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GVAA – WALKERSVILLE JUNIOR LIONS BASEBALL

Registration for our Fall 2024 season opens on June 15, 2024 and closes on August 10, 2024. 

Opening Day will take place on April 12, 2024 at Heritage Farm Park.

We are currently seeking players at the following age levels:

Babe Ruth (Ages 13-15)
Majors (Ages 11-12)
Minors (10U)
Rookies (8U)
TBall (Ages 4-6)

Level is determined by participant’s birthdate on May 1, 2024. If you are interested in moving your child to a higher age level, please contact our Commissioner, Steve Gessner at gvaabaseballcommish@gmail.com

Please address general baseball questions to our Commissioner, Steve Gessner at gvaabaseballcommish@gmail.com

The 2024 GVAA Baseball Board Consists of the following positions:

Commissioner: Steve Gessner

Assistant Commissioner: John Cavell
Registration:
Concessions:
Groundskeeper:
Uniforms: 

Babe Ruth Coordinator: Becky Hackett
Majors Coordinator: Steve Gessner
Minors Coordinator: Chris Gagnon
Rookies Coordinator:
T-Ball Coordinator: Brittany Crown

Address:

GVAA Baseball
P.O. Box 431
Walkersville, MD 21793

Additionally, any parent of a GVAA Baseball player is welcome to attend and participate in our GVAA Baseball Committee meetings.  Our meetings are currently held in person at the  Whitmore-Zimmerman Building at Heritage Farm Park. Contact our Commissioner for our next date.

Like our Facebook page to stay up to date on GVAA Baseball happenings!

Website updated: 4/29/2024

ABOUT GVAA BASEBALL

Mission

GVAA Baseball, established in 1952, provides Baseball programs for youths in the Walkersville, Glade, Woodsboro, New Midway, Libertytown, & Lewistown Elementary School feeder districts.

We are affiliated with the Frederick County Cal Ripken-Babe Ruth Baseball League, and draft those youths within these charter boundaries.

Offered Programs

Offered Programs Image

GVAA Baseball Program:
Our baseball program focuses on skills and drills associated with team development, player development, and sportsmanship. These are key components of our program. Players will typically play many positions throughout the season, subject to player safety and developmental needs.

All Stars:
All Star baseball team members are competitively selected based on their performance throughout the regular season, and/or a tryout. All players within the program are welcome to try out at their appropriate age level. All Star Teams will compete in our annual Harry O. Tournament, which we host in June. These teams then compete in a few summer tournaments possibly leading up to States in July.

BASEBALL PROGRAMS

Baseball Programs

Cal Ripken TBall (ages 4-6)
Cal Ripken T-Ball is recommended for 4, 5, and 6 year olds to teach the fundamentals of hitting and fielding.

Batters are given 5 soft pitches from the coach and then if needed hit off of the tee.   All rostered players present for the game bat in order.  Each player bats once per inning with the last batter clearing the bases with a home run.  All players take the field with two pitchers and the rest spread out in the infield and outfield. 

An adult coach is stationed beyond the infielders in order to provide instruction to all defensive players.  The primary goal is to begin to instruct young players in the fundamentals of baseball in a supportive team environment

Cal Ripken Rookies (ages 7-8)¬†–

The Cal Ripken Rookies program is designed primarily for 7 and 8 year olds. Dr. Robert Brown, former president of the American League formulated the concept of the Rookie League, a pitching machine program. Babe Ruth League quickly embraced this concept and established the Rookie League as a division.

By controlling the pitches with a pitching machine, there is more action at the plate and in the field. Fear of being hit by a pitched ball is diminished. It makes the game safer and improves the playing confidence and ability of all participants. It removes the boredom – which is often the result of either overpowering or inadequate pitching – by throwing only strikes.

Fewer errors and greater throwing accuracy are the result of increase in activity. The program receives high praise from coaches, players, parents, and league officials. The Rookie League is an excellent way to continue teaching the fundamentals of the game and building player confidence.

Cal Ripken Minors (ages 9-10) –¬†

The Minors level is recommended for 9 and 10 year olds.

Among teammates of their own age and experience level, players continue building and refining their fundamental skills while they begin to understand game strategy.

This is the start of the kid-pitch divisions, which incoporates pitching limitations to minimize issues with pitching related stresses and injuries.

It is at the minor league level that players first experience post-season tournament competition, with state and regional levels of play.

Cal Ripken Majors (ages 11-12)

The most experienced level of Cal Ripken Baseball, Cal Ripken Majors is recommended for 11 and 12 year old players.

Cal Ripken Baseball is played under the Official Baseball Rules, but implements some special rules as necessary for the development and welfare of this young age group.

The game is played on a 70-foot diamond with a pitching distance of 50 feet. In order to encourage the league to train more pitchers, there are rules that set the maximum number of innings a pitcher may pitch in a calendar week.

Regulation games consist of six innings or four innings if a game is called.

Babe Ruth 13-14

Founded in 1951, Babe Ruth Baseball League was created for ballplayers ages 13-15 who wished to continue their baseball playing experience beyond the age of 12. Play at this level and beyond in on the “big” diamond, with 90′ base paths and a 60′ 6″ pitching distance!

Recently Frederick County Babe Ruth adjusted the age groups to include 14U and 16U divisions.

 

 

HARRY O. SMITH TOURNAMENT

TOURNAMENT DETAILS

Annual Harry O. Smith Registration Tournament
June 28-June 30 

To register, please email GVAA Baseball at gvaabaseballcommish@gmail.com to receive a registration form.

2024 gvaa harry o smith tournament

Quick Facts:

– $600 10 & 12U $750 14U entrance fee per team
– One early bird game will be held per age group
– Brackets for 10U and 12U only with modified Cal Ripken Rules, 14U has full baseball rules
– All age levels will have a 3 game minimum
– Trophies awarded for 1st and 2nd place in each age bracket
– Games held at Heritage Farm Park in Walkersville, MD. Some brackets may be played in nearby Woodsboro, MD to satisfy game schedules
– Please send completed form and check made payable to: GVAA BASEBALL P.O. BOX 431, WALKERSVILLE, MD 21793. Your registration is not complete until we receive payment.

WHO WAS HARRY O.?

The Glade Valley Athletic Association (GVAA) owes its existence to the dedicated and tireless efforts of Harry O. Smith.  Many years ago, Harry would drive around to the rural farms to pick up young players in his truck to go play baseball. Harry was a strong community leader his entire life and his dedication to the youth of Frederick County is an inspiration to all of us who follow in his path. Harry had a passion for teaching young people. He not only coached, but he was an educator in the school system as well.

Harry O. founded Little League Baseball in Walkersville in 1951. That first non-uniformed team played “Big League Baseball on a Little League Diamond” and, as an independent team, compiled an 18-2 record.

In 1952, Harry O. was a founder of the GVAA, and that same year founded the Frederick County Junior Baseball League (FCJBL). Walkersville was the league’s first champion with a record of 21-3. That league included teams from Middletown and Myersville.

Harry O. went on to coach the Walkersville team for 21 years, winning 250 games, losing 126, with 5 championship teams and 6 runners up. During this 21 year period over 20 Frederick County communities were represented by teams playing in the FCJBL.

On March 19, 1999, Harry O. Smith, namesake of the Harry O. Smith Memorial Tournament, died at the age of 90.  That same year, the Walkersville High School boys baseball and girls softball teams both won the state title Рonly the second time in state history that both a baseball and softball team from the same school have won.  Those wins were a fitting tribute to the man who dedicated so much of his life to Walkersville youth baseball.

On April 10, 1999, opening day of the GVAA’s 1999 baseball season, Field Number 4 at Walkersville’s Heritage Farm Park was named the Harry O. Smith Memorial Field. The ceremony included the dedication of a plaque honoring Harry O. attached to the press box adjacent to the field. Harry may be gone, but he lives on in the spirit of our youth.

Annual Harry O. Smith Registration Tournament

Harry O. and GVAA’s First Little League Team, pictured in 1952. ¬†Standing: ¬†Wayne Duncan, Charles Ausherman, Larry Redmond, Coach Harry O. Smith, Dick Smith, Bill Powell, Wayne Zimmerman, Bobby Moore. ¬†Kneeling: ¬†Grayson Ramsburg, Norman McBride, Ron Smith, Keith Duncan, Wayne Swomley, Wendell Clem, Larry Duncan. ¬†Sitting: ¬†Roy Moore, Gene Green, Richard Zimmerman, Ed Shelton, Harry Crum.