History - WYBSL

WYBSL History

The WYBSL is an organization that exists for the sole purpose of organizing, conducting, and supervising a recreational baseball and softball program in our community.

It all began in 1951, when a Westerville resident by the name of Alden Bennett organized a boys baseball league consisting of four teams and sixty boys.   Alden directed the program for ten years.  In 1961, Dick Retherford became Commissioner.  These men, with the help of many volunteers, worked numerous hours in order to organize and supervise the rapidly growing program.

The “JBBL” (Junior Boys Baseball League) of Westerville became incorporated with the State of Ohio in 1966.  At that time, its Articles of Incorporation were formally adopted.  A Board of Trustees was designated as the governing body of the organization.

The Board of Trustees consisted of seven persons.  Four of the Trustees were elected from the membership of the Corporation.  Two Trustees were appointed by the Westerville Jaycess, a sponsoring organization.  The Commissioner served as the seventh Trustee.

The purpose of the Board of Trustees is to review and establish direction and policy with regards to fund raising activities, league age structures, tournaments, facilities, and purchases of equipment and land.  In addition, the Board is responsible for maintaining the “JBBL” philosophy and standards that enables each boy and girl to have the opportunity to participate in the program.

In 1975, the program was broadened to provide softball for girls.  It began in a very small way, with less than 150 girls participating.  The first year consisted of the Green Hat and Red Hat Leagues.  Two teams of high school age girls played in an inter-community traveling league.

Each year since then, the girls program has increased rapidly.  In 1978, over 325 girls played softball.  The Blue Hat League was established in 1977.

Also in 1977, an American Legion Team was added as a branch of the “JBBL” Black Hat League.  This team was very successful in providing the high school youth with an opportunity to play in an outstanding program.  Several of their games were played in the Franklin County Stadium with professional scouts in attendance.

In 1979, the Articles of Incorporation were revised for the purpose of broadening the requirements for membership in the corporation.  In addition, the role of the Board of Trustees and Executive Staff were more clearly defined in view of the dramatic changes made in the previous years.

The Commissioner’s Executive Staff consisted of the Commissioner, three Assistant Commissioners, General Managers, Equipment Managers, Field Managers, and Chief Umpire.

Highlights or WYBSL milestones since include:

1987 – Junior Tee-Ball League founded.

1995 – WYBSL Plan 2000 drafted a pledge of $175,000 to repair/re-build and increase the number of diamonds from 31 to 41.

1996 – First Fall Ball League launched for girls in 6th through 9th grade.

1997 – Fall Ball expanded to include Boys’ Leagues, total registration exceeds 2,200.

1999 – Concession service started at Huber Village Park.

2000 – First website launched and five-diamond “wheel” constructed at Huber Village Park.

2001 – WYBSL logo adopted.

2003 – Tee-Ball merged into single coed league.

2005 – Metzger Park renovation completed, Fall Ball registration surpasses 1,000 for first time.

2008 – Towers Park renovations completed

2011 – 60th Anniversary year celebrated community-wide with events such as “First Pitch”, the “Sandlot Festival” featuring an outdoor screening of our favorite baseball movie, the dedication of statues in each of our three main complexes (Metzger, Towers and Huber Village Parks) and a “memory wall” at Huber Village.

We hope you enjoy participating in and being a part of the league’s strong tradition!

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Email: wybsl@wybsl.org

Weather Hotline: 614.523.6220

P.O. Box 1198
Westerville, OH 43086-1198

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