The Flames Baseball Club began back in the winter of 1991/1992. Wayne Nash, club founder, had seen a baseball movie at a local cinema, and became very interested in the sport. He did some research, found that baseball was played in Britain and then contacted the British Baseball Federation (BBF), the sport's national governing body.
Wayne was a youth worker, so he naturally thought of starting a junior baseball club. Over the winter months, he worked together with a collegaue, Colin Bushell, on the newly formed Brunswick Braves.
As the 1992 spring slowly approached more youths joined the club. Wayne knew he needed a professional approach and worked to become a fully qualified Baseball Coach.
The summer rolled by and less of the younger members stuck with baseball due to football commitments. By the end of the year, only an adult team survived. At the end of the 1992 season, the team went to watch a BBF league game between Hounslow and Cambridge - this prompted the club to enter into the league for the 1993 season.
On joining the BBF league, the players voted the team to be called the Fulham Flames (even though the team never actually played in Fulham!). There was little money in the early days - Wayne even had to sew an 'F' on each of the players' uniforms, but the Flames organisation had begun its journey into British Baseball.
Today, the club has blossomed. Moving to the Richmond area brought a change of name to the Richmond Flames. The club grew prodigiously, to become the largest adult baseball club in the country. The crowning glory in September 2006, 15 seasons in the making, was for the first time seeing the Flames win the National Championship.
The Richmond Knights were created and had a great first season with many baseball first-timers involved. Richmond Baseball Club was born, no longer being just the Flames.
The organisation added a National League team and a women's softball team. Both proved to be short lived.Ian Cox took over from Wayne as club general manager.
The club moved to its new ground, Connare Field, at Ham Riverside. This "field of dreams" brought a new heightened interest from players. The club invested in a batting cage and pitching machine; the weekly practice sessions really picked up.
The club launched a third adult baseball team the Richmond Dragons to cope with demand from new players. Like the Knights before them, the Dragons were a developmental team for mostly novice players. The rookie Dragons confounded expectations and finished eighth in the league amassing six wins in the team's inaugural season.
The Flames went to the Final Four championship and the Knights were promoted into the Premier League, after winning a perfect five games out of five in the postseason. The season was capped when Richmond sent a team to the European invitational tournament in Venray, Holland, and came back with the winner's trophy.
The Flames were invited into the BBF National League - the highest level in the country. The Knights played its first season in the Premier League and the club were invited to the CEB Cup in Vienna. 2004 also saw the creation of a non-league development team, the Richmond Riverdogs, to cope with further growth driven by new players.
The club become Richmond Baseball and Softball Club with a seond foray into running softball. Like the first attempt it proved short lived, although the club name lived on.
The club became the largest adult baseball club in the country, with four teams playing in the league for the first time, a huge milestone for the organisation.
The Flames stuttered in the National League, finding the going very tough. Success came via the Knights in the Premier Division and Dragons in Division 1; both had their best ever seasons, with the Knights making it to the Premier playoffs for the first time. The Riverdogs went into Division 2, struggled for wins, but provided great experience for a broadly rookie squad.
John Walmsley took over from Ian Cox as club general manager.
There were high hopes for the Flames which had recruited hard in the offseason. Strong performances saw them finish one game back of Croydon in the National League regular season, only to beat Croydon in the post season three-game series National Championship, coming back from being one game down.
The Knights finished top of the Premier Division for the first time, and in post season play made it to the Final Four final, only to lose to arch rival Cambridge. The Dragons and Riverdogs found the going tough in the lower divisions, but were still providing great development opportunities for rookie and less experienced players.
Further demand from new players saw the creation of a fifth team the Richmond Isotopes as a non-league rookie team, in the same way every team back to the Flames in 1992 had been launched. The pressure was on the Flames as reigning national champions, narrowly missing a playoff berth to perennial rivals Croydon and the ultimate new champions London Mets, a start-up club in 2007. The Knights went one better than in 2006, not only topping the Southern Premier Division but also beating Essex in the Final 4s for the National Premier Division title. The Dragons and Riverdogs went head to head in Division 1, with honours even, although the Dragons finished 10-10 and the Dawg scratching out just four wins.
The club saw an influx of new rookie talent, and also a squeeze in the top teams and decided to move the Riverdogs back to non-league status and rebuild. The Flames looked to put 2007 behind them finishing second in the National Baseball League behind London Mets. The Flames lost the National Baseball Championship series to the Mets. The Knights started in the new look AAA-Division (old Premier Division) finishing mid table as did the Dragons in AA-Division (old Division 1). The Riverdogs played a number of non-league games.
The club merged with London Angels, a women and girls' fastpitch softball programme. Driven by this and a desire to round-out the club, a youth programme for 6 to 12 year olds was started in the summer months. The club also saw the opening of the new £600,000 clubhouse, with changing rooms and bar/lounge facilities. Richmond can now be said to be one of the best clubs in the country for baseball and softball.
Richmond Baseball Club consolidated the competitive teams in 2009 and entered the year with the Flames looking to improve on their solid 2008 National League performance. The Knights remained in AAA whilst the Dragons took on the roll as the club's development team by entering into the A division. An exciting season followed with the Flames taking the National League pennant, however defeat to Bracknell in the Championship game denied the club its first honours since 2006. The Knights battled out for another mid-table finish whilst the Dragons did well to finish top of their pool, only to lose out in the early playoff rounds.
The club's 18th year would become the most successful year ever. Richmond entered three teams in the BBF leagues. The Flames, with a strong roster were pushing for one better than in 2009, while the Knights decided to take a step down to AA while the Dragons were hoping for the Single A championship.
The Flames, run by head coach Freddy Vibert, played well through the regular season, finishing with a 17-11 record. In the NBC qualifier they convincingly beat Croydon 11-2 to gain the third spot at the NBC behind the Mets and the Blazers. However, once in the finals the Flames could not be denied as they upset both the Mets (8-2) and the Blazers (6-3) to earn a spot in the title game. The Blazers, having taken the long route through double elimination, then had to face Flames ace Cody Cain at his finest and could not produce as Cain struck out 12 en route to a complete game 10-1 win.
The Knights, led by manager Dan Lally, lost the season opener at home to Sidewinders but then didn't lose again all season. Finishing the regular season 19-1 they then faced Leicester Blue Sox in the AA National Championship game at Grovehill Ballpark, which would turn into one of the most astonishing comebacks in British baseball history. Down 15-5 after 5 innings the Knights were in danger of losing to the dreaded mercy rule before they began to claw back runs. At the bottom of the 9th the Knights needed 5 runs to force extra innings when final MVP Nick Osborne hit a 3-run bomb to tie the game. In overtime the Blue Sox would not fade and drove home two runs before Osborne's 2 run walk-off double sealed the most improbable of championships for the Knights, winning 20-19.
The Dragons led by manager Nick Hadley and returning club veteran Ian Cox, wanted the division title after having fallen in the first post season hurdle in 2009 and sailed through the regular season 11-2, only losing the series to long time rivals Guildford. In the first round of the play-offs the Dragons faced newcomers Chelmford, who they had beaten convincingly in the season opener, but unable to produce through their normally strong running game the Dragons lost 16-12 in a play-off upset for the second year in a row, ending the season with the regular season pennant with an 11-3 record.
Richmond continued to strive for more success and both the Knights and the Dragons were promoted to AAA and AA respectively, while the Flames wanted more silverware in the National League.
The Flames stormed through the regular season, finishing 19-5 at the top of pool A, giving them a guaranteed semi-final berth. At the finals the faced newcomers Southern Nationals who were too strong, knocking out the Flames in an upset 18-6 game. Both the Knights and the Dragons faced a tough season in their new divisions. The Knights, now led by manager John Irving, lost ace Dave Keynes and slugger Nick Osborne in the offseason and finished 5th in AAA South with a 5-23 record. The Dragons, facing much stiffer opposition than previous years ended their first season in AA South with a 5-15 record, last place in Pool B.