HISTORY

Updated Tuesday August 22, 2017 by Carlos Torres.

The South Lexington Youth Baseball organization dates to 1956 when it was founded under the name of the Southern League.  In the early 1970s, the Southern League, by that date called Southern Little League,  merged with the Stonewall Independent League under the banner of South Lexington Little League with a 10-team Major League division—the same as today– and several Minor League teams.  Over the years the Minor League has expanded to the current 10 teams and in the 1990s the Rookie League (now 7 and 8-year olds with 11 teams) and Tee Ball (now 4 to 6-year-olds and 18 teams) comprise the league’s make-up.

During this 1970's period, South Lexington won several Little League State championships and in 1978 South Lexington’s 12-year-old All-Star team won the South Regional to become one of only four United States teams to qualify for the eight-team Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA.  South Lexington won two of three games in the World Series to finish third.

In the mid-1980s, the league became affiliated with Babe Ruth Baseball, playing in the Bambino Division, now called Cal Ripken.  Success on the national and international stage in several age divisions has continued for South Lexington teams in the Ripken Division.  Sixteen different South Lexington’s 12-year-old All-Star teams have gone to Ripken (or its Bambino predecessor) World Series.  The teams in 1992, 2001 and most recently 2007 won World Series championships and the 1994 and 2011 teams finished as the runner-up in the Series.  The 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014 teams finished in the Ripken World Series’ Final Four.  Also, South Lexington’s 12-year-old teams in 1987, 1988, 1990, 1997, 1999, and 2000 also participated in Ripken (or Bambino) World Series.

In the 10-year-old Cal Ripken World Series, three South Lexington All-Star teams have participated.  Most recently, the 2013 South Lexington 10-year-olds finished as runner-up in the World Series just as the 10-year-old age group did in 2004.  South Lexington’s 10-year-old All-Star team also appeared in the 2009 World Series.

After the Southern and Stonewall leagues merger in the early 1970s, SLYB began with the current format, playing with 10 teams in the Major League.  This league was divided into two five-team divisions, the American and National divisions. For nearly 30 years, the league champion was decided in a best of three playoff between the two division winners.

An alteration to this was made beginning with the 2002 season when a tournament was initiated.  For the regular season, the same two-division format was maintained and the team with best record in each earns its division championship.

The post season tournament is a separate entity and consists of six teams who earn tourney berths off regular season performance.  The division winners receive the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the tournament and a first-round bye.  The next four teams with the best records qualify for the other tourney spots.

Following is some historical information on the regular season and league post-season play.  Over the years, team names have changed and the division make-up has been altered and for a few years a blind draw determined each team’s division placement. Immediately following are the regular season and playoff/tournament results as we can officially document:

 

Regular Season

Year     American Div         National Div

1956-1973 not available

1974   Rebels                     Yankees

1975   Rebels                     Braves

1976   White Sox                Cardinals

1977   White Sox                Cardinals

1978   White Sox                Wildcats

1979   Rebels                     Braves

1980  White Sox                 Wildcats

1981   Cardinals                 Braves

1982   Braves                     Wildcats

1983   Wildcats                   White Sox

1984-2000 not available

2001   Cubs                        Cardinals

2002   Reds                        Cardinals

2003   Cubs                        Royals

2004   White Sox                Royals

2005   Cubs                        Braves

2006   Orioles                     Cardinals

2007   Orioles                     Royals

2008   Cubs                        Pirates

2009   Reds                        Braves

2010     Reds                      Royals

2011      Reds                     Pirates

2012     White Sox              Royals

2013     White Sox              Cardinals

2014     White Sox              Royals

2015     White Sox              Pirates

2016     Reds                      Royals

2017     Astros                    Pirates

 

Playoff/Tournament 

Playoff results between the two division winners:

Year:

1956-1973-not available

1974-Yankees defeated Rebels 2 games to 1.

1975-Rebels defeated Braves 2 games to 0.

1976-White Sox defeated Cardinals 2 games to 0.

1977-Cardinals defeated White Sox 2 games to 1.

1978-White Sox defeated Wildcats 2 games to 0.

1979-Rebels defeated Braves 2 games to 0.

1980-Wildcats defeated White Sox 2 games to 0.

1981-Braves defeated Cardinals 2 games to 1.

1982-Wildcats defeated Braves 2 games to 0.

1983-Wildcats defeated White Sox 2 games to 1.

1984-2000-not available.

2001-Cardinals defeated Cubs 2 games to 0.

(A 6-team tournament replaced the playoff format in 2002)

Year      Winner         Runner-Up          Score

2002      Cardinals     Royals                   5-4

2003      Rebels         White Sox            12-7

2004      Royals         White Sox              6-1

2005      Braves         Cubs                      4-1

2006      Orioles         Cardinals               3-2

2007      Orioles         Royals                   7-1

2008      Cubs            Astros                  15-12 (10 innings)

2009      Astros          A’s                        10-0

2010      Royals         Pirates                  14-12 (8 innings)

2011       Cardinals    Pirates                  11-0

2012      White Sox    Royals                    4-2

2013      Cardinals     White Sox             15-4

2014      White Sox    Reds                       9-6

2015      White Sox    Orioles                  14-1

2016      Cubs            Astros                     5-3

2017      Cardinals     Astros                     12-11                      

Cal Ripken, Jr., former major league star with the Baltimore Orioles, became affiliated with Babe Ruth Baseball, Inc. in 1999 and Babe Ruth’s 4 to 12 -year-old age division changed its name from Bambino to Ripken that year. In 2007, Ripken baseball began offering two different distances for which its league members could complete, those being at 46/60 foot division and 50/70 foot division.   A 12-year-old World Series is held annually for each division.

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