Stepping up to the plate and hoping to attract high school baseball players, Lincoln’s Babe Ruth Baseball League is creating a new Senior Babe Ruth League for players currently in grades 9-11.
The expansion is expected to add 4-to-6 teams to a growing program that had 17 teams under its umbrella last summer – 10 in the Babe Ruth (grades 3-5) program and seven in the Cal Ripken (grades 6-8) program.
Registration for the new, upper-age division will begin May 1 and run throughout the month of May. A five-week, 15-game season begins after Memorial Day and will run throughout the month of June, capped by a two-game tournament.
“Creating the Senior Babe Ruth League is the brainchild of Joe Oliva, one of our assistant directors,” said league executive Jim Hansen, a former head baseball coach at Lincoln Pius X High School.
“A number of players who graduated out of the Cal Ripken League expressed a desire to keep their teams together,” said Hansen. “This will be a great opportunity for guys who want a higher caliber than recreational baseball, without the time commitment and expense of some of the other alternatives.”
Similar to the younger-age programs, the Senior Babe Ruth Baseball League will play its games at the Sawyer-Snell fields at Second and South streets, and at Densmore Park, north of the Cooper YMCA.
Registration for the Babe Ruth division (grades 3-5) and the Cal Ripken division (grades 6-8) began Feb. 1. The schedule for those divisions provides 30 games for each team plus a season-ending tournament.
“We hope to get eight teams in each of the two younger leagues this summer,” Hansen said in a phone interview Tuesday.
A meeting for coaches is scheduled for March 14. Players may go online to download a form at https://sites.google.com/view/lincolnbaberuthbaseball/home and send it to Hansen.