Saturday, March 25, 2006/lk
By ADAM LAPIERRE
News staff writer
March 8, 2006
As reported in the March 3 issue of the Hood River News, Hood River’s 13-14-year-old baseball program is in the midst of joining the Junior Baseball of Oregon (JBO) Tri County League, which is based out of the Portland Area. The transition to JBO does not necessarily mean the end of Hood River’s Babe Ruth program, at least temporarily, as implied in the article.
In past years, baseball players at that age participated in the local Babe Ruth league, which included teams from White Salmon, Klickitat, The Dalles, Goldendale, Sherman County and Hood River. They also had the option to play in open JBO tournaments on weekends. Before the announcement of the move to JBO, 36 players had registered for Babe Ruth, which is about enough players for three full teams.
Essentially, JBO is a go. However, a local Babe Ruth team will also be formed if enough players choose Babe Ruth instead of JBO.
“JBO definitely has its advantages,” said Babe Ruth coordinator Chuck Johnisee. “But Babe Ruth also runs a quality program. Babe Ruth is here for our community. It creates harmony in the Columbia Gorge and it effects other communities by us not being in the league.”
According to Johnisee, ideally River would have teams in both leagues: JBO for those looking for more competition against more teams and Babe Ruth for those wanting recreational and competitive playing time more locally.
Both programs have advantages and disadvantages, and both are still available to Hood River’s young baseball players.
Tryouts for the JBO teams are this week, and Johnisee is currently contacting players who signed up for Babe Ruth to find out if enough kids are interested to keep a team in town.