Monday, March 1, 2010

Some history on Winchester Baseball

The following article clearly makes mention that Winchester Baseball was operating under Little League Baseball with hopes to make it to Williamsport, PA.

Article from Winchester Star, July 14, 1953

From the information that was gathered, Winchester could not beat Front Royal to advance.

Reason being, Winchester had (8) regular season teams and Front Royal had (6) teams to draw from BUT under the Little League rules, I assume the magic number was 8 for the regular season teams which meant that Winchester had to field (2) All-Star teams (American and National).

This is being shared because there have been questions about Winchester Baseball not being under the Little League umbrella but this document supports that WB did operate under Little League Baseball during the 50's.

The History “facts” on Winchester Baseball
February 18, 2010

I am writing in reference to the nonfactual letter that Mr. Steve Cunningham wrote on February 10, 2010 “Just plain nonsense” that was in the Winchester Star.

To educate Steve and everyone else on the history of Winchester Baseball, I got in contact with two individuals who grew up when it first started.

The facts that were given to me were as follows:

Winchester has not been involved with Cal Ripken or Babe Ruth Baseball for close to 50 years.

Winchester started baseball in 1952, it organized under Little League Baseball.  Winchester Little League Baseball stayed under that program until the mid-late 50’s.

After Winchester dropped out of LLB, the program became independent as it was called “Little Baseball League”

It joined Bambino under the Babe Ruth organization in the early 1980s

In 1953 Winchester started a 13-14 league that was ran by the Jr. Chamber of Commerce.  It was under the Pony League Program.

The JC’s built the Henkel Harris Field for this program.  It stayed under Pony League for a number of years.  After adding 15 year olds they had to drop out and play independent for a few years.

They were playing 13-15 year program on a Pony League diamond.  In the late 60’s or early 70’s they moved the pitchers mound back but still played on Pony League dimensions.

Winchester did not become a member of Babe Ruth League until the early-mid 80’s

Mr. Cunningham is further quoted via online Winchester Star website on the article "City agency is working on a new pitch for series" ... in the comment section:

To bring a Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken World Series to Winchester Yost Field needs upgrades that Brad Veach is advocating.  And City Council should do all that they can to bring this wonderful family event to Winchester.

I agree that Bridgeforth Field needs some light of recent improvements nothing has been done since the field was built, however, shouldn't Shenandoah University and Handley High School be responsible for some costs since they use the field as much as the Royals?

In recent years neighboring localities have put their money where their mouth is.  Warren County schools funded the renovations to Bing Crosby stadium to make it a wonderful facility.

Loudoun County was the recipient of a large donation to [upgrade] Fireman's Field in Purcellville and as a result now almost annually hosts a Babe Ruth World Series for ages between 16-18.

Let everyone who shares in using the fields at Jim Barnett Park share in the expense of the upkeep and stop relying on Winchester Baseball to foot the bill for all field maintenance.

Steve, what field maintenance are you talking about?  Please inform all on what WB does on a daily/weekly basis for maintenance on the baseball diamonds?

Handley HS has joint agreement between WPRD and Winchester Public Schools as they both share each others facilities.  Handley HS is doing the remolding work at Bridgeforth press-box, dugouts and backstop.

What are these other teams/leagues that you talk about that use the same facilities that WB utilizes?

Mr. Cunningham, the Rose Family in 1998 made the donation.  Loudoun Babe Ruth has hosted just (4) World Series events to date. (18, 16, 13 and 15 year olds)

I did make an offer a suggestion to help foot the bill on the World Series, Frederick County tax-dollars should be involved since most of the players come from there.  If anyone reads the papers, the budgets are getting hammered with the latest snow storms.  Hence, the reason even more so why Frederick County needs to get involved.  If it's going to be on the shoulders of just the City of Winchester, the perception in the local papers does not look promising after the great expense for snow removal.

How can the structure of the league be “causing ill effects on Handley Baseball”?  The numbers that I provided about Handley baseball speaks volumes.

To close, if you had researched, you would have discovered that I have been involved with the Winchester Baseball league from 1989-1994.

Finally I have never stated that WB should not host the World Series but in my own opinion, I do not think the City of Winchester should be the sole provider in footing the bill to host this 10yr old World Series, especially during these epic budget constraints!

Mr. Cunningham, in the future please do your research before commenting!

Last question, do the Winchester Baseball umpires volunteer their time like the “Little League” umpires?

1 comment:


Where does WB draw kids from?

- 36,663 Warren County
- 14,458 Clarke County
- 13,591 Hardy County, WV
- 22,574 Hampshire County, WV
- 73,898 Frederick County
- 25,878 City of Winchester
- 187,062 Total Population

If Shenandoah County has a player in the WB program, then that would be a total population figure of nearly 228,000 based on Shenandoah County's (40,777 population).

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