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Lynnhaven Baseball

Boys Baseball of Lynnhaven

~ A CHRONOLOGY 1955 - present

 
While the history of the Boys Baseball of Lynnhaven league includes names 
and events long forgotten or too numerous to mention, the following is an 
attempt to encapsulate all of them and to cite those highlights which are most 
significant in the organization’s annals. 
 
The humble beginnings date back to 1955, when Mr. William “Bookie” Allen 
founded what was then known as the Princess Anne Little League. This 
organization became a member of the National Little League fraternity. Boys 
aged 8 – 12 only, played ball on two fields which were located off Virginia 
Beach Blvd, next to Foundry Methodist Church. Today, this site is the 
address of Beach Ford. 
 
In 1962, Mr. G. Trant, a long time resident of the Little Neck area, 
bequeathed a 17.2 acre parcel of land (adjacent to Kings Grant Elementary 
School) to the Little Neck Civic League, with one stipulation --- that the 
property be used for sporting activities of youths in the local area. Princess 
Anne Little League leased a portion of the land for a nominal annual fee and 
again, “Bookie” Allen was instrumental in clearing and leveling some of the 
property for the purpose of building one baseball diamond (currently the 
front field). Due to the paucity of funds at the time, the field consisted of only 
a backstop and that was donated by the Princess Anne Chamber of 
Commerce. Money did not permit such amenities as fences, lights, dugouts or 
a concession stand; these were added later. In order to involve boys of the 
older age groups, this field was used initially for ages 13 – 16 (Pony/Colt) and 
the governing body of the organization joined the Boys Baseball of America 
cartel. Later, Palomino and Thoroughbred age brackets were included. 
 
The year 1967 (approximate) involved more land clearing for the purpose of 
building a “middle” ball field to be used by the previously mentioned Princess 
Anne Little League. Soon thereafter, the two completely separated leagues 
and organizations played ball on the same property, yet they were distinct in 
governing bodies and playing rules. This separation remained in effect until 
1970 when the Bronco Little League also joined the National Boys Baseball 
organization. The primary purpose for the disassociation with Little League 
was the fact that Little League did not allow “base stealing”, nor did a team’s 
catcher have to catch the “third strike”. The entire baseball organization was 
now called Boys Baseball of Lynnhaven. 
 
 Due to the large number of players in the Bronco League, the Farm Division 
continued playing games at the old field site off Virginia Beach Blvd., while 
the Minor and Bronco Divisions played on the newly constructed “middle 
field”. In order to consolidate all of the age groups into the same playing area, 
Mr. Bill Ryan and Mr. George Willey built a third “back field” for the Farm 
Division in 1969-1970. This completed the Boys Baseball of Lynnhaven 
complex as it is known today. 
 
Finally, in 1976 the two distinct Boards of Directors unified and the 
organization became known as Boys Baseball of Lynnhaven, Inc. This 
incorporation primarily allowed for rules standardization and lower 
equipment and operating costs due to large quantity buying. In 1984, a long 
term lease for the entire property was signed to allow for needed expansion of 
all facets of the baseball league. The growth of Boys Baseball of Lynnhaven, 
from its meager beginnings to the present day, was nothing short of 
phenomenal. Annual operating budgets have increased from $2,000 to over 
$100,000 and registration fees have risen through the years from $5 to $45. 
To save money during the league’s infancy, wet baseballs were dried in the 
popcorn machine, then rubbed with white lime and put back into play. 
Today, the league uses 100+ dozen balls each season. Boy Scouts used to clean 
the fields and wooded areas as an advancement project, thus saving more 
league funds. A Ladies Auxiliary was formed by league mothers to raise 
money and reduce spending. 
 
Player registration numbers have fluctuated drastically throughout the 
history of the organization. During one year alone, 1,140 children were 
registered in the Farm, Minor and Bronco Divisions and total registration for 
the league equaled about 1,600 youths. These came from distant areas such as 
Pungo, Creeds, the Courthouse area, etc. As more leagues were formed 
throughout the city, league boundaries were reduced and player population 
likewise lessened. Yet, considering that Boys Baseball of Lynnhaven has 
averaged 750-800 players per year during its fifty year history, some 30,000 to 
35,000 youths have passed through the dugouts – a significant number indeed 
for a non-profit, all volunteer organization. 
 
A truly significant event in the history of the league took place in 2006. For 
the first time in its history, the league’s players on the “front” and “middle” 
fields took to these fields and played on sodden, or grass infields. The “back” 
or third infield remained “skinned” or dirt covered. 
 
A turning point in the league’s history occurred in 2008 when the Little Neck 
Civic League, owners of the approximately 15.3 acres of property that the 
league’s complex resides on, passed ownership of the property to the City of Virginia Beach.
The league now has a year to year with the City’s Parks and 
Recreation Department. At the time of this writing, there is no indication that 
the City of Virginia Beach will allow anything but the continued use of the 
property to be for the sole purpose of youth recreational baseball. 
 
 
Truly, the history of Boys Baseball of Lynnhaven is a history of achievement. 
Opening Day Ceremony speakers have ranged from Mr. Hank Bauer, a 
former major league ballplayer, to prominent state and local political figures. 
League trophies have ranged from State Champions in 1958 and 1962 to 
World Series Thoroughbred Champions in 1981 to Pony District and 
Regional Champions in 1985. The Palomino tournament team traveled to 
Puerto Rico in 2005 to compete in the PONY World Series after winning the 
Section, Region and Zone championships. The Palomino tournament team, 
led by Mr. Billy Phillips and Mr. Jerry Erickson since 2003, more recently 
qualified once again in 2009 for the PONY World Series in California. But in 
2010 the Palomino team won the World Series, once again held in California. 
 
The names of those individuals who have made Boys Baseball of Lynnhaven 
such a respected organization are many -- too many to mention. Yet, some 
must be remembered (at the risk of offense to others) as the backbone of the 
league through the years. They include Mr. Marvin Meadows, Mr. Bob 
Spradlin, Mr. George Willey, Doug and Betty Blankenship, Mrs. Hazel Barry, 
Mr. William Allen, Mr. Irving Rosenberg and last, but certainly not least, Mr. 
George Schachle and Mr. G. Trant. 
 
 
This Chronology is dedicated to those who lead the way 
and more importantly --- to those who still are…. 
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