FanPost

Baseball in England

Baseball is a sport that only a few people I know realise has a much of a following in England, let alone a national league.  I’ve met the odd English baseball fan who has seen a team play on a holiday to the US and decided to keep a vague eye on how they’re doing in the standings, but most people are more interested in football, rugby and cricket.   

There are some baseball fans though, and there are a growing number of people playing, including myself and MattUK.  There are 4 tiers in the official UK baseball ranking leagues – A, AA, AAA and ‘national league’ and the team we’re in lies in AA.  We train once a week for a couple of hours and play every Sunday, and are probably fairly described as a ‘developing’ club.  We have 19 rostered players; 18 men and I – and our team ranges in age from 18-55 and includes players from Poland, Spain, Japan, England and South Africa. 

2008photosjm_107_medium Thames Valley Bisons - A Team Pic

via www.thamesvalleybaseball.co.uk


This year I become club treasurer, and realised that to keep even a small baseball club running requires a fair bit of money!  Our expenses include rent for the ground we play at and payment of affiliation fees to the national governing body for baseball in the UK.  We’ll be better positioned to apply for grants once we have a year's worth of bank statements/accounts, but until then we rely on donations and our membership fees (£70/season) to pay our rent, fees and equipment costs.  It is compulsory to use wood bats in all leagues, which i find quite strange given that USA college baseball is played with aluminium bats.  This season so far we have broken 5....so it’s shaping up to be a pricey few months!  We've also fundraised to build our diamond up from pretty much nothing (with the help of the ground owner) but still want to make more improvements.

Mound070608_medium The mound/backstop

via www.thamesvalleybaseball.co.uk

So I thought I’d dip my toe in the vast pool of HH knowledge, and put out a request for some advice....does anyone have any suggestions for how I might be able to effectively fundraise for the team.  We’ve tried the ‘usual’ quiz nights, race nights and raffles....and I’ve spent probably nearly 15 hours in the last couple of weeks ringing up companies to ask for sponsorship.  I’m getting used to hearing the phrase ‘we’d love to help, but we already sponsor a football team/rugby team/aren’t sponsoring this year because of the credit crunch’

Alternatively, does anyone have a spare pile of cash that they don’t need any more......??!

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