BY JEFF FALK
By any name, the Lebanon County Youth Legion Baseball League is as old as dirt. But the competition within the local circuit is just good clean fun.
The Lebanon County Youth Legion Baseball League, formerly the Lebanon County Junior Legion League, recently christened its 58th season by conducting an opening-day tripleheader at Earl Wenger Memorial Field in Fredericksburg. The festivities, tabbed The Salute to Veterans Tribute, included all six of the league’s entrants, including reigning champion Bethel.
The circuit, which began play in 1949, has run uninterrupted since 1963. It is designed for local boys and girls between the ages of 13 and 16, as of May 1st.
Each of the league members will play one another three times, comprising a 15-game regular-season schedule. At the end of the regular year, the second-place through fifth-place finishing teams will square off in a double-elimination postseason.
The survivor of that double-elimination tournament will square off with the regular-season champion in a best-of-three final series to determine the overall league championship. The champion will represent the Lebanon County Youth Legion Baseball League at the South Scranton eastern regional, while the runner-up will compete at the West Lawn eatern regional.
Winners of the four eastern regionals will advance to the state finals at Homer City.
The president of the Lebanon County Youth Legion Baseball League is long-time local baseball advocate Ed Spittle of Jonestown. Managers for the 2013 season are: Dan Rentschler for Bethel; Del Voight for Fredericksburg; Chuck Fager for Jonestown; George Miller for Myerstown; Roger Hehnley for Newmanstown; and Bob Daley for Palmyra.
The Lebanon County Youth Legion Baseball League is one of three local circuits for Lebanon County baseball-playing youth in their early teens, the others being the Lebanon City-County Teener League and the Lebanon Valley Teener League. But the Youth Legion circuit is the only one which employs wooden bats and doesn’t utilize all-star squads as part of its post-season competition.
What follows is a list of the number of championships won by members of the Lebanon County Youth Legion Baseball League:
1. Jonestown (14)
1. Myerstown (14)
3. Fredericksburg (10)
4. Newmanstown (4)
4. Bethel (4)
4. Conrad Weiser (4)
7. Lebanon (3)
8. Cornwall (2)
9. Schaefferstown (1)
10. Palmyra (0)
10. Annville (0)
10. North Cornwall (0)
10. Pine Grove (0)
10. Richland (0)
10. West Lebanon (0)
10. Womelsdorf (0)