Bauerstown Baseball & Softball Association BBA

 
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History of Bauerstown

By John Reitlinger

John Reitlinger is BBA's first designated Historian

He is also an expert in utilizing our hand drag to groom our fields into shape!

(Click the small image for a larger one.)


2006 was the 50th year of Bauerstown Baseball and Softball Association.

The first official meeting was held at the Bauerstown Firehall on March 6, 1956. Eight people were in attendance. Election of Officers was held, and our first president was Joseph Dewey. His officers were: Al Sauter, vice-president: Oscar Wohleber, treasurer; and Walter Ehrenfied, secretary. These officers wrote our first by-laws, which read:

"Purpose to organize, promote and administer baseball teams and leagues for boys between the ages of 8-16 in the areas known as Bauerstown and Friday Street School Districts. To provide recreational facilities and opportunities for members and friends. Dues shall be $1.00."

In June of 1956 our charter was signed by the Court of Common Pleas, and on April 1, 1958 we received a license to officially use the field at the Lampher Reservoir. The property is owned by the City of Pittsburgh and leased by us. These two documents were signed by the officers and David L. Lawrence, who was then Mayor of Pittsburgh.

When we received the license to use the fields, there was just one field in usable condition. This was the site of our present Pony-Colt field off Newland Lane. A small underdeveloped field was close to the site of our present farm field. A large house which was also city property stood where our girls field is now.

It wasn�t until 1969 under president Red Easler that our large development program was begun. The Township Commissioners approved fencing for the Newland Lane field and with time and materials donated by some of the members, the dug-outs were built. The Farm field and large field were redone. On June 29, 1969 the fields were officially dedicated. The program was attended by County and Township dignitaries, members and all the teams in uniform. We had a flag raising, all star games and other festivities.

In 1970 the building program continued. The long range plans were for three fields. The present Pony-Colt field, the Farm field, and a new Little field. Ground broke in late fall, and a massive job was begun. Between the farm field and the large field was a large area of trees and brush. These all had to be removed and graded. All three fields had to be completely redone. Mel Brantner had equipment donated and a few men from the Association started clearing the area. Work continued through the winter months and into spring. The Township again approved fencing for the new Little League field. This very small group of men did the impossible and had the fields ready for the season.

Soon afterward it was realized that three fields were not enough. In 1971, girls were registered for the first time and had no field to use. For the first few years, they used the fields that were not in use, and other fields in the township. In 1974 under President Ken Hartman the girl�s field was proposed and again with Mel Brantner's help, and machinery, the girls field was constructed. We also purchased a farm tractor to use to maintain the fields and cut grass. Since these are private fields, we are responsible for their upkeep.

The middle 1970�s saw the biggest improvement to the complex to date, the construction of a centrally located building to be used as a Refreshment Stand, with indoor plumbing and storage area. The completion of the building was in time for the 1976 season. Opening was a joy to everyone. No more would refreshments have to be carted in the trunks of cars, using portable grills for cooking, and we also had bathroom facilities. The Association was on an upswing. Membership was rapidly increasing each year and we again were running out of space.

With the additional fields completed we still had Instructional Softball and T-Ball players away from the complex. Our need was for another field within our present boundaries for our T-Ball leagues. Again construction began and a clearing was made. Grass seeds planted and a fence put up. We had advanced from 8 people in attendance in 1956 to over 250 families and over 25 teams and just in a short span of 25 years.

As we entered the 1980�s our stature in the North Hills kept growing. We had achieved what others only dreamed of. We had a family membership of nearly 300 with facilities being used by 425 kids. We were affiliated with the Guyasuta Baseball League, the Allegheny Baseball League, and were charter members of the Greater North Hills Softball League. In 1985 another construction effort began. As we grew in statue we also were rapidly running out of storage space. The present Refreshment stand building could no longer meet our needs. Again plans were drawn, blueprints submitted and workers rounded up. In November 1985 construction began with a target date of March 1986. The membership pitched in, cement was poured, block went up. A new roof appeared. Wiring was laid out, plumbing completed and counters were built. Material and man hours contributed by the membership achieved the completion of the building project. On opening day in 1986, the doors were opened to a new building with adequate room for our kitchen area and storage.

Twenty years later we celebrate our 50th season with the construction of our new double batting cages. We now have six fields, a large pole barn to house our tractor, mowers, tools and supplies and the finest concession stand in the North Hills. We should be very proud of our rich history and success. We will continue to research our history with the appointment of our official BBA Historian. Look for more information about our past to be recorded on our website. We are poised to begin our next half century with the same enthusiasm and commitment to organize, promote, and administer athletic pursuits among the youth of the community.


 

 
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