Youth baseball leagues planned

By Ryan Cornell

MIDDLETOWN — For the first time in years, Middletown could get its own Little League baseball teams.

Shawn Hibbard is the founder of Team 84 Athletes, the nonprofit organization funding the proposed baseball complex in the Middletown Town Park. He said the organization would create a recreational league and a competitive travel league.

Teams in the recreational league, also known as the Middletown Cannons, would play teams in other area leagues such as the Strasburg and Winchester little leagues or the Frederick County American and National little leagues, he said.

He said teams in the competitive travel league, possibly registered through the Global Sports Authority network, would play teams throughout Virginia and host some home games.

“The beautiful thing about having the fields down there is we then have a place to play and generate more games, more revenue, because the money that’s going to be generated will help go into the park fund to just keep life going as far as youth sports,” Hibbard said.

The recreational league would offer baseball teams for several different age groups, from between 8 to 12 years old or 9 to 13 years old, he said, while the competitive travel league could include six teams between the 10U and 16U age groups.

Hibbard said the leagues would play next spring “so long as things continue to move on the positive forward path,” and that they could hold a combined 30 kids. He added that baseball coaches and a baseball director have been identified.

“There used to be (Little Leagues in Middletown] years ago,” he said. “But with Frederick National and American League and Winchester being the dominant places for them to play, there really wasn’t a demand there. So we’re going to recreate that demand.”

The final site plan for the baseball complex, which passed the Middletown Planning Commission on Monday, will proceed to the Town Council on Aug. 11.

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com