BGSL History

THE HISTORY OF BARRINGTON GIRLS SOFTBALL LEAGUE

63 YEARS STRONG!

In late spring of 1954, several girls were sitting curbside lamenting the fact that they did not have an organized recreational activity like their brothers. Their enthusiasm and motivation were directed towards Louis Tessitore, president of the Barrington Lions Club. Since many of the girls babysat for Mr. Tessitor, they looked to him for help. The handful of girls trudged over to his home on 4th and Reading stating their wishes as he listened patiently. Within weeks, softball equipment arrived and the start of something greater than they expected began.

Throughout the years, the Barrington Girls Softball League (BGSL) has helped strengthen the community with the volunteer efforts of parents, endorsement of the business community, and continued support of residents, mayor and council. From the informal sandlot pick-up games to the creation of the Ponytail League, the BGSL has put its imprint in history.

T I M E L I N E 

1954

  • (Winter) Founding girls meet with Jim Saleir planning their softball future. Mr. Sadleir becomes coach and director, served as “father hen” and acted as the publicity man to meet the growing demand of interested girls.
  • (Winter) Bill Straub, a father and employee at Edmund Scientific, assumed the presidency and worked tirelessly on raising money and purchasing equipment. He bought a snow-cone machine for the mothers who sold candy out of a small building that was used for scorekeeping.
  • (Spring) An official announcement of the formation of an organized softball league is publicized inviting girls between
    the ages of 12 to 16 years old to sign up at the Borough Hall.

1955

  • (Summer) Fifty to sixty girls gathered on and around the wooden bleacher at the “big” field while four managers selected their new teams respectively. Tom Dillon, Adrian Riemann, Bob Ball and Dick Croasdale formed the Lions Club (purple & yellow uniforms), Custom Tire (green & white), Houck Engineering (red & white) and Woman’s Club (black & orange). John Ludwig, Rusty Hance, Gene Scholl and Gene Mothes joined as coaches. The town showed its support and Mayor Lott became the first commissioner.
  • To promote good Sportsmanship, team spirit and coordination in the minds of the Barrington girls and to develop them physically through outdoor softball team play.
  • To establish another means whereby parents and the community at large may foster better relationships and offer solutions to current social problems of our youth.
  • BGSL expands in size creating a Minor League sponsored by Barrington Food Mart, Larry’s Meat Market and Page Brothers. Some Major League players such as Betty May and Scotty Evers help out in coaching the young girls, and Gay Hance was the team manager for Larry’s Meat Market. They promoted the development of good sportsmanship and teamwork.
  • BGSL expanded its play to East Camden’s girls softball teams; the four Major League teams had competition play with the East Camden Marauders, Aristone Rockettes, RCA Victor and Maple Shade Kiwanis. The Barrington girls showed their abilities in teamwork to triumph over the competition. 

 

Even though the formulations of playing rules were informal, bylaws clearly stated the purposes of its existence: 

  • To promote good Sportsmanship, team spirit and coordination in the minds of the Barrington girls and to develop them physically through outdoor softball team play.
  • To establish another means whereby parents and the community at large may foster better relationships and offer solutions to current social problems of our youth.

 

1956

  • (Fall) The BGSL girls put on an Alabama Minstrel Show at the Barrington Borough Hall to raise money for the following season. It was a joyous, memorable success for the girls involved. In the spring of 1957, an Easter Egg sale was organized. This would be the first of many candy sales to help fund the League in its effort to purchase materials necessary for the benefit of the girls.
  • The officers of the League reached out to neighboring towns to encourage and assist them in establishing their own girls softball leagues so our girls would have other local teams to compete against. A four-town tournament was held annually. This was the first step in the growth of girls’ sports in the area.
  • Coaches and fathers replaced paid umpires; this system encouraged the members to learn the rulebook, which were official rules used in high school competition. The managers and coaches instructed players in the rules; some modifications were made for the Minor League to make play more competitive.

1957

  • The officers of the League reached out to neighboring towns to encourage and assist them in establishing their own girls softball leagues so our girls would have other local teams to compete against. A four-town tournament was held annually. This was the first step in the growth of girls’ sports in the area.
  • Coaches and fathers replaced paid umpires; this system encouraged the members to learn the rulebook, which were official rules used in high school competition. The managers and coaches instructed players in the rules; some modifications were made for the Minor League to make play more competitive.

 1959

  • On October 11, 1959, the first banquet was held at the VFW Hall. Appropriate awards were given out to the girls as they enjoyed the festive event.
  • Mothers of the players formed a Ladies Auxiliary. Their invaluable help has provided for renovations to the field area and the purchase of new uniforms and equipment.
  • Steady growth of the League created more play for the girls as the teams were added. There was an increase in the men and women volunteers to help ease the growth.
  • Rules have been changed every year to make the game more consistent with the High School Softball Rulebook as base lengths and other rules were slowly being standardized. This made Barrington girls able to compete in high school and college softball where the same rules apply.

1960s

  • During the early sixties, the inter-town play competition was stopped in order to concentrate on the teams within Barrington.
  • The Barrington Babe Didrickson team was reformed. Guidelines were worked out to make it an integral part of the softball program. It was sponsored by Owens-Corning Fiberglass Company.
  • Girls beginning at age nine to twelve played in the Minor League, thirteen to fifteen in the Major League and fifteen to eighteen in the Babe Didrickson League.

1968

  • As the Barrington Girls Softball League grew to 250 girls, more teams were added with continued support of the men and women of the community. Finally it was impossible to play all of the games and the Borough was approached to find someplace for the League to expand its facilities.
  • The Borough removed the tennis court complex in deep center field and added a second softball diamond. Now it was possible to play two games at once. 

1969

  • The first women coach was introduced.  Debbie (Stone) DiPaolo and her sister, Jill (Stone) Houck, are the leaders in women’s participation as managers and coaches in the Barrington Girls Softball League.
  • The Babe Didrickson team captured the championship title with a 17-1 record for the season. 

1989 

  • A clinic was formed by Henry Charles to teach the basics of play to eight-year old girls utilizing the field at Culbertson School.
  • The League continued to expand by changing the Clinic starting age to six and adding a Pony Tail division for the eight and nine year old girls.
  • A 15 and under traveling team is added to play in the Garden State Association (GSA) league. An 18 and under team is added the following year. 

1997

  • The League continued to expand by changing the Clinic starting age to six and adding a Pony Tail division for the eight and nine year old girls.
  • A 15 and under traveling team is added to play in the Garden State Association (GSA) league. An 18 and under team is added the following year.

MORE BGSL HISTORY TO COME