For more than 40 years, Woodland was a one league town. YMCA for 4 to 5 year olds, Little League for 6 to 12 year olds, and Babe Ruth for 13 to 18 year olds. That all changed in 1996. Little League decided to start a Junior program for players age 13 and 14 and a Senior program for 15 and 16 year olds. In response Babe Ruth started a youth program for players age 5 to 12. Woodland Little League and Woodland Babe Ruth are both 50 year old programs. Little League turned 50 in 2003 and Babe Ruth in 2005. There were many who doubted a new youth baseball program could fit into Woodland’s small community.
Woodland Little League's Junior and Senior programs lasted only two years, but produced one of Woodland's first Major League baseball players - Dustin Pedroia.
The new Babe Ruth league was formed in 1999 and was called Woodland Bambino Youth Baseball League. It was decided early on that the league should operate independently from Woodland Babe Ruth. A board of directors was formed, by laws were written, and a league charter was obtained.
The Registration fee was set at $0.00 the first year and attracted over 400 players. Many of those players stayed with the program through age 12 and went on to play Woodland Babe Ruth Baseball and beyond.
The leagues first president was Tony Salvemini. Tony coached and managed in both the Little League and Babe Ruth Programs. In 1994 Tony Managed the Babe Ruth 13-year-old All Stars who won the Babe Ruth World Series. This was a first for the City of Woodland.
Woodland Bambino was given exclusive rights to the city’s newest baseball diamond. This field was named after a long time community volunteer named Dick Klenhard. In 2000, the name of the league was changed to Woodland Cal Ripken Youth Baseball in accordance with Babe Ruth Internationals renaming of its youth program in honor of Cal Ripken Jr.
2021 will mark Woodland Cal Ripken’s 22nd year.
More to come...