Lane Babe Ruth League: League History

Lambeth League and Lane League Youth Baseball
Organized baseball for 13-15 year old players began on April 16, 1958 when Amos Sweet, president of the Lambeth League and R.B. Albee, president of the Lane League met with other interested, civic-minded individuals to form the two leagues. Player Agents were Dr. William Dandridge and Rev. Marshall Anderson of the Lambeth and Lane Leagues respectively. The leagues were composed of four teams each with a twelve game schedule to open on June 14, 1958. Also scheduled was an All-Star game for Mid-July and a three game series City Championship to begin August 1, 1958.

The Lane League played at Lane High School field with teams of: Charlottesville Oil, Downtown Athletic Store, Keller & George, and Monticello Dairy. The Lambeth League played at Carr’s Field (UVa Rugby Field) with teams of: Allied Supply, Architects, Realtors, and 7 Day Shopping Center.

Results of those historical Opening Day games were:
Lambeth League:

Realtors (1) vs. Allied Supply (9).
Winning Pitcher: Jim Brooks. Losing Pitcher: Allen Sprouse.

Architects (24) vs. 7 Day Shopping Center (3)
Winning Pitcher: Charles Crenshaw. Losing Pitcher: Joe Raleigh

Lane League:

Monticello Dairy (18) vs. Charlottesville Oil (3)
Winning Pitcher: Eddie Shifflett. Losing Pitcher: Peyton Humphrey

Downtown Athletic Store (3) vs. Keller & George (7)
Winning Pitcher: Jimmy Jones (one hitter). Losing Pitcher: Ron Durham.

The first All-Star game was played at Carr’s Field on July 12, 1958. Lane (visitors) was leading Lambeth 6 to 1 when rain halted the game in the top of the 4th inning. Allen Sprouse was pitching for Lambeth and Percy Wood for Lane All-Stars had a one-hitter going, a two-out double by John Cubero. Wood also had struck out six and walked only four. The game was finally completed after re-scheduling a number of times. Lane won this first contest, although the final score is unknown.

Team members were:

Lane – Buford Baber, Mike Bishop, Ronnie Breeden, Morris Bryant, Gordon Durham, Ron Durham, Claude Haynes, Peyton Humphrey, Jimmy Jones, John Leake, Charlie Moon, Eddie Shifflett, Percy Wood and Herb Woodson. Manager: Joe Leake, Coach: Carl Deane.

Lambeth – Jim Brooks, Hazen Burnet, Charlie Crenshaw, John Cubero, Billy Dandridge, Johnny Davis, Tommy Hall, Ronnie Horton, Jimmy Lamb, Ronnie Rhodes, Jimmy Spencer, Allen Sprouse, Donnie Stokes, Palmer Sweet and Billy Yeatts. Manager: Pat Dudly, Coach: Pete Collier.

The first best 2-out-of-3 City Championship was played at Lane High School Field on July 31, 1958. Charlottesville Oil, The Lane League Champions won over Allied Supply, Lambeth League Champions, taking the first two games.

Results:

1st Game: Charlottesville Oil (7) vs. Allied Supply (6)
Winning Pitcher: Percy Wood. Losing Pitcher: Jim Brooks

2nd Game: Charlottesville Oil (4) vs. Allied Supply (0)
Winning Pitcher: Peyton Humphrey (2 hitter). Losing Pitcher: Tommy Hall


Babe Ruth Baseball Inaugurated in Charlottesville-Albemarle County, Virginia

Through the foresight of Judge George Coles, Steve Sebo and Frank Neofotis, Babe Ruth Baseball for 13-15 year olds was sanctioned in Charlottesville-Albemarle County in 1966. The story goes that Steve Sebo had seen a Babe Ruth Baseball tournament played elsewhere and felt that our local players were talented enough to play competitive baseball with other teams. The rest is history as the results will indicate that our ball players were and are indeed talented enough to do well against advanced competition. The display board attached to the back of the 1st base side dugout speaks for itself.

In 1966, John Gilliam of Front Royal, Virginia was the first Commissioner of District V Babe Ruth Baseball. He was succeeded by Alfred Dofflemyer of Charlottesville, Virginia in 1973 and held this position through 1984. Jimmy Davis of Charlottesville served as District V Commissioner from 1985 – 1995. Glenn Perkins is the current District V Commissioner.


Birth of the Lane Babe Ruth League of Charlottesville
13-15 Year Old Division


During the off-season of 1984, representatives of the Lambeth and Lane Leagues held meetings to explore the possibilities of merging the two leagues into one Babe Ruth 13-15 year old Junior League. Representatives were: President John Rogan, Vice President Mitch Ford and coaches Bob Borchers and Steve Foutz from the Lambeth League; President Wayne Ramsey and coaches Jim Davis, Jack Marr and John Mimms from the Lane League.

A few years prior to the 1985 season, there had been a steady decline in both leagues of youth participating in baseball. This year seemed to be an opportunistic time to merge because one league had more 14 year olds than the other while the other league had more 15 year olds than the other. The primary goal of merging the two leagues was to establish a 13 year old prep division, thereby allowing players in this age group to participate only among themselves, have better one-on-one instruction and become better accustomed to a regulation baseball diamond under competitive play. By forming the prep division, the 14 and 15 year olds then would participate only among those in their age group. With the two separate divisions, more players would continue their careers in junior league baseball and this indeed has become a reality.

The merger of the two leagues has brought about more unity, stability, continuity, competitiveness and above all else – better baseball organization and facilities for the 13-15 year old youth of the Charlottesville-Albemarle County community. It is evident that the above stated goals and objectives are being achieved.

In 1985, The Lane Babe Ruth League of Charlottesville, 13-15 Year Old Division was officially born and chartered.

In 1990, Lane Babe Ruth League of Charlottesville became officially incorporated.

Sources: The Daily Progress, Harley Easter, Alfred Dofflemyer, and Jimmy Davis.