Babe Ruth Baseball Holds Its Opening Day in Greenwood

Kelly Kirby rounds third on his way to an inside-the-park home run in the Grasshoppers’ game with Thunder.

Greenwood Baseball, the Babe Ruth division of the Peachtree League, held its opening at Greenwood Community Center April 21. The league fielded four teams of boys ages 13 to 15, who chose their team names from minor league teams across the country. On opening day the Grasshoppers played The Thunder in the first game and the RiverDogs faced the Scrappers in the second. The teams play a 16-game season and then an all-star group is chosen to be the league’s tournament team. The league has grown from 25 to 40 kids since last season.

Scott Baker, the head coach of Thunder and president of Greenwood Baseball, opened the day by reminding spectators of the rules. “There is a code of ethics here,” he sad. “This is about the boys and nobody else.” Parents are expected to keep cool.

Former big league pitching star Billy Wagner, now the JV coach at Miller School, threw out the first pitch and stayed to watch some of the play. He was friendly and encouraging to the players, many of who approached him.

Billy Wagner throwing the first pitch.

The Greenwood field was in outstanding condition. Five truckloads of special soil were added recently and low wet spots in the field are now built up and overall drainage has improved. Its left field fence is at 286 feet, right at 240 feet and center field extends to 331 feet. Billy Adcock was thanked for getting the electronic scoreboard to work again.

The 13U district tournament will be held on the field in July. It will draw teams from Greenwood, Greene, Fluvanna, Madison, Orange, Spotswood and the Lane Babe Ruth League in Charlottesville.