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History of Chiefs in Cincinnati Baseball

As many people may know, the Cincinnati Chiefs were started in 1984 by our Manager today, Jeff Hannah. For the people that do not know much about the Chiefs, this page is going to give a history of the Team and Jeff Hannah. After his college career ended, Jeff decided that he wanted to keep playing competitive baseball. So he started a baseball team. The Chiefs were born. 

In 1984, the first officail year of the Team, they finished with a record of 10-10 and were runners-up in the Buckeye League regular season.

In 1985, the Chiefs went 20-10. They were 2nd Place in the Buckeye League and played in the CABA World Series finishing in 4th Place.

In  1986, the Chiefs were runner-up in the Buckeye League regular season. They won the Buckeye League Tournament and Qualified for the CABA World Series.
The Chiefs finished in 5th place in the CABA World Series.  The Chiefs finished with a record of 22-10.

In 1987, the Chiefs were runner-up's again in the Buckeye League regular season. Again they won the Buckeye League Tournament and qualified for the CABA World Series,  where they finished in 4th place that summer. They finished the season at 23-11.

In 1988, the Chiefs qualified for the AABC World Series and finished in 6th place.  The Chiefs finished the season 21-13.

In 1989, the Chiefs went 24-8.

Through the 80's, the Chiefs finished the decade at 120-62.

In 1990, the Chiefs finished the season 25-7.

In 1991, the Chiefs went 27-8.

In 1992, the Chiefs were 28-14.

In 1993, the Chiefs were 30-13.

From 1989 to 1993, the team was kinda quiet in the summer. They made no post-season appearances for a while. Jeff was starting to build a solid core of players that kept returning year after year. In the early 90's, that work started to pay off for Jeff and the Chiefs. In 1992, while managing and still playing with the Chiefs, Jeff attained a position with the Cincinnati Spirit. The Spirit was a college wood bat team that was affiliated with the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League. The GLSCL is still very much alive today and turning out Professional players. Jeff was elected to serve as the President of the Board for one season.

In 1994, the Chiefs became, what many still consider today, the best team of the early 90's in the City. The team posted a record of 43-11. They beat teams from Cheviot, the Hilltoppers, Coors, the Stogies and many others. The '94 team captured the Men's City Title, The NABF Collegiate Title and The College Wooden Title. The triple crown as it was called. They qualified for the NABF 22 & under Regional held in Lexington,KY that summer. The Chiefs also played in the AABC Tournament, but at that time, the team was split into two squads. The younger Chiefs automatically qualified for the NABF 22 & under World Series held at Old Crosley Field in Blue Ash. The Chiefs finished a respectable 4th place in the Series, bowing out to the Fairfield Indians on Sunday. Most of the guys from that Team have since retired. A few are playing in the Roy Hobbs League and some are still in the CRC League.

In the fall of 1994, Jeff become the Head Coach of the Cincinnati Blues. Thus the Blues were born also. The Blues were built to play during the MLB strike in a series between Cleveland. The event was titled The World Series of Dreams. The teams were made up of former & current Major Leaguers and the top Minor League Players. With the likes of Dave Parker, Tom Browning, Pat Zachery, Mark Hebbler and many others, Jeff managed the Blues to a victory over Cleveland in October.

In 1995, the Chiefs went 31-13.

In 1996, the Chiefs played in Canton, Oh in the AABC Qualifier and finished in 5th place. The Chiefs went 29-11.

In 1997, the Chiefs got back to business by winning the Open Division in Cincinnati. They qualified for the NABF Regional Tourney and made an appearance in the NABF World Series and took home a 4th place finish. The Chiefs went 40-14.

1998 saw the Chiefs play in the USBC. They traveled throughout Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. They won the All-Ohio League and Qualified for the USBC World Series. The team took home a 4th place finish in the Series. 1998 was the last time the Chiefs Uniforms were seen in Cincinnati for a few years. The Chiefs finished 24-8.

The 90's saw the Chiefs amass a record for the decade of 277-99.

Jeff was pursuing Coaching in College at Sinclair CC in Dayton. Jeff was an Assistant to Head Coach Jim Harrison from 1994 through 1997. In 1998, Jeff was named Head Varsity Baseball at Hughes High School. Jeff inherited a program in shambles. With his drive and love of the game, he turned the program around. In 2000, he was named the High School Coach of the Year and Hughes won the Queen City League. Jeff remained their until 2001. While he was the Head Coach, Jeff saw all his Seniors in 2000 go on and play College Baseball. In 2003, Jeff became the Head Coach of the Junior High at Seven Hills. Once again he turned around a program and made the team competitive. He remained until the end of 2004.

The summer of 2003, Jeff was named Manager of the Junior Olympic Team USA for Cincinnati. The team was made up of 16, 15 & 16 year old High School players. They traveled to West Palm Beach Fla for a week to compete against 74 other teams for the Eastern half of the USA. This also was a tryout for the players for the Junior Olympic Team USA.

The summer of 2004 saw Jeff get back into Coaching College players as he became an Assistant with the Cincinnati Angels of the SWC League. Jeff managed to coax one of the players from that Championship Team in 1994 out of retirement. It worked as Jerry Reeder joined Jeff and the Angels for the first time in 8 years. That summer got the ball rolling and gears were turning to return the Chiefs name. That happened in 2005.

The Chiefs returned under the name of the Blues. The players were different and the fields had changed but one thing remained the same. Jeff was still Coaching. He coached as if he never missed a game but realized that these were not the old Chiefs. These were the new Chiefs. It took a few games for things to come together for the Team but they started to click. As players got comfortable with each other, the team got stronger. The NABF Regional Tournament saw the real Chiefs explode as they were the NABF Regional Runner-ups in their first full year back in the CRC. They put a beating on a tough but arrogant Cheviot team, beat Montgomery Inn and their knuckle ball pitcher and gave the Hilltoppers a run for their money. The weekend games, other teams watched in disbelief as the Chiefs beat and knocked out a Midland team that they weren't supposed to even play. The finals saw the Chiefs get the Hilltoppers. Again they gave the Toppers a run for their money. The Hilltoppers were down one run and their last out in the bottom of the 7th when they drove in the winning runs. It was a game between an old powerhouse and the new powerhouse in baseball. The game ended in true baseball fashion and set forth the return of the Chiefs. The Chiefs finished that season at 16-14.

2006 saw the Chiefs return to their winning ways of old. They won the Thursday Night CRC League Title. The Team qualified for the NABF Regionals held in Cincinnati and finished in Third Place. Though that finish is now questionable after the NABF World Series but will remain. The guys ventured into some new territory by playing in the Buckeye Baseball 18 Ohio Championship Tournament. With Teams coming in from all over Ohio it made for a fun Tournament. The guys battled all the way until the last day of the Tourney and walked away with a Third Place Finish in Ohio. Four players made the All-Tournament Team. The Chiefs threw the first ever no-hitter in the Tournament and the first shut-out also. The Team joined up with the NASPBA and finished ranked 23rd in the Nation out of 50+ Teams. They watched as Sam McConnell rejoined Professional Baseball this summer with the Somerset Patriots. A few guys joined new college programs and some went back to College after a year off. All in all, it was a successful season again and one to really build off of for 2007. Through out the entire time, many players and people have come and gone. The Chiefs have now seen 13 players reach the professional level, with one pitcher making it to the Majors. The Chiefs finished up at 25-12-1.

 2007 was the kinda of year that you look foward to having every year. The guys won the Thursday Night CRC League again. They qualified for the NABF Regionals held in Springfield Ohio where they took on 10 other teams from the Midwest. The Chiefs finished in 3rd Place, losing to the NABF World Series Champions on Saturday. They finished with an overall record of 28-9 on the year. 2007 saw the Chiefs take on a tougher non-league schedule and walked away with season sweeps over Evansville, Louisville and Frankfort. Once again the guys saw players come in from Pro-Ball and get resigned and leave. With a final National Ranking of 13th, Ohio Ranking of 7th, the team is poised to play at the National Level and be at the Top in Ohio. With a good core of players returning, 2008 looks to be a real promising year.

2008 started out like very promising and quickly fell apart. Before the Chiefs even took the field, the Coaches watched as the pitching staff was dismanteled and players were missing. Injuries, surgeries and back door moves by other teams left Jeff and Jerry to rebuild the team in 3 short weeks. Once again the schedule was made even harder with more National contenders listed and more Tournaments. The Chiefs traveled to Pitt to play runners up in the NABF World Series in two games and then 2 games in Cincinnati. The series ended up being 1-2 in favor of St.Johns. The guys took on the River Rats, Evansville, Woodpeckers, North Carolina and countless other teams. The Chiefs had their best showing in the City Tournament knocking off the number 1 seeded Hawks and finishing in 5th place. The NABF Regionals saw the Chiefs once again play a tough field in pool play and advance to the Semi Finals against Louisville and move onto the Finals and play the Flames. The Chiefs wound up with a Second Place finsh again and a final record of 22-16 on the year. So we once again close the book and look toward 2009 and just wonder what is in store for next summer.

2009 started out to be a soggy one. We got very few games in but July would be a different story. We finished 2nd in the 4th of July Tournament in Hamilton, 2nd in the CRC Thursday night league. We won the CRC City Tournament Title going 5-0. The pitching staff gave up 2 runs over 35 innings during the Tournament. The staff threw 14 shut outs on the year. On July 4th against the Tennessee Blue Devils, the Chiefs won their 500th game of the program. We finished 3rd in the NABF Regionals, getting knocked out by the World Champions Jet Box. We finished ranked in the Nation as #8. The finally tally was a record of 30-7 on the year. Our first 30 win year in a while which was great considering all the rainouts. 2010 will bring some changes to the program. Most of the team has stated that they will return to defend the City Title and make a run at Louisville again. So stay tuned to see what happens.

2010 the Chiefs shot out of the gate and never really looked back. They did not win the CRC regular season but did take home a City Co-Championship. We then went off to Partland Ind. to play in the WBC Tournament and took home a 5th place finish. The team quickly bounced back and hit the NABF Regionals at full steam and on Sunday beat the CoBalts for the 2nd time in the Regionals to earn a trip to Louisville Ky and the NABF World Series. The Chiefs went through pool play and finished 3-1 to earn the top spot. With rain and heat wearing on everyone, the Chiefs bowed out to WS Champion Beecher Muskies in the Semi's to take home a 3rd place finish. The final record on the year was 32-11 and some high rankings in the polls. 2010 will be no easy feat to follow up  in 2011 but the gang will give it all they have.

In 2011, the Chiefs make a return to the diamond with a NABF Regional Championship to defend and a City Championship Trophy also. To start a season and see 6 of your starters from Louisville playing on different teams is a tough pill to swallow but as always, the Chiefs nut up and go get em. So we did. Traveling to play in Fort Wayne in a 4th of July Tourney that saw us leave more guys home than went with us. Battling thru a tough Tues/Thurs schedule and non league opponents. A City Championship bring who you want Tournament. We took second in the City and were invited into the NABF Regionals. After a 1st round loss, the Chiefs steam rolled the field to defend our Crown and again return to Louisville and the NABF World Series. Dirty politics couldnt stop us again this year. The Chiefs go 2-2 in pool play in Derby City finishing in 5th place. Another great year and post-season runs by the gang finishing the year 23-10.
In the early years, Jeff's company funded the team and a player by the name of Keith Holland also pitched in many of dollars. Keith stayed with the team until 1994 when he officially retired to the golf course. Jeff is very thankful to Keith for all the help. Our Assistant Coaches Joe and Jerry have been together with Jeff since 1993 when the three of them met in the Sinclair program. Jeff signed Jerry to play in the summer of '94 when they made the Triple Crown run. To this day, Jerry still goes out there and plays with the team. He is the oldest member on the team and the last one still playing in the CRC League from the '94 team.

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"The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime." - Babe Ruth