Babe Ruth League, Inc., a non-profit, educational organization, named after one of the greatest baseball players of all time – George Herman “Babe” Ruth – has come a long way since its modest start over 60 years ago.
In 1951, ten men, who believed that the future of their community depended upon the proper development of the young people, met at the historic Yardville Hotel in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, for the purpose of developing a baseball program for young men between 13 and 15 years of age. Babe Ruth League, Inc. recognizes Marius D. Bonacci as the Founding Father of the program, along with the contribution of the following nine men, Samuel M. Welch, Ferdinand J. Wagner, Ed Jones, Ted Jasek, Cliff Fovour, Boots Snyder, William Dombrowski, Maskill Paxson and Willard Carson, Jr.
Babe Ruth Baseball has increased steadily from its first 10-team league in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, to its present combined size of well over one million players on some 60,000+ teams in more than 11,000 leagues and over 1.9 million volunteers. The divisions: Cal Ripken Baseball (for ages 4-12), Babe Ruth Baseball 13-18, Babe Ruth Softball, Bambino Buddy Ball and Xtreme Fastpitch are successful due to the millions of volunteer hours spent every year. Every volunteer from the local league manager to the chairman of the 17-member International Board is dedicated to the betterment of youth, while at the same time, producing better baseball and softball players.
A 16-member full-time staff, assisted by seasonal employees, maintains Babe Ruth’s International Headquarters at 1670 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road in the suburban community of Hamilton Township, New Jersey.
Local leagues are independent withinthe guidelines provided by Babe Ruth League, Inc. and operate with simplicity and autonomy. The Babe Ruth International Board is the governing body while Babe Ruth League International Headquarters is the administrative and promotional center.
It is the 13-15 division, started in 1951, where the boys first got their feet wet for the first time on a regulation size baseball diamond. The next stop up the baseball ladder for young athletes was the Babe Ruth 16-18 division, born in 1966 with continued remarkable success.
2013 saw the addition of Xtreme Fastpitch to accommodate all softball participants—those who wish to play on a recreational level to those who seek a higher degree of competition to hone their skills with the goal of continuing play into high school and beyond.
Babe Ruth League, Inc. offers an unparalleled, prestigious tournament trail for its participants. A tournament team from each chartered local league enters its district tournament. District winners advance to statewide competition, with the successful team qualifying for one of eight regional tournaments. The eight regional champions from across the United States and Canada compete in each World Series. Babe Ruth League, Inc. has grown from its inaugural 13-15 World Series in 1952, to seven baseball and five softball World Series - the Cal Ripken 10-Year-Old, Cal Ripken Major/60, Cal Ripken Major/70, 13-Year-Old, 14-Year-Old, 13-15, 16-18, Softball 8U, Softball 10U, Softball 12U, Softball 14U and Softball 16U World Series.
Xtreme Fastpitch teams have the opportunity to participate in tournaments from September 1st through the National Championships, held at the end of the season.
The Babe Ruth League, Inc. programs above all, are of, by and for youth. Its mission is to make better citizens through proper supervision of regulation competitive baseball and softball in addition to promoting mental and physical development. Inadopting rules, in establishing standards and in all planning, the primary consideration is what is best for the participants.
Babe Ruth League, Inc. would make the baseball immortal for whom the program is named very proud. Youth always had a special place reserved in “The Babe’s” heart.