire also
When Belgium decided not to play in the 1975               claimed £105 in travelling expenses.
European Championship A-Pool in Barcelona, Spain, a           Moreover, the West Germans, who wanted the
single    game   between    Great   Britain   and   West   game in London, insisted that the Federation pay
Germany was set up to decide the sixth and final           their travel expenses (£105 for a coach). Jeff Archer,
berth at the tournament. The contest was initially         author of Strike Four: Adventures in European
planned for 11 May in London, but the organizers           Baseball, met Claus Helmig − who coached that West
could not secure a suitable field and the game was         German side − a year after the game took place.
moved to the ground of Southport Football Club.            “According to the regulations of the Confederation of
Albert Wright, an American who played for the              European Baseball, the home team had to pay certain
Sutton Braves, was named manager of Great Britain.         expenses to the visiting club when games relating to
   “The game was played under ideal conditions in          the European Championship were played. Claus said
front of some thousands of spectators,” according to       that he approached the Great Britain team and asked
the August 1975 edition of Baseball Mercury. But the       for the expense money due his team. He was told
partisan crowd did not help Great Britain, as West         that there was none. He then said: ‘Okay, we don't
Germany’s pitcher had a perfect game going into the        play.’ For the next few minutes, the Great Britain
ninth inning. Although the visitors lost the perfect       team,   its   fans,   and   British   Amateur   Baseball
game on a dropped third strike by the catcher, they        Federation officials held a whip-round to gather the
won the contest 13−0.                                      money. When the agreed-upon amount was collected
   The defeat was not the worst of it for Great            and turned over to Claus, the game went ahead.”
Britain. The British Amateur Baseball Federation           RESULT: WEST GERMANY (L 13−0)

                                LAST (1975)     1976   NEXT (1980)

AMERICAN BI-CENTENARY                                                 The programme
BASEBALL INTERNATIONAL VERSUS                                         cover from
                                                                      the American
US AIR FORCE BASE IN GREAT BRITAIN                                    Bi-Centenary
Played at Harvey Hadden Stadium in Bilborough on                      International
19 September, this game pitted a Great Britain squad
against a team of US military personnel from such
states as Massachusetts, California, North Carolina,
Michigan, and Georgia.
   Bill Casey from Birmingham took over from
Albert Wright as manager of the Great Britain side
for this game, and the 18-man squad included at
least 10 players with international experience,
including RAY REYNOLDS, an outfielder from Essex
who was on the 1967 European Championship team,
and PETER DARNELL of the Hull Aces, who took the
mound. The Great Britain side, wearing red, white,
and blue uniforms, won the contest 14−4, with
DARNELL’S home run in the eighth inning providing
something for the approximately 500-strong crowd
to remember.
   Clive Megson, who had coached Great Britain
from 1971 to 1974, was home plate umpire for
the game.
                                               HISTORY OF THE GREAT BRITAIN BASEBALL TEAM

                                                      LAST (1976)       1980             NEXT (1981)
                          BACK TO MENU

                      FRIENDLY MATCHES VERSUS                                                                                          The programme
                      BELGIUM AND FRANCE IN GREAT BRITAIN                                                                              cover from the
                                                                                                                                       game against
                      Great Britain played two games on home soil in 1980,                                                             France in 1980

                      with mixed results. A hard-fought 3−2 victory against
                      Belgium at Stoneleigh partly avenged the country’s
                      loss at the 1967 European Championship, while a
                      13−1 thrashing by France was a disappointment.
                         The Belgian game was “played under atrocious
                      conditions. The field was literally a cow pasture,”
                      according to a 1980 edition of Baseball Mercury. Still,
                      Great Britain prevailed thanks to the game-winning
                      run batted in on a ground ball by HUGH KING, scoring
                      MARTIN JEWER in the third inning. PETE DARNELL was
                      the winning pitcher. The game against France, which

       A photo of
     local players
 in a Humberside
    newspaper on
   the day of the
     France game
    (left to right:
     Pete Darnell,
Martin Adamson,
  Barry Marshall,
    Frank Parker,
and Mark Storey)

                                                                                took place in Hull, celebrated the opening of the
                                                                                Humber Bridge. The game programme claimed that
                                                                                this was “the very first time International Baseball
                                                                                [had] been played under floodlights” in Britain.
                                                                                France dominated in a contest called on the mercy
                                                                                rule in the seventh inning. Great Britain plated its
                                                                                only run in the sixth inning, when NORMAN WELLS, JR
                                                                                scored on a pinch-hit single by KING.
                                                                                   The squad also included Great Britain veterans
                                                                                BARRY MARSHALL, MICHAEL HARROLD, and DENNIS KING,
                                                                                among others. Ron Marshall managed Great Britain in
                                                                                both friendly games.
                                                                                RESULTS: BELGIUM (W 3−2), FRANCE (L 13−1)

                              LAST (1980)       1981            NEXT (1982)

BRITISH−AMERICAN SERIES IN GREAT BRITAIN               issue of Baseball Mercury, “Ron Marshall, Great
After the lifting of a baseball ban for US Air Force   Britain team manager had his share of problems. In
personnel, Great Britain won the first game of this    the second game, he had only one recognised pitcher
three-game series, deating Mildenhall 6–4 at Dane      to call upon, young MARTIN ADAMSON. This put
Park in Hull. However, they were defeated in games     tremendous strain on [ADAMSON].”
two and three, which took place in Nottingham and      RESULTS: MILDENHALL (W 6−4),
Suffolk, respectively. According to the October 1981   UPPER HEYFORD (L 15−3), BENTWATERS (L 6−1)

                                      LAST (1981)             1982              NEXT (1983)

NORTH EUROPEAN CUP IN BELGIUM                                        included VINCE WARNER (with a 3-run homer and a
In mid-August, the Great Britain squad joined five                   1-run triple) and JOHN HARRINGTON (with a solo home
other teams (The Netherlands “B-Squad”, Belgium,                     run and a 3-run double).
France, Denmark, and Finland) in the North European                     In the second game, Great Britain played at
Cup, which took place in Antwerp, Belgium. For                       Lakenheath against the Darmstadt Kenwood US
Denmark, France, and Finland, the event served as a                  military installation. The event was supposed to
qualification      event     for   the      1983        European     provide the “final indication of just which players
Championship A-Pool. For an unknown reason, Great                    would be playing” in the North European Cup, but “it
Britain did not compete for the spot in the finals.                  failed its objective as only six of the selected Great
   Great Britain finished the tournament 1−3, tied                   Britain players were able” to attend, said Baseball
with Denmark for fourth place. None of the squad’s                   Mercury. The high spot of the 11−7 loss was
games were close as the team’s one win − against                     ARTHUR BLOOMFIELD, father of star Great Britain player
Finland − was a 19−3 triumph, while the three losses                 ALAN BLOOMFIELD, making an appearance at first base.
were all by more than 10 runs. Great Britain’s biggest               “He displayed tremendous spirit,” reported Baseball
problem      was    depth    in    pitching,      as     infielder   Mercury.
ALAN BLOOMFIELD started the game on the mound                           The series-deciding game took place at Harvey
against Belgium, and TERRY WARNER, who came on the                   Hadden Stadium on 25 July, with Great Britain being
trip as a coach, ended up getting the pitching start                 defeated 12−4 by Lakenheath.
versus France. One highlight: MARK STOREY slammed a                     An All-Star game was added to the end of the
home run to left field in the loss to Belgium.                       series. This saw Great Britain take on a US Forces All-
   Long-time British baseball official Ted Gerard-                   Star team in a night game played at Chelsea Football
Thesingh umpired the event’s championship game, in                   Club’s Stamford Bridge. Some 5 000 spectators
which the Dutch beat the Belgians.                                   watched the tightly played contest. Unlike the
RESULTS: THE NETHERLANDS “B-SQUAD” (L 25−0),                         previous two games, there were some members of
BELGIUM (L 15−2), FRANCE (L 17−7), FINLAND (W 19−3)                  the Great Britain squad who were non-British but
                                                                     regularly played in England. Runs driven in by
Over the summer, Great Britain contested a three-                    up 3−1 through five innings, but the US side tied the
game series against US military squads. Branded as                   game in the sixth inning. It remained that way until
“the    British−American      Series”,      the    event      was    the 10th frame, when a US hitter lofted a fly ball to
initiated by Peter Hunt of Rollaway Ltd. The first                   right field. Great Britain outfielder KEVIN OATES lost
game was played on 30 May at Grimsby Town Football                   the hit in the lights, allowing the player to reach first
Club’s ground and saw the national team take on the                  safely. That hitter went on to score the winning run.
US Air Force Base in Alconbury. According to a 1982                     ALAN BLOOMFIELD was named Great Britain’s Most
issue   of   Baseball      Mercury,    it   was        “the   best   Valuable Player for the series.
performance from the Great Britain Squad for a long                  RESULTS: ALCONBURY BASE (W 16−7),
time.” Every Great Britain player who came to the                    DARMSTADT KENWOOD (L 11−7), LAKENHEATH (L 12−4),
plate got at least one hit in a 16−7 win. Top hitters                US FORCES ALL-STARS (L 4−3)

                                    LAST (1982)       1983   NEXT (1984)

MATCH VERSUS LONDON ALL-STARS IN GREAT BRITAIN                             The programme
                                                                           cover from the
In this match-up at Chelsea Football Club’s stadium,                       game against a
both      squads featured       players who either had                     London All-Stars
                                                                           team in 1983
represented or would go on to represent Great
Britain    in   international    competition.   The   “UK
National Team” roster listed in the programme had
such future or present Great Britain stars as
while the London squad included past or future
   The London All-Stars struck the first blow with
two runs in the second inning. Great Britain cut the
deficit to 1 run in the third inning, but the All-Stars
restored the 2-run margin in the fourth inning. Great
Britain managed to tie the game up with a run in the
fifth and the sixth, but it was the All-Stars who would
eventually triumph, scoring the winning run in the
top of the ninth.
   Before the baseball game, an American football
game was played between the London Ravens and the
Woodstock Punchbowl team.

                                LAST (1983)        1984    NEXT (1986)

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP B-POOL IN GREAT BRITAIN                            The Great
Great Britain had the honour of hosting the first                        Britain side
                                                                         taking the
recorded     European   Championship     B-Pool   (now                   field for a
                                                                         clash in the
referred to as the European Championship Qualifying                      1984 European
Pool). The games, which took place between 16 and                        B-Pool event
18 August, were played at the Anlaby Road Cricket
Circle in Hull. “The spacious Cricket Circle enabled
the games to be played under much better conditions
than is usual in Great Britain,” according to a 1984
issue of Baseball Mercury. “The tropical weather
throughout gave perfect conditions,” wrote The Daily
Mail of Hull. Still, there was some criticism about
cricket wickets that remained on the field during
games. It is unclear how that impacted the games
and why the wickets were not removed, but The                            Wayne Parker
                                                                         fielding for
Daily Mail of Hull said: “It cannot be the groundsman                    Great Britain
                                                                         against West
at fault.”                                                               Germany
   Led by manager Ron Marshall, the Great Britain
side finished behind San Marino in a three-way tie
with the tournament’s other two teams, West
Germany and Finland (the tied squads all had 1−2
records). The British side got off to an excellent start

                                                                         The Great
                                                                         Britain squad
                                                                         of 1984
with a 10−0 win against Finland that was called on       Star teams. On 10 June, Great Britain took on an All-
the mercy rule after seven innings. DENNIS KING was      Star team from the Midlands, named the “Midland
named “Man of the Match” in the opener. In the           Mets”, and won the contest 20−1. According to the
second game, against Germany, “Britain perhaps           July 1984 issue of Baseball Mercury, the team
made too many changes [...] and in the end were          “played baseball as it should be played,” with stand-
well beaten,” according to The Daily Mail of Hull.       outs including ALAN BLOOMFIELD at second base,
RESULTS: FINLAND (W 10−0),                               shortstop NEIL READ, catcher CARL SOUTH, and BRIAN
WEST GERMANY (L 12−2), SAN MARINO (L 15−7)               BRETHERTON.
                                                            Two weeks later, Great Britain won again, this
SERIES VERSUS REGIONAL                                   time against the North West All-Stars in a game
ALL-STAR TEAMS IN GREAT BRITAIN                          played at Burtonwood US Army base.
In preparation for the European Championship B-          RESULTS: MIDLAND METS (W 20−1),
Pool, Great Britain played games against regional All-   NORTH WEST ALL-STARS (W 11−0)

                                LAST (1984)     1986              NEXT (1988)

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP B-POOL IN FRANCE                  Baseball Mercury. The lone consolation for Great
“The Great Britain team fared ‘not too bad’ during      Britain was a home run by VINCE WARNER.
these Championships,” wrote the November 1986              The British side remained sloppy in their victory
issue of Baseball Mercury. The team finished in the     against Switzerland as the two teams combined for
middle of the pack, placing third out of the five       23 errors during the game. GARY BEDINGFIELD and
competing teams. The baseball field used sat inside     DAN GODFREY each hit home runs for Great Britain in
an athletics track, with temporary green matting laid   the contest. In the event’s final game, Great Britain
down over the track in right field.                     proved no match for West Germany, managing just a
   In the tournament opener, Great Britain built a      solitary hit.
6-run lead against Finland, but had to watch their         VINCE WARNER was voted as Great’s Britain Most
opponents put 5 runs on the board in the eighth         Valuable Player for the tournament.
inning. This made the game close until a 2-run homer       According to Ron Marshall, who managed the
off the bat of JULIAN DODWELL in the top of the ninth   Great Britain team in the tournament, attendances
put the contest out of the Finns’ reach. The next       ran from 500 upwards, with 7000 attending the game
game saw Great Britain suffer a heavy loss at the       between France and West Germany.
hands of France, who took “an early lead helped by      RESULTS: FINLAND (W 9−8), FRANCE (L 13−3),
costly fielding errors by the British,” according to    SWITZERLAND (W 14−10), WEST GERMANY (L 10−0)

                                                                                                                The Great
                                                                                                                Britain squad
                                                                                                                of 1986 in
                                          HISTORY OF THE GREAT BRITAIN BASEBALL TEAM

                                                 LAST (1986)       1988             NEXT (1989)
                       BACK TO MENU

                   EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP B-POOL IN GREAT BRITAIN          batting   .625,   while   BRIAN THURSTON   topped   all
                   Michael Harrold’s first European Championship as       pitchers with a perfect 0.00 earned-run average,
                   manager was certainly successful as an undefeated      throwing a shut-out against Czechoslovakia and also
                   Great Britain squad − playing on home soil, in         pitching well against Finland. THURSTON was named
                   Birmingham − won its first international title since   the Most Valuable Player at the event.
                   1938, earning promotion into the A-Pool. According        Great Britain’s 27−4 win over Switzerland in this
                   to the 1988 issue of IBA World Baseball Magazine,      tournament set a new largest margin of victory in a
                   ALAN BLOOMFIELD was the tournament’s top hitter,       European Championship match for the country. The
                                                                          deciding game against Czechoslovakia was no contest
The cover of the                                                          as “the deadly accurate pitching of BRIAN THURSTON
  1988 European
   Championship                                                           [...] kept the Czechs at bay,” said the autumn 1988
    B-Pool event
     programme                                                            issue of First Base magazine. Great Britain jumped
                                                                          out to a 3−0 lead in the first inning and quickly built
                                                                          on this with a 3-run homer by BLOOMFIELD. THURSTON
                                                                          struck out 12 in the deciding game.
                                                                          RESULTS: CZECHOSLOVAKIA (W 11−0),
                                                                          FINLAND (W 11−3), SWITZERLAND (W 27−4)

                                                                          MATCH VERSUS LONDON WARRIORS IN GREAT BRITAIN
                                                                          With the European Championship B-Pool approaching,
                                                                          the Great Britain team played a match against the
                                                                          London Warriors in London. Great Britain took an
                                                                          early lead, scoring twice on two errors in the top of
                                                                          the first inning. However, the London Warriors batted
                                                                          round in the first and second innings, plating nine
                                                                          runs in the process, which effectively killed the
                                                                          contest. Members of the team who would go on to
                                                                          make the roster for the European Championship
                                                                          B-Pool included ALAN BLOOMFIELD, OSCAR MARCELINO,
                                                                          JULIAN DODWELL, and BRIAN THURSTON.
                                                                          RESULT: LONDON WARRIORS (L 13−3)

                                  LAST (1988)        1989           NEXT (1990)

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP A-POOL IN FRANCE                                                                                The cover of the
                                                                                                                      1989 European
In Great Britain’s first appearance in Europe’s elite
A-Pool since 1971, the squad never contended for the                                                                  A-Pool event
crown but won a number of close games to avoid
relegation. The team finished with a 3−5 record (with
two of the losses being by a single run) and finished
seventh out of eight teams. Unfortunately, Great
Britain did suffer its biggest loss in European
Championship history, falling to The Netherlands by a
score of 35−0.
   Three members of the team hit over .300 for the
tournament: STEVE NERO (.417), RICK SOAN (.370), and
DAN GODFREY (.333). On the mound, BRIAN THURSTON
(who struck out 25 in 23.2 innings), OSCAR MARCELINO
(who pitched a complete game against Belgium), and
NERO (who amassed a 3.00 earned-run average) each
picked up victories.
RESULTS: BELGIUM (L 8−7, W 9−5), SWEDEN (L 5−4),
THE NETHERLANDS (L 35−0), FRANCE (L 14−4, L 16−6),
WEST GERMANY (W 8−7, W 8−6)

Before the European Championship, Great Britain
played an exhibition game against a US Air Force             The All-Star team included Hall of Famers Bob
team at Feltwell. The result of this contest is           Feller, Willie Stargell, and Billy Williams, as well as
unknown.                                                  other     greats      such      as    George      Foster,
   Following     the   European     Championship,    on   Bert    Campaneris,     Craig   Nettles,   Tug   McGraw,
24 September the national team took on the                Luis Tiant, and Bobby Bonds. Great Britain took a 1−0
“Legends of Baseball”, who were a travelling All-Star     lead, but the former professionals won easily, despite
team composed of ex-Major League Baseball players.        their advancing ages.
The match took place at Old Trafford Cricket Ground       RESULTS: LEGENDS OF BASEBALL (L 16−3),
in Manchester.                                            US AIR FORCE (UNKNOWN)

                                    LAST (1989)            1990            NEXT (1991)

FLORIDA SERIES IN USA                                             1990 issue of Baseball UK, ALAN WILLIAMS was named
Thanks to an Olympic Participation Programme Grant                “GB player of the day” and BRIAN THURSTON’S work on
from the Sports Council, a Great Britain squad played             the mound “again proved he is one of the best
a series of games at the Cocoa Expo facility in Cocoa             pitchers we have.” Overall, “several hundred”
Beach, Florida, from 22 October to 2 November. The                attended as Great Britain clubbed 11 hits and
International Baseball Association sent along balls,              benefited from 19 walks by Menwith pitchers,
bats, helmets, and a set of catching gear for the trip.           according to the August 1990 edition of Mike Ross’s
Unfortunately, the team struggled against stronger,               Transatlantic Baseball Times. Other Great Britain
US talent.                                                        stars included starting catcher MATT GAUNT, who went
   In Great Britain’s lone victory (against the Cocoa             2-for-3 with five runs batted in, and JOHN MORRISON,
Beach All-Stars), pitcher BRIAN THURSTON had “a fine              who drove in 3 runs. ALAN BLOOMFIELD contributed two
performance” and JULIAN DODWELL’S diving catch was                hits, scored four times, knocked in 2 runs, and stole
“the   play    of   the    trip,”    according       to     the   two bases.
February/March      1991   issue     of   Baseball        Times      In the second game, Great Britain prevailed 11−0
magazine.                                                         at an event called “The Garden Festival” in
RESULTS: FLORIDA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (L 13−1, L 15−0),        Gateshead. STEVE SMITH connected for a home run and
BREVARD COMMUNITY COLLEGE (L 6−5, L 8−2),                         combined to throw a two-hit shut-out.
COCOA BEACH ALL-STARS (W 8−2)                                     RESULTS: MENWITH HILL (W 21−4, W 11−0)

Earlier in year, the Great Britain side played two                Great Britain played two other matches on home soil
exhibition games against Menwith Hill, a top British              in 1990, winning by big margins in both. The
club. The first game served as the inauguration of a              Humberside Select side and Team Scotland offered
new Centre of Excellence at Eastmount Park in Hull.               the opposition, with both games taking place in Hull.
The score of the game between the teams was 21−4                  RESULTS: HUMBERSIDE SELECT (W 16−2),
in favour of Great Britain. According to the August               TEAM SCOTLAND (W 31−1)

                                 LAST (1990)            1991            NEXT (1992)

Simply put, this European Championship squad                  In   preparation   for the    European      Championship
struggled, finishing with an 0−8 record and therefore         A-Pool event, the team travelled to the Dutch city of
placing last in the tournament. As a result, Great            Haarlem and swept a three-game series against two
Britain were relegated back to the B-Pool. While the          local clubs. The games were played in sweltering
team’s pitching was relatively competitive (5.95              heat, with temperatures reported to have hit 100° F.
earned-run average), Great Britain’s hitting (.186            The host team was HC Schoten, a second-tier side
batting average) and defence (40 errors in eight              from the Dutch national league. Onze Gezellen were
games) were poor.                                             the other team who participated.
   The team’s first game illustrated the squad’s                   Great Britain’s top hitter was JULIAN DODWELL,
weaknesses: Great Britain were no-hit by Spain’s              who hit solo home runs in games two and three.
Javier Civit and the defence made five errors leading         Defensively, PETE EDWARDS stood out. His play was
to 5 unearned runs in a 10−0 loss. There were some            “particularly    impressive   [...]   in   the   first   and
bright spots, however. For instance, Great Britain            third games at third base,” according to the
battled   well   against   the   USSR,   losing     a   7−6   September 1991 issue of Baseball Times magazine.
heartbreaker in 10 innings. STEVE SEWELL had three            GARY BEDINGFIELD also “underlined his position as one
hits and ROB LANARIO, JOHN MORRISON, and JASON BALL           of the top catchers” in the country, driving in 3 runs
each had two in the narrow loss. Over three games,            in the opening game, the magazine reported. Other
BRIAN THURSTON struck out 20 in 17.0 innings.                 players who had strong performances were pitchers
RESULTS: SPAIN (L 10−0), THE NETHERLANDS (L 13−0),            BRIAN THURSTON     and   MARTIN GODSALL      and     hitters
BELGIUM (L 4−2, L 20−2), SWEDEN (L 10−0, L 15−8),             GARY SEWELL and JASON BALL.
USSR (L 7−6, L 14−4)                                          RESULTS: HC SCHOTEN (W 7−3, W 8−1), ONZE GEZELLEN (W 7−4)

                                   LAST (1991)   1992             NEXT (1993)

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP B-POOL IN GERMANY                  experience from the USA to other countries to help
Great Britain were unable to earn promotion back         develop the sport. In this case, the US players
into the A-Pool, but they did come close. Finishing      dominated in the four-game series, which took place
third in the tournament with a 4-2 record, the team      at Alconbury and Waltham Abbey.
lost only to eventual champions Germany and the          RESULTS: MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL ENVOYS
runners-up Czechoslovakia.                               (L 12−0, L 13−0, L 9−0, L 13−2)
   A number of British players were among the
event’s top batters, including the tournament’s          FRIENDLY VERSUS BURY SAINTS IN GREAT BRITAIN
leading hitter FRANK PARKER, JR (.500 batting average,   Back at the start of the season, on 18 April, Great
one home run, four runs batted in). Other stand-outs     Britain played against the Bury Saints (from Bury St
on the Great Britain side included MARK VICKERS (.454    Edmunds) in Peterborough, winning a close contest
batting average, two home runs, 10 runs batted in),      3−2. Of note, Saints catcher George Kurtzer, an
ANDY MALTBY (.466 batting average, one home run, 7       American stationed at RAF Lakenheath, got married
runs), DARREN TURTLE (.454 batting average, 4 runs)      that morning (in his baseball uniform) before playing
and JASON LOWDE (.428, four runs batted in).             the game in the afternoon. (A year later, George’s
   BRIAN THURSTON continued to be a leader on the        son Ryan was born at Lakenheath, with dual
mound, winning two games, saving two others, and         nationality. Ryan Kurtzer entered the Great Britain
finishing the event with a 1.17 earned-run average.      programme in 2004.)
In 23.0 innings, THURSTON struck out 28 batters.         RESULT: BURY SAINTS (W 3−2)
Pitcher RAY BROWNLIE also picked up two
                                                                                                                 Great Britain’s
victories for the British squad.                                                                                 European
RESULTS:                                                                                                         Championship
                                                                                                                 B-Pool squad
SLOVENIA (W 10−8), SWITZERLAND (W 10−3),                                                                         of 1992

GERMANY (L 12−0), SAN MARINO (W 19−14),

Great Britain competed in a series of games
against a team of Major League Baseball
Envoys as a warm-up for the European
Championship B-Pool. The envoy programme
brings top coaches and recent college
graduates     with     high-level     baseball

                              LAST (1992)       1993             NEXT (1994)

Great Britain finished second in this 3-day May
tournament. The June 1993 issue of Brit Ball magazine   MATCH VERSUS NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUE
described the team as “a mixture of experience and      ALL-STARS IN GREAT BRITAIN
youth, which combined well to produce many              Great Britain also played on home soil in 1993, with
creditable performances.” BRIAN THURSTON was named      a game against the National Premier League All-
the top batter of the tournament and pitchers           Stars on 12 September at Eastmount Recreation
picked up wins.                                         RESULT: NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUE ALL-STARS (UNKNOWN)
                                          HISTORY OF THE GREAT BRITAIN BASEBALL TEAM

                                                 LAST (1993)        1994              NEXT (1995)
                      BACK TO MENU

                  EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP B-POOL IN SLOVENIA                 RESULTS: BULGARIA (W 18−3), UKRAINE (L 5−20),
                  In what might be Great Britain’s most controversial      SWITZERLAND (W 16−2), SLOVAKIA (W 13−3),
                  appearance at a European Championship, the team          NORWAY (W 11−1), POLAND (W 19−7)
                  finished with a 5−1 record − identical to that of
                  Ukraine, the eventual champions − but placed seventh     MATCH VERSUS NATIONAL PREMIER
                  out of 13 countries. The team went 3−1 in pool play,     LEAGUE ALL-STARS IN GREAT BRITAIN
                  but a 20−5 loss to Ukraine bumped Great Britain out of   Earlier in the year, on 26 June, the national side
                  a spot among the top six teams, leaving them no          played a single game against a domestic All-Stars
                  chance of promotion to the tournament’s A-Pool.          squad. The outcome of the match is unknown.
                     Aside from the loss to Ukraine, the team              RESULT: NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUE ALL-STARS (UNKNOWN)
                  dominated the opposition, winning all other games by
                  10 or more runs. There were many notable individual      2ND ANNUAL LA ROCHELLE ATLANTIC TOURNAMENT
                  accomplishments: RAY BROWNLIE led the tournament         VERSUS   BELGIUM, MOLDOVA, AND FRANCE IN FRANCE
                  with six home runs, JOEY YARNOLD had the second          Following the match against the domestic All-Stars,
                  highest stolen bases tally, and MARTIN GODSALL,          Great Britain played three other European national
                  MARTIN SAWYER, and MARTYN DUTTON all had earned-run      teams − France, Belgium, and Moldova − in a tune-up
                  averages of 0.00.                                        for the European Championship. The British team was
                                                                                            convincingly defeated by France and
Great Britain’s
 squad in 1994
                                                                                            Belgium but managed two victories
                                                                                            against Moldova to secure third place
                                                                                            at the event. Highlights of the
                                                                                            tournament      included   a   combined
                                                                                            three-hitter    by   RAY BROWNLIE    and
                                                                                            GAVIN MARSHALL in the play-off game
                                                                                            against Moldova to decide third and
                                                                                            fourth place.
                                                                                            BELGIUM (L 8−0),
                                                                                            MOLDOVA (W 10−4, W 18−3),
                                                                                            FRANCE (L 23−1)
                                            HISTORY OF THE GREAT BRITAIN BASEBALL TEAM

                                                   LAST (1994)           1995              NEXT (1996)
                      BACK TO MENU

                  GREENSBORO PALOMINO 11TH ANNUAL JULY 4TH                                                                                          The cover of
                  INVITATIONAL AND EXHIBITION GAMES IN USA                                                                                          the programme
                                                                                                                                                    for the 1995
                  At the invitation of Abe Key, the President of PONY                                                                               Greensboro
                  (a US youth baseball organization), Great Britain                                                                                 Invitational
                  travelled   to   Greensboro,      North    Carolina,     to
                  participate in the town’s 11th Annual July 4th
                  Invitational Tournament. During the trip, Great
                  Britain also competed in a series of exhibition games.
                  The Great Britain team were very young, containing
                  half of the players who would battle later that
                  summer at the European Junior Championship in
                  Vienna, Austria. But the competition was levelled by
                  the PONY squads being composed of players aged
                  16−18, which is the same age group as juniors in
                  Europe. Overall, Great Britain finished with a 4−5
                  record, but that was a little misleading as the team
                  lost three games by 1 run. Winning pitchers for
                  Great Britain were GAVIN MARSHALL, MARTIN SAWYER,
                  DARRIN WARD, and NICK CARTER.
                  STATEN ISLAND, NY (W 4−1), JOHNSON CITY, TN (L 6−5)           As part of the British Baseball Federation’s 1995
                  EXHIBITION RESULTS: PLAINEDGE RED SOX, NY (L 10−9),           mission statement to “gain promotion to the A group
                  DOYLE ENTERPRISES, NC (L 5−4), UNITED EAGLES,                 at   the   1996 European       B    Championships,” the
                  NC (L 12−3), WINSTON-SALEM, NC (W 11−8)                       organization sent two Great Britain squads to
                                                                                                         the Humberside Mets’ May
Great Britain’s
     squad for
                                                                                                         tournament, which was held
      the 1995                                                                                           in Hull. The purpose of having
     Palomino                                                                                            two       teams     was     to    “give
                                                                                                         players the opportunity to
                                                                                                         stake       claims        for    squad
                                                                                                         selection” in 1996, according
                                                                                                         to    a    letter    sent       out   to
                                                                                                         the players in March. A team
                                                                                                         representing         Great       Britain
                                                                                                         also played a game against
                                                                                                         Menwith Hill on 10 June.
                                                                                                         RESULTS: UNKNOWN
                                           HISTORY OF THE GREAT BRITAIN BASEBALL TEAM

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                  EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP B-POOL IN GREAT BRITAIN                                                                        The cover of
                                                                                                                                       the programme
                  In what is arguably the country’s most dominant                                                                      for the 1996
                  performance at a European Championship event,                                                                        European
                  Great Britain set a record for games won at a finals                                                                 B-Pool event
                  (six), went undefeated, earned the country’s first
                  international title since 1988, and secured promotion
                  back into the A-Pool, and all of this was on home
                  soil, in Hull. The feat did not happen easily,
                     In pool play, Great Britain beat Croatia 3−1 in
                  11 innings thanks to the pitching of GAVIN MARSHALL
                  (10.0 innings) and DARRIN WARD (1.0 inning). In the
                  semi-finals, Great Britain fell behind by 4 runs in the
                  second inning to Lithuania, but stormed back to win
                  11−10 in 10 innings.
                     Hitting leaders included FRANK PARKER, JR (.429
                  batting average), JOSH CHETWYND (.412, one home
                  run, 8 runs), and ALAN BLOOMFIELD (.409, 11 runs,
                  eight runs batted in). From the mound, RAY BROWNLIE
                  (2−0) took home the trophy for the best win−loss
                  record. The team was managed by the American
                  Ralph Rago.
                  SLOVAKIA (W 11−6), AUSTRIA (13−3),                        Just before the European Championship B-Pool took
                  LITHUANIA (W 11−10), CZECH REPUBLIC (W 6−5)               place,   Great   Britain   competed   in   a   four-team

Great Britain’s                                                                                                                        Ray Brownlie
 squad in 1996                                                                                                                         receiving the
                                                                                                                                       trophy for the
                                                                                                                                       best win–loss
                                                                                                                                       record at the
                                                                                                                                       1996 European
                                                                                                                                       B-Pool event
                                                                                                                                       (awarded by
                                                                                                                                       Steve Herbert,
                                                                                                                                       British Baseball
tournament that was labelled the “World Friendship          League. The series included an 11−3 win over the Hull
Series” and took place at the Menwith Hill military base.   Warriors on 4 May and a 7−3 victory over the Hull Royals
   Along with Great Britain, the teams were: the hosts,     on 17 May.
Menwith Hill, who were the reigning British Baseball           In contrast, Great Britain lost all four games that
Federation champions; and two US team composed of           they played at the Flanders International Baseball
players aged 16−18 years, who had qualified for PONY’s      Tournament in Brasschaat, Belgium. Great Britain’s only
Palomino World Series, namely Doyle Enterprises and         close match at the event was a 6−4 loss in the final
Allied Postal Workers Union. Great Britain went 3−0,        game against Germany. According to a report by
beating each opponent once en route to winning the          manager Ralph Rago on the team’s performance in
tournament. Great Britain’s PETE ARTHUR was named the       1996: “The Senior Team had a very successful season.
event’s outstanding pitcher.                                They played 20 games, the most games that they have
RESULTS: MENWITH HILL (W), DOYLE ENTERPRISES (W),           ever played [going 16 and 4].”
                                                            NOTTINGHAM STEALERS (W 23−13), HULL WARRIORS (W 11−3),

Earlier in the summer, the national team swept a seven-     KANSAS (L 16−5), BELGIUM (L 10−0),
game series against domestic clubs from the Premier         BRASSCHAAT BRAVES (L 12−4), GERMANY (L 6−4)
                                                 HISTORY OF THE GREAT BRITAIN BASEBALL TEAM

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                   EUROPEAN                                                                                                                The Great
                                                                                                                                           Britain squad
                   CHAMPIONSHIP                                                                                                            in 1997
                   A-POOL IN FRANCE
                   In Great Britain’s first
                   appearance       at    the
                   European Championship
                   A-Pool since 1991, the
                   squad faltered in pool
                   play but picked up two
                   vital wins at the end of
                   the      tournament      to
                   maintain      their   spot
                   among the continent’s top countries.                       pool performance meant the British side had to win
                         The team lost four of its first five games by more   both of its “play out” games to avoid relegation, and
                   than 10 runs. In the other game, Great Britain went        the team did just that. They beat Germany − despite
                   down in a disappointing 7−5 loss to Ukraine. The 0−5       being down 3−0 after five innings − and Slovenia in
                                                                              close games to place ninth out of 12 teams.
The programme                                                                    GAVIN MARSHALL played a central role in the club’s
 cover from the                                                               two victories, earning a win against Germany and a
  1997 Flanders
   International                                                              save versus Slovenia. Offensively, highlights came
    Tournament                                                                from ANDY MALTBY (.385 batting average, 4 runs),
                                                                              JOEY YARNOLD (.375, seven runs batted in) and
                                                                              ALAN BLOOMFIELD (.364, one home run, four runs
                                                                              batted in).
                                                                              RESULTS: FRANCE (L 12−0), RUSSIA (L 17−5), SPAIN (L 19−4),
                                                                              UKRAINE (L 7−5), THE NETHERLANDS (L 28−2),
                                                                              GERMANY (W 5−3), SLOVENIA (W 9−7)

                                                                              FLANDERS INTERNATIONAL
                                                                              BASEBALL TOURNAMENT IN BELGIUM
                                                                              In May, a Great Britain squad returned to Belgium to
                                                                              play for a second time in the annual Flanders
                                                                              International Baseball Tournament. The squad, which
                                                                              faced national teams from Russia, Belgium, and the
                                                                              Czech Republic, ended last out of six teams, dropping
                                                                              all three games it played by at least 10 runs.
                                                                              RESULTS: RUSSIA (L 12−2),
                                                                              BELGIUM (L 12−2), CZECH REPUBLIC (L 26−8)
                                            HISTORY OF THE GREAT BRITAIN BASEBALL TEAM

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                  EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP A-POOL                                                                                      The cover of
                  (AND OLYMPIC QUALIFIER) IN ITALY                                                                                  the programme
                                                                                                                                    for the 1999
                  Although the team tied the Great Britain record at                                                                European
                  the time for wins in the A-Pool (three), the squad                                                                A-Pool event
                  placed ninth out of 12 teams for the second straight
                  European Championship. The outcome could have
                  been very different, though, as Great Britain lost
                  games in the bottom of the ninth inning to Sweden
                  and France. But the team did show the potential to
                  dominate with a 10−0 defeat of Croatia. This was the
                  first Great Britain win in the A-Pool in which the
                  mercy rule was invoked. Overall, scores were down in
                  what was the first European Championship in which
                  the    use   of   wooden      bats    was    mandatory.
                  Nevertheless, Great Britain newcomer GLEN BUCKLEY
                  put on a hitting show, batting .522. ALEX MALIHOUDIS
                  (.350 batting average, six runs batted in) and
                  BRADLEY MARCELINO (.333, six runs batted in) also
                  swung the bat well. GAVIN MARSHALL remained the ace
                  on the mound, going 2−0 with a 1.20 earned-run
                  average. He struck out 20 in 15.0 innings. Gary
                  Roberts was manager of the Great Britain squad.
                  RESULTS: ITALY (L 13−0), CROATIA (W 10−0),                Great Britain took part in two other competitions in
                  RUSSIA (L 11−5), SWEDEN (L 3−2), FRANCE (L 9−8),          1999, the London Tournament and the German
                  SLOVENIA (W 6−4), GERMANY (W 4−2)                         Baseball Open.

Great Britain’s                                                                     LONDON TOURNAMENT IN GREAT BRITAIN
 squad for the
 1999 German                                                                        A week before the European Championship,
Baseball Open                                                                       the squad picked for Italy went 5−0 to finish
                                                                                    in first place at the London Tournament, an
                                                                                    event hosted by the Croydon Pirates. The
                                                                                    side beat an under-21 Great Britain squad
                                                                                    7−4 in the championship game. In all, the
                                                                                    national team defeated the under-21 side
                                                                                    twice and also had wins against Zuidvogels
                                                                                    (a Dutch club from Huizen), Menwith Hill,
                                                                                    and the Irish national team.
                                                                                    RESULTS: ZUIDVOGELS (W),
                                                                                    MENWITH HILL (W), IRELAND (W),
                                                                                    GREAT BRITAIN UNDER-21S (W, W 7−4)
GERMAN BASEBALL OPEN IN GERMANY                         debut. The team placed last in the event; results are
Earlier in the summer, Great Britain also sent a team   unknown.
to the German Baseball Open. Increasingly, the          RESULTS: UNKNOWN
national team representing Great Britain at the
European Championship comprised British passport        EXHIBITION VERSUS “REST OF THE WORLD”
holders who lived outside of the UK. To make sure       IN GREAT   BRITAIN
that all top talent within the country was getting      Great Britain also played an exhibition game against
international experience, the selection committee       a squad labelled the “Rest of the World”, which
assembled a team consisting mainly of players who       included Janice DiMaggio (Joe DiMaggio’s niece) at
competed in domestic leagues. Twelve of the squad’s     catcher and former minor leaguer Pat Garrigan.
15 players were making their senior international       RESULTS: “REST OF THE WORLD” (W)
                              HISTORY OF THE GREAT BRITAIN BASEBALL TEAM

                                      LAST (1999)   2000           NEXT (2001)

1ST TRY-OUT SERIES IN USA                                 GEOFF FREEBORN, and BEN GODFREY. On the field,
This series was created to assess the talent of players   DELZER was the team’s Most Valuable Player for the
with Great Britain passports who live in the USA or       series. He pitched a hard-fought loss against Cypress
Canada. Games were played in Pasadena, Cypress,           College (a top California junior college) and collected
and Eagle Rock, California. The team included a few       the game-winning hit against the semi-professional
established internationals including ALEX MALIHOUDIS,     Pasadena Redbirds.
Britain junior players DW SEITZ and LIAM CARROLL also     (L), LOS ANGELES DRAGONS (L), PASADENA REDBIRDS (W 6−5)
                                                                                                                    Great Britain’s
      As the event was used more for                                                                                squad for the
evaluation       than   for    putting       up                                                                     2000 try-out
victories, the team’s 1−3 record was
considered respectable. Ultimately,
the     event      marked       the         first
international      appearance         for      a
number of players who would play
key      roles     at    the      European
Championship A-Pool the following
year.    They     included     EDDIE DELZER,
                                           HISTORY OF THE GREAT BRITAIN BASEBALL TEAM

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                  EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP A-POOL IN GERMANY                   enough as an untimely loss by Russia to Spain allowed
                  Bad luck and shaky defence conspired to send the          the Spaniards to advance to the quarter-finals
                  Great Britain squad to a 10th-place finish out of 12      despite having the same record as Great Britain. A
                  teams. The team did register one of Great Britain’s       Great Britain victory over Sweden did mean, though,
                  most noteworthy victories since 1967, beating Russia,     that the team made it to three wins in the A-Pool for
                  who went on to win the silver medal, by a score of        the fourth time. To add to DELZER’S win against
                  6−5. EDDIE DELZER pitched superbly for 8.2 innings to     Russia, SMITH and GEOFF FREEBORN also picked up wins
                  get the win and ALEX SMITH earned the save, coaxing       on the mound, while five players batted .300 or
                  the last Russian hitter of the game to fly out to right   better:   HENRY YAP (.458), JOSH CHETWYND         (.353),
                  field. Great Britain also beat Ukraine, coming from       BRADLEY MARCELINO (.346), GLEN BUCKLEY (.333), and
                  behind to win 5−4 on a walk-off base hit by SMITH,        MARTYN DUTTON (.300). MARCELINO also became the
                  scoring NICK CARTER. But those victories were not         first Great Britain player on record to be named to
                                                                                        the European Championship A-Pool All-
Great Britain’s                                                                         Tournament team.
 squad for the
2001 European                                                                           RESULTS: THE NETHERLANDS (L 27−0),
        A-Pool                                                                          RUSSIA (W 6−5), SPAIN (L 16−11),
                                                                                        UKRAINE (W 5−4), CZECH REPUBLIC (L 6−2),
                                                                                        SWEDEN (W 13−7), BELGIUM (L 4−3)

                                                                                        SERIES VERSUS PADERBORN
                                                                                        UNTOUCHABLES IN GERMANY
                                                                                        In   preparation     for    the     European
                                                                                        Championship      A-Pool,   Great     Britain
                                                                                        played    three    games     against     the
                                                                                        Paderborn Untouchables, a team that
                                                                                        won the top German league’s 2001
                                                                                        championship. Great Britain went 1−2 in
                                                                                        the games.
                                                                                        RESULTS: PADERBORN UNTOUCHABLES (L, W, L)
                                             HISTORY OF THE GREAT BRITAIN BASEBALL TEAM

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                   For the first time since 1980, Great Britain hosted        BASEBALL SERIES IN SWEDEN
                   friendly games against another country (at Waltham         In early July, Great Britain travelled to Sweden to
                   Abbey). With the team not competing in a major             play in the Stockholm International baseball series.
                   international tournament in 2002, this event did not       To increase the team’s chance of success, following
                   include most of Great Britain’s top personnel, who         Great Britain’s disappointing performance earlier in
                   lived abroad. The squad did feature 15 players with        the summer in England, the squad was augmented
                   some national team experience, but only three              with a few non-passport holders who played in Great
                   members had had 15 or more plate appearances at            Britain’s top domestic league − the Rawlings National
                   the European Championship A-Pool in 2001. To               League. But the additions did not help the final
                   compound the difficult situation, the Swedish side         outcome. Great Britain lost twice to a team called
                   was stronger than it had been the summer before,           the “US All-Stars”, who were made up of Americans
                   when Great Britain beat them at the European               playing in Sweden, and also dropped a pair of games
                   Championship. In short, Great Britain did not fare         to the host nation. Great Britain’s main highlight
                   well. The lone highlight was a solid 11−3 victory in       came    in   the   form   of   MATT GILBERT’S   pitching
                   game two. NICK CARTER earned the win in this game,         performance on the final day of the event. GILBERT
                   striking out eight in an impressive complete game,         went 7.0 innings against Sweden, pitching extremely
                   while   DAVID DONALDSON    excelled   with   a   4-for-4   well. He suffered the loss owing to defensive miscues
                   performance. Only two players hit over .300 in the         and a lack of offence.
                   series: JOSH CHETWYND (.462) and MARTYN DUTTON (.412).     RESULTS: US ALL-STARS (L 15−0, L 12−2),
                   RESULTS: SWEDEN (L 13−4, W 11−3, L 18−0, L 11−1, L 26−2)   SWEDEN (L 14−2, L 4−0)

 Great Britain’s
   squad at the
2002 Stockholm
                                          HISTORY OF THE GREAT BRITAIN BASEBALL TEAM

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                  EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP                                   SIMON EISSENS (0.90 earned-run average) and GARY TONGUE
                  A-POOL IN THE NETHERLANDS                               (1.20    earned-run     average)    provided     stand-out
                  For the third time in four European Championships,      performances.
                  Great Britain finished in ninth place. From the         RESULTS: RUSSIA (L 4−1), ITALY (L 7−5), SPAIN (L 9−2),
                  beginning, the team faced numerous obstacles, such      GREECE (L 10−1), GERMANY (W 5−3), BELGIUM (W 6−5),
                  as a late resignation of team General Manager           CROATIA (W 10−2)
                  Kevin Macadam and the loss just days before the
                  event began of four leading players (including          2ND TRY-OUT SERIES IN USA
                  EDDIE DELZER, the team’s top pitcher in 2001). The      In January, Great Britain travelled to the Los Angeles
                  squad that did take the field struggled defensively     area for a second time to assess North American-
                  and at the plate, averaging over three errors per       based British passport holders interested in playing
                  game and hitting .216. Nevertheless, there were         for Great Britain. The team contained a number of
                  some positive performances.                             new pitchers with impressive pedigrees, including
                     After losing their first four games, Great Britain   JOHN BEAVEN, who pitched the previous season for the
                  rallied to win the next three, making it the third-     Tampa Bay Rays’ Class A affiliate, the Hudson Valley
                  straight three-win European Championship A-Pool.        Renegades.
                  The pick of these wins came against Belgium, with          While the squad were missing a majority of their
                  Great Britain falling behind 5−0 but coming back to     top hitters, the pitchers stood out against top
                  take the game 6−5. That victory guaranteed Great        California junior colleges Cypress College and El
                  Britain a spot in Europe’s elite pool for a fifth       Camino      College.      In    particular,      newcomer
                  consecutive time in 2005. The team’s top hitters        GARY TONGUE, a recent graduate of the University of
                  were   IAN YOUNG   (.438   batting   average)    and    British Columbia, pitched well, giving up no earned
                  DARREN HEATH (.333). YOUNG also led the tournament      runs while throwing a complete game against El
                  in slugging percentage (.632). On the mound,            Camino in game three of the event. A lack of offence
                                                                                                          − the team amassed
Great Britain’s                                                                                           only six hits in the final
  squad at the
2003 European                                                                                             three games − led to
                                                                                                          Great      Britain’s     poor
                                                                                                          overall record in the
                                                                                                          CYPRESS COLLEGE (T 6−6;
                                                                                                          CALLED OWING TO DARKNESS),

                                                                                                          EL CAMINO COLLEGE
                                                                                                          (L 7−2, L 3−1, L 7−0)
                               HISTORY OF THE GREAT BRITAIN BASEBALL TEAM

                                          LAST (2003)   2004       NEXT (2005)

Following      the      2003        European                                                                      Great Britain in
                                                                                                                  a huddle at the
Championship         A-Pool,   the      British                                                                   2004 German
Baseball    Federation         decided       to                                                                   Baseball Open
                                                                                                                  (photo by
reshuffle      the     national         team’s                                                                    Walter Keller)
management. Alan Smith, a former
Great Britain international, took the
position of General Manager and
Stephan Rapaglia was named the
team’s new Head Coach. Rapaglia
was a former professional pitcher in
the Houston Astros’ minor league
organization     as    well    as    in    The
Netherlands and Germany. He also
had coached in the US, both for the
Johnstown        Johnnies         (of       the
independent      professional        Frontier
League) and for Iona College (a                           professionals playing in the Bundesliga, Germany’s
Division I college side).                                 top league. Great Britain finished fourth out of six
                                                          teams in the tournament, rallying for wins in their
GERMAN BASEBALL OPEN IN GERMANY                           final two games after starting 0−3. Two players,
With the European Championship a year away, Great         SIMON POLE (.364) and CHETWYND (.357), finished the
Britain opted to play in the German Baseball Open in      tournament with a batting average above .300.
Regensburg, one of Europe’s top tournaments, on           NICK CARTER stood out on the mound, throwing a
20−24 July. As had been the case in several previous      complete-game three-hitter against the US Athletes.
non-European Championship years, the Great Britain        RESULTS: JOHNS HOPKINS (L 15−0),
squad was light on players with extensive experience      BUNDESLIGA ALL-STARS (L 13−3), GERMANY (L 10−3),
in international competition. The team included only      US ATHLETES (W 3−1), AUSTRIA (W 4−2)
five players who had represented Great Britain in at
least one previous European Championship event,           SERIES VERSUS BRITISH NATIONAL
SIMON EISSENS, and RYAN STEWART. However, there was       Before the German Baseball Open, Great Britain
a notable addition to the squad: AEDEN MCQUEARY-          performed well in a series of exhibition games
ENNIS, a junior college player from Florida, made a       against three teams in Britain’s National League: the
strong debut both pitching and playing catcher.           Richmond Flames, the London Warriors, and the
Teams in the tournament were top Division III college     Bracknell Blazers. While each of the teams added top
squad Johns Hopkins, a US select team of Division III     players not usually on their rosters for the series,
and junior college players called the “US Athletes”,      Great Britain swept the games.
the national teams from Germany and Austria, and an       RESULTS: RICHMOND FLAMES (W),
All-Star team of US, Australian, and Canadian             LONDON WARRIORS (W), BRACKNELL BLAZERS (W)
                                         HISTORY OF THE GREAT BRITAIN BASEBALL TEAM

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                  There was a huge blow for the Great Britain              game would have given Great Britain an opportunity
                  programme on 8 July, with the decision to remove         to play for a qualifying spot in the 2007 World
                  baseball from the 2012 Olympics, which had been          Championship.      Instead,     Germany,           who   had     an
                  awarded to London just 2 days earlier. Even if the       identical 2−3 pool play record to Great Britain, got
                  Olympics had not been awarded to London, the             that chance based on the head-to-head performance
                  decision would have had a negative effect on funding     with Great Britain and earned the coveted position at
                  for baseball in the country, but removing baseball       the   world     event.    Still,     the      tournament       was
                  from a British-hosted Games caused additional            highlighted by a number of exceptional individual
                  disappointment, since Great Britain would have           performances. IAN YOUNG, who registered a .500
                  probably been awarded an automatic spot in the           batting average, was named the tournament’s best
                  prestigious event. There was some more-immediate         hitter.   Other    top    hitters      in    the    event      were
                  positive news for the team in July, though, with a       BRAD MARCELINO      (.333,      five        runs    batted      in),
                  solid performance at the European Championship.          DAVID DONALDSON       (.333),        SAM WHITEHEAD          (.333),
                                                                           STEPHEN BROWN (.313), and ADAM ROBERTS (.286, 7
                  EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP                                    runs, hit by pitch five times). On the mound,
                  A-POOL IN CZECH REPUBLIC                                 ALEX SMITH went 2−0 with a 1.26 earned-run average;
                  In somewhat of a breakthrough showing, Great             DREW BIGNALL (1−1, 2.25 earned-run average) also
                  Britain won four games for the first time in a           impressed, beating Croatia and pitching extremely
                  European Championship A-Pool and finished seventh        well in a hard-fought loss to The Netherlands in the
                  out of 12 teams, the team’s best showing since 1967.     tournament’s opener. Other pitching stand-outs
                  The performance placed Great Britain ahead of five       included GEOFF FREEBORN, who tossed 5.2 scoreless
                  other countries, the most in this event at the time.     innings in a victory against Russia, and MIKE RENERY,
                  While the squad struggled to hit consistently, the       who struck out 10 batters and yielded just 1 earned
                  team was able to combine excellent pitching with         run over 6.2 innings in a loss to Ukraine. In relief,
                  steady   defence.   When   Great   Britain   won,   it   AEDEN MCQUEARY-ENNIS          (4.1      scoreless        innings),
                  dominated, averaging a margin of victory in each of      SIMON EISSENS     (2.25   earned-run          average     in    7.2
                  its triumphs of over 8 runs. But, as had happened in     innings), and SAM WHITEHEAD (2.0 scoreless innings)
                  previous European Championships, a tough loss            also made important contributions.
                  prevented greater success. Against Germany, Great        RESULTS: THE NETHERLANDS (L 4−0), SWEDEN (W 8−2),
                  Britain had the bases loaded in the ninth inning but     ITALY (L 12−0), GERMANY (L 4−3), RUSSIA (W 10−1),
                  were unable to score, losing 4−3. A victory in that      UKRAINE (L 3−2), CROATIA (W 13−3), GREECE (W 9−1)

Great Britain’s
   2005 squad
PRAGUE BASEBALL WEEK IN CZECH REPUBLIC                   facility in Winter Haven, Florida. (The Indians kindly
The week before the European Championship, Great         provided uniforms, equipment, and the use of the
Britain played in Prague Baseball Week. The Great        facilities for free.) Another difference between this
Britain squad included not only players set to           series and    the   previous    ones was      the   larger
represent Great Britain the following week but also      contingent of British-based players representing
another half-dozen members of the Great Britain          Great Britain. In total, 23 players attended including
programme being given an opportunity to gain some        eight with European Championship experience. Head
international experience. The team finished 1−3,         Coach Stephan Rapaglia also brought in two new
placing ninth out of 10 teams. Great Britain’s three     coaches, one of whom was pitching coach Lance
losses to the Czech Republic, US Athletes (a select      Painter, who pitched in the Major League for
team of US college and junior college players), and      10 seasons with the Colorado Rockies, St Louis
Uniforms Express (an All-Star team of foreign            Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, and Toronto Blue
professionals playing in the top Czech, German, and      Jays. In the series, Great Britain played one game
Swedish leagues) were by a combined four runs.           against Florida College, a local junior college squad,
Great Britain’s main highlight came in the form of a     and another against Bryant University, a Rhode Island
dramatic come-from-behind victory against Sweden.        Division II college, who had posted a 40−17 record
Great Britain scored four runs in the top of the ninth   the previous season.
inning to prevail 5−3. The vital hit was a three-run        In game one, Great Britain put out a less-
homer by Great Britain newcomer RAEF HOBBS-BROWN.        experienced squad and lost 17−5. Great Britain
Top hitters were IAN YOUNG (.600 batting average),       managed only three hits in that contest. In the
JOSH CHETWYND (.429), and HOBBS-BROWN (.375).            second game, though, a more seasoned Great Britain
RESULTS: CZECH REPUBLIC (L 1−0), SWEDEN (W 5−3),         line-up   earned    a   4−2    victory.   GEOFF FREEBORN,
                                                         to give up no earned runs against Bryant. At the
3RD TRY-OUT SERIES IN USA                                plate, DARREN HEATH stood out collecting three hits
In mid-February, Great Britain held its third try-out    including a triple. Other multi-hit performances came
series to look at North American talent. Unlike the      from ADAM ROBERTS and newcomer JAMES RUTHERFORD.
previous two California-based series, this event took    RESULTS: FLORIDA COLLEGE (L 17−5),
place at the Cleveland Indians’ Spring Training          BRYANT UNIVERSITY (W 4−2)

                                    LAST (2005)       2006               NEXT (2007)

In what was a non-European                                                                                             Great Britain’s
Championship     year,      Great                                                                                      squad for the
                                                                                                                       friendly series
Britain played two events that                                                                                         against Ireland
                                                                                                                       in 2006
featured    a    number        of
promising new faces along
with a handful of veterans.

From 28 June to 4 July, Great
Britain travelled to Germany
to play a demanding series of
seven games in 7 days against
squads from Germany’s top
league − the Bundesliga. Nine players with European          the Hawks 15−2. WADDELL threw a complete-game
Championship experience competed for Great Britain           three-hitter, while HOBBS-BROWN blasted a home run
− including mainstays IAN YOUNG, NICK CARTER, and            and FALLS chipped in three hits and drove in 3 runs in
ALEX MALIHOUDIS − and a number of new players had            the contest.
impressive pedigrees. Most notably, MITCH EVANS, a              The team then moved on to Mainz to battle the
former New York Yankees minor leaguer, joined the            Athletics. Before a crowd of 400, a Great Britain
squad. Also making their Great Britain debut were            squad led by younger members fell behind 9−2. After
CHRIS FALLS (a former Division I college player at           a number of substitutions, the team rallied, only to
Mississippi Valley State), MICHAEL HUNT (who played          fall short 9−5. WHITEHEAD had three hits and FALLS
college baseball at Peru State), and KYLE WADDELL,           delivered two doubles.
son of former Major League pitcher Tom Waddell.                 The series concluded with two games in Cologne,
   In the opening two games, Great Britain took on           one against the Cologne Cardinals and the other
Regensburg Legionäre, who boasted a 26−2 record in           against a Bundesliga All-Star team. Great Britain beat
the Bundesliga. Although Regensburg prevailed in             Cologne behind the hitting of ED JEFFERY, BEN GOGAN,
both match-ups, the British team were able to                HUNT, and LIEBENBERG (who hit a home run). With a
generate considerable offence, scoring 14 runs in the        3−3 record, the final game against the Bundesliga All-
two games. EVANS and SAM WHITEHEAD both had four             Star team would determine if the squad finished
hits in the two contests.                                    above .500. Unfortunately, Great Britain lost a tight
   Great Britain’s next stop was Tübingen. Although          match, falling 5−4 in 10 innings. FALLS had two hits in
Great Britain put out a line-up featuring a number of        the loss.
less-experienced players in the first of two games,             Overall, the top hitters were EVANS (.500 batting
the team performed well, scoring two runs in the             average), FALLS (.462), HOBBS-BROWN (.421), and
final inning for a 5−4 victory. RAEF HOBBS-BROWN had         WHITEHEAD (.412).
three   hits,   which    included      a   triple,   while   RESULTS: REGENSBURG LEGIONÄRE (L 10−8, L 11−6),
pitchers RICHARD CHESTERTON, MICHAEL JOHNSON, and            TÜBINGEN HAWKS (W 5−4, W 15−2),
RODDI LIEBENBERG combined for a strong performance           MAINZ ATHLETICS (L 9−7), COLOGNE CARDINALS (W 12−7),
on the mound. In game two, Great Britain blew away           BUNDESLIGA ALL-STARS (L 5−4)
FRIENDLY SERIES VERSUS IRELAND IN GREAT BRITAIN             starters in the field had very limited or no previous
On 28 and 29 July, Great Britain played Ireland at          national team playing time. The lack of experience
Finsbury Park, London, in what was only the second          was evident as six British errors led to a lopsided
set of friendlies on home soil against another national     victory for the Irish. There was a highlight for the
team since 1980. Ireland were using the event to            British, though: MICHAEL JOHNSON slammed a 3-run
prepare for the European Championship Qualifying            home run.
Pool in Belgium the following week. (They would go             The next day, Great Britain put forward a more
on to win the silver medal at that tournament.) The         experienced    line-up   in     a   double-header   that
Irish team featured a number of Irish-American              attracted a crowd of several hundred. In the day’s
players   with    dual-nationality,   including   pitcher   first game, Great Britain fell behind 3−2 through four
Brendan Bergerson, who was coming off a junior year         innings but scored 4 runs in the fifth to secure the
at Division I West Virginia University in which he          win. On the hill, GILLESPIE earned the victory, striking
posted a 3−0 record. An oddity at the event was that        out six in 5.1 innings, and CAIN pitched 1.2 innings to
Ireland used metal bats exclusively (as the Qualifying      register the save. CAIN and JOSH CHETWYND both had
Pool allowed for them), while Great Britain mainly          two hits in the game.
used wood bats.                                                In the rubber match-up, Great Britain almost
   Unlike the Germany tour, which featured a                pulled off an epic comeback. Down 6−2 in the final
number of foreign-based Great Britain players, the          inning, Great Britain scored 3 runs with two outs but
British squad in this event had an exclusively              could not push across the tying run. CAIN, who hit a
domestic-based roster. That said, two non-passport          home run earlier in the game, drove in 2 runs in the
holders − CODY CAIN and TOM GILLESPIE − played key          final frame, and CHETWYND, who had two hits, had the
roles for Great Britain. In game one, the Great             inning’s other run batted in.
Britain line-up emphasized youth. Eight of the nine         RESULTS: IRELAND (L 14−6, W 6−5, L 6−5)
                                                HISTORY OF THE GREAT BRITAIN BASEBALL TEAM

                                                    LAST (2006)         2007            NEXT (2008)
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                     In 2007, Great Britain marked the 40th anniversary of    playing in the San Diego Padres’ organization),
                     their last medal-winning performance at a European       provided an impressive offensive show. The trio went
                     Championship A-Pool in impressive style. The team        a combined 10-for-14 with 8 runs, seven runs batted
                     not only took home the silver medal at the European      in, and two home runs (NICKEAS and UST connected for
                     Championship − qualifying the country for a final        back-to-back homers in the seventh inning), on the
                     Olympic decider in 2008 and for the 2009 World Cup       way to a 12−8 victory over the host nation that would
                     − but also won the Eifel Cup, which is Germany’s         set the tone for the tournament. The squad followed-
                     longest-running tournament, and finished second at       up the win with a 10−7 victory against Russia (after
                     the German Baseball Open in a competitive field.         almost squandering a 7−0 advantage). Despite a 6−0
                                                                              loss to Italy in the next game, a surprise victory by
                     EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP A-POOL IN SPAIN                    France over the Italians left Great Britain in a strong
                     The crowning achievement for Great Britain was           position, as long as they could beat the French.
                     capturing   the   silver   medal   at   the   European      Great Britain struck early in the pivotal group
                     Championship A-Pool in Spain, which ran from 5 to 16     match against France, scoring 3 runs in the first
                     September. The team was bolstered by an influx of        inning. But British bats went silent for the next six
                     top-notch talent. Most notable among the new             innings and the French scraped 3 runs to level the
                     players were BRANT UST and MIKE NICKEAS, who had         score against the solid pitching of Great Britain
                     previously represented USA and were high-level           veteran   ALEX SMITH.   Ultimately,   the   game   was
                     minor leaguers. They would both be difference            decided by the bat of ALEX MALIHOUDIS, Great Britain’s
                     makers. The opening game pitted Great Britain            most experienced player, who scampered out an
                     against the tournament hosts Spain. UST and NICKEAS,     infield single in the eighth to plate the decisive run.
                     along with AEDEN MCQUEARY-ENNIS (who had previously      With a win against Ukraine in the following game,
                     competed for Great Britain in 2005 and was now           Great Britain emerged from their group as the top
  Mike Nickeas in                                                                        The team continued to win in white-
action during the
  2007 European                                                                      knuckle fashion in the second round. Great
    A-Pool (photo
                                                                                     Britain fell behind 7−3 against Sweden after
    by Ezio Ratti)                                                                   four innings but battled to emerge 10−7
                                                                                     winners. IAN YOUNG was the hero for Great
                                                                                     Britain, going 4-for-6 with three runs batted
                                                                                     in. NICKEAS also drove in 3 runs against the
                                                                                     Swedes. Even though the team then fell to
                                                                                     Germany, the mix of victories and losses
                                                                                     elsewhere in the final round left Great Britain
                                                                                     in a position to finish no lower than second,
                                                                                     thus setting up a true final against an
                                                                                     undefeated Dutch team on the event’s last
                                                                                     day. If Great Britain had won that game, they
                                                                                     would have captured their first European
                                                                                     crown and automatically qualified for the 2008
Olympics in China. In the end, the Dutch won the           The two wins against Johns Hopkins were a vast
match 6−1 and the British had to settle for their          improvement over the embarrassing 15−0 loss to the
second silver medal in the country’s history and a         university at the German Baseball Open just 2 years
new record number of wins (five) by a Great Britain        earlier. It is worth nothing that Johns Hopkins opted
team at the European Championship A-Pool. The team’s       to throw a different pitcher in each of the double-
success also yielded individual awards: UST became         header’s 14 innings.
the first British player to be named Most Valuable         RESULTS: JOHNS HOPKINS (W 6−3, W 2−1),
Player in the tournament; NICKEAS (catcher) and            BRITISH NATIONAL LEAGUE ALL-STARS (W 13−7).
YOUNG (first base) were named on the All-Tournament
team; and reliever STEPHEN SPRAGG received the             EIFEL CUP IN GERMANY
award for best pitcher (win−loss record).                  In late spring, Great Britain competed in the Eifel
RESULTS: SPAIN (W 12−8), RUSSIA (W 10−7), ITALY (L 6−0),   Cup, which took place on 26−28 May and is
FRANCE (W 4−3), UKRAINE (W 9−0), SWEDEN (W 10−7),          Germany’s oldest tournament (established in 1984).
GERMANY (L 7−5), THE NETHERLANDS (L 6−1)                   The Zülpich-based event does not attract elite
                                                           competition, and Great Britain did not send its most
GERMAN BASEBALL OPEN IN GERMANY                            experienced team as only eight members of the
Just a week before the European Championship               squad at the cup would go on to represent Great
(27 August to 2 September), Great Britain’s prospects      Britain at the European Championship. The British
did not look particularly promising. As a warm-up for      national team stormed through the competition,
the tournament, Great Britain entered the German           going 5−0 and winning the cup. Highlights included a
Baseball Open      in   Regensburg.    The tournament      five-inning perfect game (combining 4.0 innings’
featured a strong line-up of squads: the German            work    from    CODY CAIN’S    and     an   inning    from
national team; the Paderborn Untouchables, a top-          MATT MAITLAND) against the Yorkshire Knights, a
level German club; and the University of Wisconsin −       British select squad based in the north of England,
Whitewater, a consistently successful Division III         and a 9−2 win in the final against the Therwil Flyers
college. Great Britain were out-scored 23−3 in the         from Switzerland. The trophy was Great Britain’s first
preliminary round, but the tournament’s format             of any kind since the 1999 London Tournament and
favoured the British side: all teams advanced to the       it is believed to be the first ever won outside
final round, and Great Britain faced Wisconsin, the        of Britain.
top seed, for a shot at the championship game.             RESULTS: ZOETERMEER REUNIONS (W 8−4),
Despite having lost to the Americans 12−1 earlier in       YORKSHIRE KNIGHTS (W 22−0), VOLLMARSTEIN HEROES (W 16−0),
the event, Great Britain won this game 6−4. The            ZÜLPICH EAGLES (W 6−1), THERWIL FLYERS (W 9−2)
British side ending up losing in the championship
game, but the second-place finish was a great result       4TH TRY-OUT SERIES IN USA
considering the team’s 1−4 record.                         Great Britain’s other event was a continuation of a
RESULTS: GERMANY (L 3−0, L 14−9),                          tradition which began in 2000: holding a try-out
PADERBORN UNTOUCHABLES (L 8−2),                            event in USA. This time, the venue was Ridgefield,
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN − WHITEWATER (L 12−1, W 6−4)       New York, which was near the home of Head Coach
                                                           Stephan Rapaglia. As was the case in the past, the
GB SERIES IN GREAT BRITAIN                                 try-outs included a combination of established British
Earlier in the summer, on 6−7 July at Finsbury Park,       players − such as ALEX SMITH, BRADLEY MARCELINO,
London,    Great    Britain   hosted    Johns    Hopkins   JAMES RUTHERFORD, and AEDEN MCQUEARY-ENNIS − and
University, a traditionally strong Division III college,   newcomers.     Two     first-timers,   BRIAN ESSERY   and
for two games and then played a single match against       PAUL WATERMAN, made the European Championship
a British National League All-Stars team. Only four        roster. The national team played one competitive
players who made the silver-medal winning squad            game in New York (on 16 June), crushing the Pelham
represented Great Britain in this series. Nevertheless,    Mets, a top local amateur team who boasted a 16−4
assisted by non-passport holders CODY CAIN and             record coming into the match.
TOM GILLESPIE on the mound, Great Britain went 3−0.        RESULT: PELHAM METS (W 19−1)
                                             HISTORY OF THE GREAT BRITAIN BASEBALL TEAM

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                     Even before Great Britain took the field,
                                                                                                                                              Great Britain’s
                     2008 was marred by disappointment. With                                                                                  squad for the
                                                                                                                                              Four Nations
                     the national team’s stellar performance at                                                                               Tournament
                                                                                                                                              in 2008
                     the European Championship A-Pool the
                     previous September, Great Britain qualified
                     to play in the Final Olympic Qualification
                     Tournament in Chinese Taipei. The event
                     would have seen Britain compete against
                     non-European national teams for the first
                     time in 70 years. Those teams included
                     South Korea, Chinese Taipei, Canada, and
                     Australia. The national team programme
                     management had some concerns because it
                     was clear that Great Britain were not going to be        players were in Spring Training. Nevertheless, plans
                     able to field as strong a team as they did at the 2007   to attend were readied only to be cancelled for
                     European Championship. The reason for this was that      financial reasons. Team organizers could not raise
                     the event was set for March, when professional           the £40 000 they estimated was needed to properly
Publicity material                                                               Following that disappointment, Great Britain
      for the 2008
     Four Nations                                                             moved on to other events.

                                                                              TOURNOI INTERNATIONAL DES QUATRE NATIONS
                                                                              (FOUR NATIONS TOURNAMENT) IN BELGIUM
                                                                              In early May, a Great Britain squad travelled to
                                                                              Wanze in Belgium to play in the Four Nations
                                                                              Tournament. Their opponents were the Belgian
                                                                              national team, a representative provincial squad
                                                                              from Quebec, Canada, and an All-Star team of
                                                                              foreigners playing in Belgium’s domestic league
                                                                              (named the “Belgian International All-Stars”). The
                                                                              British squad had a decent contingent of players who
                                                                              won     the   silver   medal   in   the   2007     European
                                                                              Championship A-Pool considering that there were no
                                                                              major tournaments in 2008 (a factor that usually
                                                                              affects the availability of overseas-based players).
                                                                              Eight members of the 2007 European Championship
                                                                              squad    were     involved:    BRIAN ESSERY,     CHRIS FALLS,
                                                                              RODDI LIEBENBERG,      ALEX MALIHOUDIS,        CRAIG PYCOCK,
                                                                              BRANT UST, SAM WHITEHEAD, and IAN YOUNG. In addition,
                                                                              two junior players − MICHAEL TRASK and RICHARD KLIJN −
made their debuts. Great Britain finished second in       of between 800 and 1 000 (the biggest assembled for
the tournament.                                           a baseball game on home soil for many years)
      The British side beat the Quebec squad in a close      An additional draw for the game, particularly
match-up and dominated the Belgian league All-Star        from the perspective of British baseball fans, was the
team. However, the Belgian national squad, who            strong side fielded by Great Britain. Four overseas-
were preparing for the European Championship              based players − CHRIS FALLS, CRAIG PYCOCK, BRANT UST,
Qualifying Pool, got the better of Great Britain,         and SAM WHITEHEAD − donned the Great Britain shirt
shutting out the British in both the preliminary round    on home soil for the first time. The only new players
5−0 and the final 4−0. In front of an estimated crowd     in the Great Britain squad were DAVE MERCADO, who
of 750, Terrence Antonacci struck out 11 British          had impressed at a Great Britain try-out in Hemel
hitters in the final. UST, who accounted for three of     Hempstead on 19 July, and JASON HOLOWATY, a non-
Great Britain’s five hits in that game, led the team      passport holder.
offensively in the tournament with a .697 batting            With the strong line-up, Great Britain eased to a
average, two doubles, and a homer. Unfortunately,         21−1 victory, despite loaning the cricketers the non-
no other British player with more than eight plate        passport holders TOM GILLESPIE and CODY CAIN to pitch
appearances hit over .250 at the event. On the            and catch, respectively (GILLESPIE pitched 3.0 innings
mound, WHITEHEAD put up the top performance,              in the rain-shortened eight-inning game while CAIN
throwing 5.0 scoreless innings and striking out eight     caught all eight innings).
to earn the win against the Belgian International            IAN YOUNG’S grand slam was the highlight of the
All-Stars.                                                day for Great Britain. Other notable offensive
RESULTS: QUEBEC (W 4−3), BELGIUM (L 5−0, L 4−0),          performances came from UST (4-for-6, one triple),
BELGIAN INTERNATIONAL ALL-STARS (W 12−1)                  FALLS (4-for-7, one double), and HOLOWATY (3-for-5).
                                                          PYCOCK was awarded the win after retiring six straight
EXHIBITION GAME VERSUS                                    batters in 2.0 innings.
THE BANGERS IN GREAT BRITAIN                              RESULT: THE BANGERS (W 21−1)
On 4 October, Great Britain played a
match against a team of professional                                                                               Teams standing
                                                                                                                   for the national
cricketers called “The Bangers”. The                                                                               anthem before
game was part of the benefit year of                                                                               the 2008 game
                                                                                                                   against the
the     international     cricketer   Marcus                                                                       Bangers

Trescothick (whose nickname “Banger”
was attached to the team) and was
played     at   the     County   Ground   in
Taunton, the home of Trescothick’s
Somerset County Cricket Club. Several
other international cricketers were on
show, which attracted many spectators
who might not have otherwise come to
see a baseball game in Taunton.
Newcomers to the game were well
represented among an estimated crowd

                               LAST (2008)       2009             NEXT (2010)

WORLD CUP IN EUROPE                                                                                                 Scoreboard
While Great Britain are acknowledged as the winners                                                                 showing the
                                                                                                                    linescore from
of the 1938 World Championship (subsequently                                                                        Great Britain’s
                                                                                                                    game against
relabelled the World Cup), the country had not                                                                      Japan (photo
                                                                                                                    by Tim Stride)
participated in a competition of this stature since
then, before they took the field against Japan on
10 September 2009 to start their campaign in the
22-team tournament. Great Britain had earned the
right to compete in an Olympic qualifier in 2008 but
could not secure the necessary money to compete.
Funding was again a major issue leading up to the
2009 World Cup, and in some ways just being able to
compete in the tournament was a massive victory for
Alan Smith (General Manager), Stephan Rapaglia
(Head Coach), and the rest of the programme.
   Great Britain played their first-round games in the   into play as a tie-breaker between third-placed
four-team Group D hosted by Croatia (after a late        teams to determine qualification, the shut-out
switch of the group’s location and host nation from      (which limited Nicaragua’s maximum run total) was
Russia). Following a victory and two defeats, Great      not as negative as it normally might be.
Britain had to rely on Venezuela scoring enough runs        Great Britain needed to complete their first-
against Germany in Group E in order to advance to        round group with a win over Croatia, and one in
the next round as one of the better third-placed         which they limited the hosts to as few runs as
teams. Events, for once, worked out in Great             possible. Thankfully, BRIAN ESSERY (who started and
Britain’s favour, and despite the team registering an    earned the win) and TOM BOLESKA (who supplied 4.0
0-and-7 record in their second-round group in The        innings of excellent relief) limited Croatia to a single
Netherlands, the tournament was rightly viewed as a      run, while Great Britain’s offence scored 4 runs,
major success for the Great Britain programme. The       including a 2-run homer by catcher CHRIS BERSET.
15th-place finish was sufficient for a jump from 25th    Great Britain’s 1-and-2 record and 20 runs conceded
to 21st in October’s International Baseball Federation   would see them finish as either the fourth- or fifth-
world rankings.                                          best finisher among the first round’s five groups. The
   Japan were Great Britain’s first opponents, and       former scenario would give Great Britain a berth in
they fielded a team of industrial league players. A 5-   the second round, while the latter would equate to
run rally in the bottom of the ninth, fuelled by a 3-    an early flight home.
run homer off the bat of SAM WILEY, pulled Great            Great Britain’s fate would be determined by the
Britain within 2 runs, but that was how the game         result of the game between Germany and Venezuela
ended: a highly respectable 9−7 loss in which they       in Group E. They needed Venezuela to score at least
used six pitchers. Nicaragua were up next, and they      11 runs. Had Germany not scored the run they did,
were overpowering in winning 10−0 on the mercy           then the game may well have ended 10−0 on the
rule. Great Britain had conceded 19 runs in two          mercy rule and knocked Great Britain out, but the
games, and with runs conceded potentially coming         eventual 12−1 scoreline ended Germany’s campaign.
     The second round pitted Great Britain against                 WORLD CUP WARM-UP SERIES
Nicaragua and six new teams in a group hosted by                   VERSUS   GERMANY IN GERMANY
The       Netherlands.     Great   Britain   lost    all   seven   While Great Britain fell in all three games, including
contests, but only once was the margin of victory                  a disappointing defeat after holding a 5-run lead in
over 6 runs, and they fell by the narrowest of margins             game three, this invaluable opportunity for practice
in    their   game       against   Puerto    Rico.   Individual    during the week before the World Cup was converted
highlights from the games, listed chronologically, are             into a performance at the main event that ultimately
provided below.                                                    saw the team advance at Germany’s expense.
           Cuba: a hit each by BERSET and JASON HOLOWATY          RESULTS: GERMANY (L 5−1, L 12−1, L 7−5)
            prevented Freddy Alvarez from registering a
            no-hitter in Cuba’s 6−0 win.                           WORLD CUP EVALUATION GAMES IN BELGIUM
           South Korea: WILEY’S 2-run double tied the             On the last weekend of May, a group of candidates for
            game at 5−5 in the seventh inning, before              Great Britain's roster for the World Cup gathered at
            South Korea eased away to a 15−5 victory.              the Royal Greys’ baseball field in Antwerp for a series
           Nicaragua: this rematch ended with a more              of three evaluation games.
            respectable 4−1 scoreline, thanks to a strong             The first game, against the Belgian Junior national
            7.0-inning effort from ESSERY.                         team, ended with a comfortable victory for Great
           Puerto Rico: WILEY went 3-for-4 and BERSET and         Britain, with some younger, British-based players
            EVAN ROMANCHUK each went 2-for-4, while                shining. RYAN TRASK had two hits and a run batted in,
            ALEX SMITH provided a complete-game effort,            GARY DAVISON   connected     for   a   long   two-bagger,
            but a throwing error he committed ultimately           BRENDAN CUNLIFFE pitched 5.0 solid innings for the win,
            led to the opposition edging the game 5−4.             and MATT MAITLAND threw a perfect inning in relief.
           The Netherlands: Great Britain compiled eight             The second and third games were a double-header
            hits, including three from BERSET, a triple for        of seven-inning games against the Belgium Seniors.
            SAM WHITEHEAD, and a single from TIM COLLINS           Great Britain took the first 4−2 but dropped the second
            that came after he fouled off nine pitches.            5−4. In the 4−2 victory, Great Britain built on solid
           Spain: BOLESKA − working to a pitch limit set by       pitching from AEDEN MCQUEARY-ENNIS and SAM WHITEHEAD
            his single-A minor league team − gave Great            with a string of hits, including, JORGE PINTO MACHADO'S
            Britain 5.0 innings, leaving with the contest          first hit against an international opponent, two for
            poised at 2−1 in Spain’s favour; the game was          CRAIG PYCOCK, and a single by DAVISON to break open a
            tied up at 3−3 in the seventh inning before            2−2 tie and hand WHITEHEAD the win. In the third game,
            Spain eased away to a 10−3 win.                        MCQUEARY-ENNIS’S home run and JASON HOLOWATY’S three
           Venezuela: Great Britain amassed eight hits,           hits highlighted another strong offensive performance,
            with 2-for-3 performances by BERSET and                but the visitors were unable to convert this into a win,
            COLLINS, but fell 6−1, despite SMITH’S 1-run spell     despite solid pitching from PAUL WATERMAN and MAITLAND.
            of long middle relief.                                 RESULTS: BELGIUM JUNIORS (W 9−2), BELGIUM (W 4−2, L 5−4)
Great Britain were 15th in the
final standings.                                                                                                               Great Britain’s
                                                                                                                               dugout during
RESULTS: JAPAN (L 9−7),                                                                                                        an evaluation
                                                                                                                               game in Belgium
CROATIA (W 4−1),
CUBA (L 6−0),
SPAIN (L 10−3),

                                LAST (2009)         2010            NEXT (2011)

Great Britain’s prospects of consolidating their                                                                      Artwork for the
                                                                                                                      2010 European
silver-medal performance in the 2007 European
                                                                                                                      Championship A-
Championship A-Pool hit a hurdle with the resignation                                                                 Pool, in Germany

of Stephan Rapaglia (Head Coach) and Alan Smith
(General Manager) at the end of February, with less
than 5 months left in the preparations for European
baseball’s main event of the year. On the horizon
was a potential place in the 2013 World Baseball
Classic, with a strong showing in the European
Championship set to give Great Britain an improved
chance of making the cut in the expanded field of
this financially lucrative global tournament. In a joint
letter to the British baseball community concerning
their resignations, issued in the build-up to the
British Baseball Federation’s Annual General Meeting,      which they had continuously competed since their B-
Rapaglia and Smith urged voters to support proposals       Pool title on home soil in 1996.
that would give the Great Britain programme a                 A confidence-building start was secured against
chance of receiving financial support and thus             Croatia, as Great Britain triumphed 10−1, behind the
remaining competitive in the years to come.                pitching of the experienced ALEX SMITH, who was
   The    necessary    replacements     were    quickly    appearing in his fifth European Championship. The
appointed. The first was Jason Greenberg − a dual          victors’ offensive charge was aided by a home run
citizen of the United States and Great Britain and a       from EVAN ROMANCHUK and a 2-run double off the bat
key member of the flagship domestic baseball               of MICHAEL JOHNSON.
programme in Hemel Hempstead (and later the                   Next up was a familiar opponent in Sweden, with
Southern Nationals) − as the new General Manager.          the 18 games previously played between the teams
Soon after came Head Coach Pat Doyle, who brought          being split 11−7 in favour of the Scandinavians. This
over 30 years’ coaching experience from the United         became 12−7 with BRIAN ESSERY suffering a 4–1 loss.
States, which included a stint as Assistant Coach of       Great   Britain’s   solitary   score   came   from   an
Team USA. Greenberg and Doyle had limited time to          AARON HORNOSTAJ bases-loaded walk that advanced
put their stamp on the team before Germany, and            MITCH EVANS to home.
even more restricted funds with which to do it.               In Great Britain’s third outing of the tournament,
                                                           the Italian line-up, which was supported by Major
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP A-POOL IN GERMANY                    League legend Mike Piazza as Hitting Coach, proved too
Great Britain played themselves into a position where      powerful. A 2-run homer from SAM WILEY in the bottom
qualification   for   the    medal    round    of   the    of the seventh was not enough for Great Britain to avoid
championship was a distinct possibility, but this          the mercy rule as Italy triumphed 12−2.
slipped away with a heart-breaking extra-innings loss         A return to the .500 mark was the goal in game
to Greece. Worse was to come, when defeat to the           four, against Spain. JEFF MOTTL conceded just 1 run in
Czech Republic in a play-off for 7th and 8th position      his 5.0-inning start, and STEPHEN SPRAGG converted
relegated Great Britain from the A-Pool, a level at        this into a win with 4.0 innings of 1-hit no-score
baseball. A 1−1 tie was broken by a solo shot from         competition). This was not enough, though, as
MATT MCGRAW in the sixth frame, and 3 runs of              Greece were able to plate 2 runs in the bottom of
insurance were tacked on in the next inning, which         the frame to take the crucial match-up 4−3.
represented the final scoring in a 5−1 win.                   While they were denied a place in the medal round
   Buoyed by victory against Spain, Great Britain          by the defeat to Greece, the pressure cooker had not
looked set to book a place in round two when               yet been turned off. With automatic qualification for
MCGRAW, who went 4-for-6 in the contest, crossed           the next A-Pool tournament riding on it, Great Britain
the plate against Greece to make the score 2−1 in          faced Czech Republic in a play-off to decide seventh
the top of the eighth. Greece responded to send the        place (both teams had finished fourth in their six-team
game into extra innings, but in the top of the 10th        group). It was the Czechs who triumphed in this game,
Great Britain took the lead once more, with a WILEY        with a decisive lead being taken in the third inning and
sacrifice fly driving in CHRIS FALLS (the run scorer was   the final score being 8−4.
one of two players placed on base at the start of the      RESULTS: CROATIA (W 10−1), SWEDEN (L 4−1),
frame as part of the extra-innings rule that had           ITALY (L 12−2), SPAIN (W 5−1), GREECE (L 4−3),
been   recently   added    to   international   baseball   CZECH REPUBLIC (L 8−4)

                                  LAST (2010)      2011

After a disappointing season the previous year, 2011                                                               Coaches
saw two major successes to restore the programme’s                                                                 Darryl Reid (left),
                                                                                                                   Sam Dempster
direction. One came on the field, in late July, with a                                                             (middle), and
                                                                                                                   Brian Essery (right)
sticky   European   Championship      Qualifying   Pool                                                            with the trophy
campaign in Israel ultimately resulting in Great
Britain’s immediate return to the A-Pool. The other
had occurred 8 weeks earlier, in the form of an invite
from the World Baseball Classic (WBC) organizers for
the country to compete in a newly introduced 16-
team qualifying round (in 2012), with four of the 16
berths in the 2013 WBC still up for grabs. No previous
international tournament that GB had competed in
had the prestige of this event.
                                                          more solid, as BRENDAN CUNLIFFE worked steadily
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP                                     through the seventh and eighth, yielding 2 runs. In
QUALIFYING POOL IN ISRAEL                                 the ninth frame, SPRAGG was given a chance to
A comfortable seven-inning mercy-rule victory over        exorcise the demons from the previous day, but
Lithuania gave no hint of the tighter encounters that     ended up exercising them. He had four runs charged
were just around the corner. ALEX SMITH struck out six    to his name and managed just one out. In came
and walked one over 6.0 innings for the victory.          SAM WHITEHEAD, who gave up a hit but then induced a
AARON HORNOSTAJ, IAN YOUNG, and MICHAEL JOHNSON all       game-ending double-play to get the save in the 8−7
stroked three hits in the game.                           victory. Youngsters BRETT ROSEN and MICHAEL TRASK
   Against Israel, Great Britain gained an even           both went 2-for-4 with a double, while MCQUEARY-
more dominant performance from their starter:             ENNIS blasted a home run and HORNOSTAJ picked up a
AEDEN MCQUEARY-ENNIS registered 15 strike-outs (one       double and a triple from his five at-bats.
short of ROSS KENDRICK’S national team record) over          The upshot of Great Britain’s 100% record in the
7.0 innings of 1-run ball. A 3-run shot by HORNOSTAJ in   preliminary round was that they had two chances to
the bottom of the seventh took Great Britain’s lead       get a win over Israel, the second-placed country, that
to 8−1. However, relief pitcher STEPHEN SPRAGG did        would return them to the A-Pool (the victory against
not get out of the eighth, giving up 5 runs over two-     Israel already achieved was carried forward as the
thirds of a frame, which reduced the lead to two          first game in what was effectively a three-game play-
scores. But that is how it ended, with JOHNSON            off). And Great Britain would need that second
moving from third base to the mound to pitch a four-      chance. Shiomo Lipetz shut-out Great Britain as the
out save. HORNOSTAJ finished with four hits in the        home side amassed 7 runs in the morning game on
game and BRADLEY MARCELINO with three. The victory        the final day.
was enough to secure a place in the final, with one          After an hour break for lunch, the winner-takes-
game of the preliminary round still to play.              all afternoon contest saw Lipetz continue on the
   In that game, against Georgia, Great Britain once      mound for Israel, and he started with three scoreless
again built up an 8−1 lead to be turned over to the       frames, which made it 12 straight in total. But in the
bullpen. And this time the margin appeared to be          fourth frame that streak ended, and Great Britain
   Batting champion                                                                                      loaded the bases and was
    Aaron Hornostaj
(left), team captain
                                                                                                         replaced by the injury-nursing
   Bradley Marcelino                                                                                     JOHNSON.     The      first    pitch
       (middle), and
    tournament MVP                                                                                       thrown     resulted    in     a   hit
   Aeden McQueary-
         Ennis (right)                                                                                   batter, and this brought the
                                                                                                         winning run to the plate, but
                                                                                                         the next batter grounded out
                                                                                                         to short to end the game 5−2
                                                                                                         in Great Britain’s favour.
                                                                                                            MCQUEARY-ENNIS,          who    in
                                                                                                         addition to his pitching and
                                                                                                         hitting success caught the
                                                                                                         opener     and     the        closing
                                                                                                         double-header,        was named
                         had moved out to a 5−1 lead by the middle of the       Most Valuable Player of the tournament. The
                         seventh, an inning that included a 2-run homer off     tournament’s Hitting Award went to HORNOSTAJ, who
                         the bat of JOHNSON (he was in the line-up as           batted .500, with seven singles, two doubles, a
                         designated hitter instead of as a position player      triple, and a home run. Also in contention for the
                         owing to a swollen hand from being hit by a fastball   award was MARCELINO, who had a batting average of
                         earlier in the tournament). SMITH, who was looking     .533 and an on-base average of .619.
                         for his second victory of the tournament, made it to   RESULTS: LITHUANIA (W 14−3), ISRAEL (W 8−6),
                         within one out of a complete game, but he              GEORGIA (W 8−7), ISRAEL (L 7−0, W 5−2)

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