The Beginnings of Babe Ruth BaseballUpdated Friday November 14, 2014 by Babe Ruth Import.
The Beginnings of Babe Ruth League
The year is 1951. Local businessman Marius D. Bonacci leads a group of 10 dedicated community members in discussions based around developing a baseball program for boys between the ages of 13 and 15. When the group finally emerges from the Yardville Hotel in Hamilton, New Jersey, they have set in place the groundwork for what would soon be known as “Little Bigger League.”
On May 14 of that same year, the first 10-team Little Bigger League plays its very first game between Homedell Civic Association and the White Horse Fire Company at Switlik Park. More games soon follow.
So inspired was League President Willard Carson Jr. by the competitive spirit of the young players and the enthusiastic crowds, he submits an article to the Sporting News, seeking interested parties to join baseball leagues for this age group. Within a year, 98 municipalities across the country have responded to that article and the new league is on its way to becoming a national organization.
In 1954, Claire Ruth—the widow of Babe Ruth—hears of the merits of the new organization and its tremendous growth, and meets with the League’s administrators. She subsequently authorizes the organization to change its name to Babe Ruth League. “Babe was a man who loved children and baseball,” she says. “He could receive no greater tribute than to have a youth baseball program named after him.” With that, Babe Ruth League, Inc. quickly gains national, and then international, recognition.
Today, Babe Ruth League, Inc. ranks as the premier amateur baseball and softball program in the world. From that first 10-team league in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, it has grown to a combined size of over one million players on over 59,000 teams in more than 10,000 leagues. The continuing success of the baseball and softball programs is due to the tireless efforts of the many volunteers and the countless hours they contribute.
Every volunteer— from the local league manager to the chairperson of the 17-member international board—is dedicated to the good character development of our young athletes and the continued development of their baseball skills.