Learn all about the Babe Ruth League, including its history, divisions, regions, World Series tournaments, and Hall of Fame. Find out how this youth sports organization has been providing a safe and enjoyable sports experience for young athletes for over 70 years.
Babe Ruth League is a non-profit youth baseball and softball organization named after the legendary baseball player, Babe Ruth. The league was founded in 1951 and offers programs for children and young adults from ages 4 to 18. The league’s mission is to provide a safe, fun, and educational environment for youth to learn and play the game of baseball or softball. Babe Ruth League programs include Tee Ball, Rookie, Minor, Major, Junior, Senior, and Softball divisions, and are designed to develop and improve the players’ physical and mental abilities, as well as their teamwork, sportsmanship, and leadership skills.
The Babe Ruth League was founded in Hamilton Township, New Jersey in 1951 by a group of men who wanted to provide young boys with an opportunity to play organized baseball. The league was named after the legendary baseball player Babe Ruth, who was known for his iconic home runs and charismatic personality. The league quickly grew in popularity and expanded to include softball programs for girls.
In 1960, the league moved its headquarters to Trenton, New Jersey, and in 1974, it relocated to its current headquarters in Hamilton Township. Today, the Babe Ruth League is one of the largest youth baseball and softball organizations in the world, with over one million players and more than 800,000 volunteers in the United States and around the globe.
Over the years, the Babe Ruth League has expanded its programs to include a variety of age divisions and levels of play, from Tee Ball for young beginners to Senior-level programs for high school-aged players. The league has also established partnerships with Major League Baseball and other organizations to provide additional resources and opportunities for young players. Throughout its history, the Babe Ruth League has remained committed to its mission of providing a safe, fun, and educational environment for youth to learn and play the game of baseball and softball.
The Babe Ruth League offers a variety of age-specific divisions for both baseball and softball. Here are the different divisions offered by the league:
- Tee Ball: This division is for children aged 4-6 who are just starting to learn the basics of baseball or softball. It is a non-competitive division designed to teach children the fundamentals of the game.
- Rookie: This division is for children aged 7-8 who have some experience playing baseball or softball. It is a coach-pitch division where players are introduced to more advanced skills and game strategies.
- Minor: This division is for children aged 9-10 who have some experience playing baseball or softball. It is a competitive division where players continue to develop their skills and knowledge of the game.
- Major: This division is for children aged 11-12 and is the most competitive division for Babe Ruth League baseball and softball. Players in this division have advanced skills and knowledge of the game.
- Junior: This division is for players aged 13-15 and is designed to prepare them for high school-level competition. Players in this division play on regulation-sized fields and are introduced to more advanced game strategies.
- Senior: This division is for players aged 16-18 and offers high-level competition for those who want to continue playing baseball or softball at a more advanced level.
In addition to these divisions, the Babe Ruth League also offers softball divisions for 6U, 8U, 10U, 12U, 14U, and 16U age groups.
The Babe Ruth League is organized into several regions throughout the United States, as well as several international regions. The regions are overseen by regional commissioners who work with local leagues to ensure compliance with Babe Ruth League rules and regulations. Here are the regions of the Babe Ruth League:
- Pacific Southwest Region: This region includes California, Nevada, Arizona, and Hawaii.
- Pacific Northwest Region: This region includes Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Idaho.
- Southwest Region: This region includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico.
- Southeast Region: This region includes Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Tennessee.
- Middle Atlantic Region: This region includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
- New England Region: This region includes Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
- Ohio Valley Region: This region includes Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
- Midwest Plains Region: This region includes North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, and Iowa.
- Cal Ripken Baseball Major/70 World Series: This region includes the best 11 and 12-year-old Cal Ripken Baseball teams from around the world.
- Babe Ruth Baseball 13-15 World Series: This region includes the best 13-15-year-old Babe Ruth Baseball teams from around the world.
- Babe Ruth Softball World Series: This region includes the best Babe Ruth Softball teams from around the world.
In addition to these regions, the Babe Ruth League also has international regions in Canada, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
The Babe Ruth League holds several World Series tournaments each year for its different age divisions and programs. These tournaments bring together the best teams from each region to compete for the championship title. Here are the World Series tournaments held by the Babe Ruth League:
- Cal Ripken Major/70 World Series: This tournament is held annually for 11-12 year-old Cal Ripken Baseball teams. The tournament takes place in Aberdeen, Maryland, where the Babe Ruth League Headquarters is located.
- Babe Ruth Baseball 13-15 World Series: This tournament is held annually for 13-15 year-old Babe Ruth Baseball teams. The tournament location changes each year.
- Babe Ruth Softball World Series: This tournament is held annually for Babe Ruth Softball teams from 8U to 16U age divisions. The tournament location changes each year.
- Bambino Buddy Ball World Series: This tournament is held annually for players with disabilities who participate in the Bambino Buddy Ball program.
- Xtreme Fastpitch World Series: This tournament is held annually for 10U, 12U, and 14U fastpitch softball teams.
- Cal Ripken Baseball Major/60 World Series: This tournament is held annually for 10 year-old Cal Ripken Baseball teams.
- Babe Ruth Baseball 16-18 World Series: This tournament is held annually for 16-18 year-old Babe Ruth Baseball teams.
Each World Series tournament features a week-long series of games, culminating in a championship game to determine the winner of the tournament. The Babe Ruth League World Series tournaments are highly competitive and offer players and coaches the opportunity to compete at the highest level of play in their age division.
Hall of Fame
The Babe Ruth League has a Hall of Fame that recognizes outstanding players, coaches, and volunteers who have made significant contributions to the league. The Babe Ruth League Hall of Fame was established in 1968 and is located in Southaven Park in Suffolk County, New York.
Inductees into the Babe Ruth League Hall of Fame are selected based on their contributions to the league’s mission of providing a safe and enjoyable youth sports experience. Inductees may include former players, coaches, league administrators, volunteers, and others who have made a significant impact on the league.
The Babe Ruth League Hall of Fame has several categories of inductees, including the National Baseball/Softball Honor Roll, the Player of the Year Award, and the Volunteer of the Year Award. The Hall of Fame also recognizes Babe Ruth League alumni who have gone on to achieve success in professional sports, such as Major League Baseball.
The Babe Ruth League Hall of Fame serves as a reminder of the important role that youth sports play in the development of young people and recognizes the individuals who have dedicated themselves to providing a positive experience for youth athletes.