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SERVING COMMUNITIES OF HENRICO VA

History

Bethlehem started just as many other leagues did - kids playing baseball throughout the neighborhood. There was no organization, no adult supervision, and no coaching.

In 1959, several men with families living in the Dickens / Bethlehem Road corridor were trying to find a way to bring organized youth baseball to life.  Together with Henrico County and Little League Baseball, they started Bethlehem Little League.  Bethlehem received its first Little League Charter in March of 1960.

The first Board of Directors consisted of 8 fathers led by President John Morrison and Vice President Bob Davidson.  The league consisted of four teams of 14 players - each team playing 18 games.  The Red Sox, Giants, Phillies, and Royals were born in the 9 to 12 year old division and Bethlehem has kept those teams to this day.  Each team had an individual sponsorship from various surrounding businesses.

Other age divisions were added as BLL grew.  The divisions were "Farm Division" which consisted of 6, 7 and 8 year olds;  Minor division 9 and 10 year olds; Major division 11 and 12 year olds; and Senior Division 13-16year olds.  There was no T-Ball and Machine Pitch.  Those were added in the early 80s and early mid-2000s respectively.  Coach Pitch was added in the early 1990s.  Coach Pitch was replaced by Machine Pitch in the mid 2000s but in 2020 returned to BLL for 6-7 year olds.

The first field at BLL was the Major Field.  The Senior and T-Ball field were added as BLL grew.  As the league grew, some games were played at the former Epworth Church at the corner of Wistar and Staples Mill.  Teams continued to practice and play there until the early 2000s.

BLL won its first District 5 Championship in 1969 and has won two others since.  Bethlehem has won many invitational tournament championships throughout the years.  Many of our players have gone on to be successful individuals who spent their youth here in the spring, summer and fall playing ball, making friends and having fun.  Some of our players have even made it to the professional ranks of the game.  

In the last couple of years there has been a change within the league.  The right pieces are coming together at the right time.  People who played here have come back to lead.  New and energetic members have breathed new life into a league that has been so important to so many for a long time.  In 2015, we introduced a new brand, new logo, and new colors to go with our traditional "Navy Blue" that you see on our website.

I want to invite anybody new to the area to consider coming to this league.  Support your community and play Little League Baseball.  Check out our boundaries to see if you are eligible.  Also, if your child goes to a school that is within our boundaries then they are eligible to play even if your residence may not be within boundary.  Once your child plays for Bethlehem, they are a part of the league forever. 




 
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