For the first time in more than six years, Owings Mills residents won’t have to look outside their own community for a recreational baseball league.
With a program already underway, the Owings Mills Recreation Council is fielding three individual teams in the 5-6 and 7-8 age groups, as well as an under-15 travel team.
“There hadn’t been anything in so long, people really weren’t looking to Owings Mills to offer baseball,” community baseball coordinator Renate Buttrum said. “They look at other programs and would have to travel away from their Owings Mills neighborhood to either Pikesville, Liberty Road or Reisterstown.”
Buttrum initially approached the rec council about the possibility of a travel team for her son, but was encouraged by the council to promote the prospect of assembling teams for the younger age groups, as well.
Through announcements on local media outlets and flyers on the walls of the three Owings Mills elementary schools, Buttrum garnered enough interest for one team in each league. The two recreational teams participate in the Liberty Road baseball league, while the travel team competes in the Baltimore Metro League.
“At first I wasn’t sure. I’ve never done anything like this. This was a big undertaking,” Buttrum said. “As it’s gone on and I see how enthusiastic the people are to have it back, it’s really making me excited. We started small, but we have a lot of plans to really expand already into next year.”
With more than 40 families having inquired about the league after registration closed, she estimates that each age group will triple in size next season. Buttrum also said the travel squad could get bigger and carry two teams as a result.
In the long term, Buttrum hopes participation grows to the point where the Owings Mills teams will no longer need to merge within other leagues, but instead will be able to compete among one another.
She says the current parents, players and coaches involved in the league are thrilled with what’s taken place so far in its first year back.
“The parents’ feedback has been awesome,” Buttrum said. “They are very happy. I’ve gotten a lot of positive comments about the coaches and the fact that our coaches are really focusing on teaching these children baseball skills. They commented on development they’ve seen since the first practice to where their kids are now. They are really playing the game.”
Registration for the Spring 2013 season will open January 1. For more information on the recreational leagues visit http://www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=omsbc. Click here for more on the travel squad.