Youth baseball, softball leagues gearing up

Published 12:48 pm Thursday, April 29, 2004

By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The end of spring is near and with summer in Niles comes baseball and softball--lots of baseball and softball.
The youth baseball and softball leagues in an around Niles are preparing for the 2004 season and some have already started competition.
Three leagues will hold their opening day festivities this Saturday and two leagues have already begun competition.
Here is a league-by-league look at plans for opening days.
F.O.P. Little League Baseball
The F.O.P. Little League opening day parade is set for Saturday at 9 a.m. The teams will line up at French Field and travel north up State Street to the F.O.P. Park.
The league will begin play with two Major League games and two Minor League games, beginning at 10 a.m.
The Niles F.O.P. Little League now has its own website which includes schedules, team information, league standings, results and tournament information. Visit the website at
Brandywine Cal Ripken Baseball
The Brandywine Cal Ripken league's opening day will also be Saturday, with the parade scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. The teams will line up at Brandywine High School and travel down Bell Road to Firemen's Youth Park.
Opening ceremonies will take place at the park at 9:45 a.m. with some words from league president Jamie Stover.
Following opening ceremonies the league will hold nine marathon games which are exhibition games for the entertainment of players, parents and fans.
Brandywine Cal Ripken baseball began league play Wednesday night.
This league also has its own website at
Howard Township Baseball
Howard Township Baseball is the third league holding its opening day Saturday. The parade will be at 10 a.m., beginning at K&G Marina and ending at Pepper Martin Park.
Howard Township opening ceremonies are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. A chicken dinner will follow the ceremonies at 11 a.m. and the league will kick off its play with six games that day.
Babe Ruth Baseball
The Babe Ruth Baseball League is already under way for the 2004 season. The league does not hold opening day ceremonies and not all divisions of the league start at the same time. High school-aged players must wait until their respective high school seasons are over to begin playing in the Babe Ruth league.
Niles-Brandywine Girls Softball Association
No date has been set for the opening day of the Niles-Brandywine Girls Softball Association 2004 season, though a date is expected to be firmed up next week.
Niles Junior Baseball
Niles Junior Baseball, which consists of a 13-year-old team and a 14-year-old team, will be hosting Comstock League games this season beginning Sunday. The two teams have already been involved in tournaments but will host games for the first time at Champ's Field, located between Howard and Ellis Schools on Mannix Road, this weekend.
A field dedication day will take place Saturday, May 22.