Thursday, 7 July 2016

Blue Sox baseball

Sunday 3rd July 2016
Leicester Blue Sox 16-10 Long Eaton Storm
BBF Double A Central Division
@ Western Park, Park Rise, Leicester

Baseball is not a sport that you associate with this country, and of the big 4 North American sports, is the least popular in terms of interest and participation. It was only until a couple of years ago that I realised that my home town had a team at all. I went down last summer and photographed a few innings, and this was my first opportunity of 2016 to have another go. My interest in the sport started around two years ago when I finally got round to getting the BT Sport television channels. I started watching it and then learnt some of the rules and terminology to help me understand and enjoy the game more. The interest cranked up a few notches when a trip to the States came to fruition, and the wife Angela and I managed to take in a game at Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. From that point the Cubs became my team and I now follow them as much as I can from this side of the Atlantic. 

The British Baseball Federation (BBF) is the national governing body of the sport within the United Kingdom and was founded in 1987. The adult league structure is split both in terms of ability and geography, and brief summary is below with the number of teams in brackets:

  • National League (7)
  • Triple A - South (6)
  • Northern Conference (12)
    • North East (4)
    • North Central (4)
    • North West (4)
  • Double A (15)
    • Central (6)
    • South - A (5)
    • South - B (4)
  • Single A (21)
    • South - A (6)
    • South - B (5)
    • South - C (5)
    • South - D (5)
The Blue Sox were formed in 2006, though the sport has a long history in the city of Leicester, with the earliest reference going as far back as 1876. More information can be viewed here...history. The club compete in the Double A Central Division and compete against teams within roughly sixty miles - Birmingham Bandits, Long Eaton Storm, Milton Keynes Bucks, Nottingham Rebels and the Stourbridge Titans. 

The drive to where the Blue Sox call home takes around five minutes, and if I didn't have my camera equipment with me, would have probably walked there. There are no facilities for the teams or spectators on site, with the only permanent structure being a green cage behind the plate. 

Both teams had a mix of nationalities playing for them and including British, American, Taiwanese, Lithuanian and various Spanish speaking nationals. This game that I witnessed was the second of a double header, and was played over seven innings. When only one game is played in an afternoon then the full nine innings are played. To be fair I didn't pay a lot off attention going on as I was behind the lens, and more interested in getting some decent photographs of the action. Thankfully this turned out to be the case, and I will hopefully be down again on July 17th to take some more photographs. 

The full gallery can be viewed by clicking here...Blue Sox

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