Project COBB: Great Britain national team history



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1982



NORTH EUROPEAN CUP in BELGIUM


In mid-August, the Great Britain squad joined five other teams (The Netherlands 'B-Squad', Belgium, France, Denmark, and Finland) in the North European Cup, which took place in Antwerp, Belgium. For Denmark, France, and Finland, the event served as a qualification event for the 1983 European Championship A-Pool. For an unknown reason, Great Britain did not compete for the spot in the finals.

Great Britain finished the tournament 1-3, tied with Denmark for fourth place. None of the squad's games were close as the team's one win - against Finland - was a 19-3 triumph, while the three losses were all by more than 10 runs. Great Britain's biggest problem was depth in pitching, as infielder ALAN BLOOMFIELD started the game on the mound against Belgium, and TERRY WARNER, who came on the trip as a coach, ended up getting the pitching start versus France. One highlight: MARK STOREY slammed a home run to left field in the loss to Belgium.

Long-time British baseball official Ted Gerard-Thesingh umpired the event's championship game, in which the Dutch beat the Belgians.

Results
THE NETHERLANDS 'B-SQUAD' (L 25-0), BELGIUM (L 15-2), FRANCE (L 17-7), FINLAND (W 19-3)

Known roster members
Ian ASHFORD; Alan BLOOMFIELD; Art BLOOMFIELD; Lee BUTLER; Frederick CAUSER; Julian DODWELL; Barry MARSHALL; Paul READNY; Mark STOREY; Russell THOMPSON; Stephen TOKELOVE; Terry WARNER; Vince WARNER


BRITISH-AMERICAN SERIES in GREAT BRITAIN


Over the summer, Great Britain contested a three-game series against US military squads. Branded as 'the British-American Series', the event was initiated by Peter Hunt of Rollaway Ltd. The first game was played on 30 May at Grimsby Town Football Club's ground and saw the national team take on the US Air Force Base in Alconbury. According to a 1982 issue of 'Baseball Mercury', it was 'the best performance from the Great Britain Squad for a long time.' Every Great Britain player who came to the plate got at least one hit in a 16-7 win. Top hitters included VINCE WARNER (with a 3-run homer and a 1-run triple) and JOHN HARRINGTON (with a solo home run
and a 3-run double).

In the second game, Great Britain played at Lakenheath against the Darmstadt Kenwood US military installation. The event was supposed to provide the 'final indication of just which players would be playing' in the North European Cup, but 'it failed its objective as only six of the selected Great Britain players were able' to attend, said 'Baseball Mercury'. The high spot of the 11-7 loss was ARTHUR BLOOMFIELD, father of star Great Britain player ALAN BLOOMFIELD, making an appearance at first base. 'He displayed tremendous spirit,' reported 'Baseball Mercury'.

The series-deciding game took place at Harvey Hadden Stadium on 25 July, with Great Britain being defeated 12-4 by Lakenheath.

An All-Star game was added to the end of the series. This saw Great Britain take on a US Forces All-Star team in a night game played at Chelsea Football Club's Stamford Bridge. Some 5 000 spectators watched the tightly played contest. Unlike the previous two games, there were some members of the Great Britain squad who were non-British but regularly played in England. Runs driven in by RICK SOAN, DENNIS KING, and ED WILEY had Great Britain up 3-1 through five innings, but the US side tied the game in the sixth inning. It remained that way until the 10th frame, when a US hitter lofted a fly ball to right field. Great Britain outfielder KEVIN OATES lost the hit in the lights, allowing the player to reach first safely. That hitter went on to score the winning run.

ALAN BLOOMFIELD was named Great Britain's Most Valuable Player for the series.

Results
ALCONBURY BASE (W 16-7), DARMSTADT KENWOOD (L 11-7), LAKENHEATH (L 12-4), US FORCES ALL-STARS (L 4-3)

Known roster members
Art BLOOMFIELD; Tony BREEN; Brian BRETHERTON; Bill CASEY; Stewart CASEY; John HARRINGTON; Marty JEWER; Dennis KING; Hugh KING; Barry MARSHALL; Kevin OATES; Mike OCON; Lee PIERCE; Norman WELLS Jr; Ed WILEY