Historical Tidbits of the North Branch Baseball League
In 1926, the Tri-County Baseball League formed and is the oldest amateur hardball/baseball league in Pennsylvania, which is still an active league. The North Branch League, an offshoot of the Twin County League got its beginnings in the early 1950’s.
In 1957 Millard Ludwig was elected President of the North Branch League and continued full service until 1979 when Richard (Dick) Holdren of Jerseytown took the reins of Umpire Assignments and Schedules. Ludwig, now deceased, was the best known for his firm hand on the league and maintained strict order and often took a player to the side reminding him of the rules and regulations of play. Ludwig was also the Secretary, Treasure, Sports reporter, and league Statistician in his early years. He maintained the batting averages for each player and made it accessible for all to see, even to this day. In the 1980’s John Babb was assigned President of the North Branch League and he was given the task of filling Ludwig’s shoes.
Millard Ludwig continued with the Pennsylvania Amateur Baseball Leagues until his death in 2001.
Twenty – Six (26) teams made up the North Branch Baseball League at one time. However, as things do, the league started to diminish and teams fell away. Some of the past teams included Bendertown, Buckhorn, Delaware Twp (Warrior Run), Exchange, Grassmere, Jerseytown, Light Street, Millertown, Nare Hood (between Milton and Washingtonville), Nescopeck, Picture Rocks, Red Rock (Air Force Base Airmen Team), Roaring Creek Valley, Rupert, Stillwater, Unityville and White Deer.
In 2007, the NBBL reverted back to the days of old when it was unanimously voted by the teams and coaches to play exclusively with wood bats. The main reasons for the change included safety for its players, to speed up length of game play, and attract local college players that might otherwise go play in a wood bat league.
In 2010 the NBBL had a "Changing of the Guards" sort to say with Devin Knorr becoming President and Marianne Creasy becoming Secretary/Treasurer. John Babb stepped down this year due to health related issues. NBBL is thankful for having John Babb be a part of this league for many, many years. The 2010 season will be composed of 10 teams down from 11 teams in 2009. Central/Bloom will not be having a team. (Millville Brewers, Hughesville Travelers, Milton Pirates, Norry Renegades, Norry D - Backs, North Berwick Blue Sox, Williamsport Orioles, Muncy Phillies, Danville Jays, and Benton Cardinals). Due to a limited number of teams this year, the 2010 Tri - County Tournament has been cancelled. This long running and exciting tournament was missed by those teams that have participated in years past. North Branch baseball league would like to thank North Berwick, Al Steward Sr, Al Steward Jr, and all others for their dedication and efforts to set up and run this tournament for many years. Perhaps next year we can look at getting the tournament up and running again. The year ended on with North Berwick taking the regular season title and the Norry Renegades took second. Danville Jays struggled this year finding guys to field a team and needed to forfeit 6 games, mostly due to the Danville legion team doing well in the playoffs. The 2010 league and playoff champions were the North Berwick Blue Sox, beating the Northumberland Renegades in 2 games. The North Branch was again represented in the York Coloniel Tournament that takes place annually in the York area. North Branch was eliminated from the tournament in two games (losing to Susquehanna Asault 8-5; Delran 6-5).
2011 - First league meeting was held on May 2. NBBL will lose one team this year, Northumberland Diamondbacks, and we will have a 9 team league, (Millville Warriors, Hughesville Travelers, Milton Pirates, Norry Renegades, North Berwick Blue Sox, Williamsport Orioles, Muncy Phillies, Danville Jays, and Benton Black Knights). We are scheduled to play a 16 regular season schedule. The North Berwick tournament resumed this year with all NBBL teams expecting to participate however the Millville Warriors, Northumberland Renegades, and Williamsport Orioles did not. A team from the Hazelton league entered the tournament this year. The Hughesville Travelers won the tournament. By having all NBBL teams playing in the tournament it will increase the number of games that are played. The Renegades participated in the Rawlings showdown near Reading this year. There was talk that a North Branch/West Branch all star game was to be played however things did not work out and it was cancelled. The North Berwick Blue Sox and the Northumberland Renegades were league co - champions. North Berwick beat the Hughesville Travelers in the NBBL playoff championships in 2 games. Charles Creasy, a long time player, umpire, and representative for the NBBL pasted away in August 2011. The NBBL will be represented at the York Coloniel Tournament this year. Updated info to come.
2012 - Regular season won by Hughesville Travelers and League Playoff was won by North Berwick (3rd title in a row).
2013 - First league meeting held on February 25th at the Danville Leagion. NBBL will consist of at least 6 teams (Milton, Danville, Hughesville, Williamsport, Berwick, Northumberland). It is proposed that North Branch and West Branch combine leagues to increase the number of games and provide different competition. A board of directors was established to provide a governing body to settle disputes that arise during the season (Dick Holdren, Joe Nicki, Devin Knorr). The presentation of the regular season championship trophy was awarded to Hughesville and North Berwick received a name plate for the playoff trophy. On May 25th the 2013 kicked off with all games being played at North Berwick.
2014 - This is the first year for North Branch and West Branch to play each other during the regular season. The two leagues will play each team one time for the 2014 season. North Branch has adopted a new rule allowing for an EH to be used in the lineup, allowing more players a chance to play. Joe Nickey was voted in as the Umpire Assigner, replacing Dick Holdren. Dick has been involved in North Branch for a long time and will continue to be involved in some capasity. Thanks for you longer service and continued involvement in the North Branch League.
Board of Directors
President – Devin Knorr
Secretary/Treasurer – Marianne Creasy
Umpire Assignments – Joe Nicki