The West Hartford Youth Baseball League managed to have successful summer and fall seasons in 2020, and is excited about the coming year, including a chance to host the state championships at Wolcott Park.
The West Hartford Youth Baseball League (WHYBL) received some very exciting news over the holidays when Mike Haddad, Connecticut Cal Ripken Baseball commissioner, announced that Babe Ruth and Cal Ripken Baseball have selected WHYBL to be the host league for the 2021 12-year-old Connecticut Cal Ripken State Baseball Championship tournament in July.
Haddad described the selection as an easy one, noting that “West Hartford offers a beautiful lighted field in a wonderful park which is easily accessible for teams traveling from every corner of the state. Families from all over Connecticut have told us how much they enjoy playing at Wolcott Park and always praise the hospitality shown by WHYBL volunteers and parents. I also expect that West Hartford will once again field an outstanding team which will compete with our other leagues for a chance to advance to the New England Championships, and then on to the Cal Ripken World Series in Branson, MO.”
“This is a big deal and a true testament to our families, players, coaches and volunteers. The growth of our league, the development of our players, and our enhanced family experiences are being widely recognized,” said WHYBL President Rob Hanawalt. “West Hartford has never been selected before, and to be hand-picked like this is special. Getting our league to this level has been a true team effort, and I know I speak for the entire WHYBL community when I say that we are very proud to be the host league for this year’s tournament.”
Just two seasons ago in Danbury, the WHYBL Bulldogs won West Hartford’s first ever 12U state championship. They went on to win the New England Regional title that year as well, advancing to the Cal Ripken World Series. This year’s 12U District/Travel team will try to repeat that accomplishment, only this time starting things off on their home turf as the host team.
Kyle Jeter, who played in the league and now coaches and runs the WHYBL summer District/Travel program, agreed the selection is quite an honor. “What great news,” Jeter said. “This league has grown over the years, providing memorable experiences for boys and girls of all ages and skill levels. I am proud to see it happen, and glad the league is being rewarded for its efforts in becoming a complete youth baseball organization.”
The announcement of WHYBL as the host league for the 2021 tournament is welcome news after a 2020 youth sports season that was nothing short of “unique” due to the pandemic. After canceling the spring baseball season, the league was able to provide safe summer and fall baseball programs, operating under protocols developed by the league and state and local officials.
“Thankfully, baseball wound up being one of the few things that felt somewhat ‘normal’ this year,” Hanawalt said. “Although there is still some level of uncertainty, we are optimistic that our spring baseball season in 2021 will be played on time and as scheduled.”
Registration now open
WHYBL spring recreational baseball registration is now open for all boys and girls ages 4-12. The season will run from mid-April to early June. Registration fees begin at only $65 for the Training Division (ages 4-6). Go to the WHYBL League website for more information on all age group divisions and to register. You can also follow the league on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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