For the first time since the late 1940s, Newberry Little League will not have a Little League charter. The league recently announced that starting this year, it will be a Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth Softball League.
Last year, Newberry celebrated its 75th anniversary as a Little League program. A message seeking comment from the Newberry Cal Ripken League was not returned.
According to the Newberry Cal Ripken League’s Facebook page, there are no boundary restrictions like in Little League. That means anyone within Lycoming County is eligible to play for the Newberry Cal Ripken League.
“Little League International is disappointed to learn of the decision by the Newberry Little League Board of Directors to transition away from our program, but remains committed to ensuring that every child has the opportunity to participate in a Little League program,” Little League International said in a statement to the Sun-Gazette. “Little League’s District and Region officials have been made aware of current families in the Newberry community who wish to continue participation in an affiliated Little League program and will work with them to ensure they have the opportunity to do so.”
Those players from Newberry who still are interested in playing Little League are eligible to play for either Williamsport Area Little League or South Williamsport Little League, according to District 12.
Players who live on the north side of the Susquehanna River will be able to play for WALL. Players who live on the south side of the Susquehanna River will be able to play for South Williamsport.
Newberry had plenty of success within District 12 when it came to the postseason,. In major baseball, Newberry Little League won a total of 17 District 12 championships and appeared in the 1947 National Little League Tournament and the 1969 Little League World Series. In 1969, Newberry lost in the quarterfinals and played through the consolation bracket to beat Germany (4-1) and Puerto Rico (2-1). Newberry remains the last Lycoming County team to get to the Little League World Series in the major baseball division.
Newberry won District 12 major baseball titles in 2012, 1993, 1991, 1990, 1984, 1983, 1982, 1978, 1976, 1970, 1969, 1968, 1967, 1965, 1959, 1955 and 1951.
In softball, Newberry won 10 district titles, the last coming in 1996. Newberry won titles in 1996, 1995, 1989, 1987, 1982, 1981 and a string of four consecutive from 1975-78. The first District 12 tournament for major softball was in 1974.