Huntington County Baseball still adding as it starts 64th year

Huntington County Baseball, entering its 64th season, continues to grow as it provides baseball and softball opportunities to the boys and girls of Huntington County.

Since moving from Gemmer Field to its new, larger facility at Homier Park on Evergreen Road in 2004, HCB has seen a rise in the number of youth involved. Girls' softball was added in 2005, and this year will see the addition of 17- and 18-year-olds in both baseball and softball.

"We are excited to be able to continue to grow at HCB," said organization president Jeff Phillips. "This year we are allowing 18-year-old players, who are still in high school, to our older leagues. We are finding that these young people still want to play baseball or softball after they finish with their high school careers. We feel we can fill that need for them."

The move also allows more options for older teens.

"We have seen growth in our older divisions these few years for a variety of reasons," said Phillips. "Some kids don't want the expense of travel teams any longer while some others want to be able to continue to play other sports in the summer, which our league can meet that need."

Homier Park has not only provided room for growth of Huntington County Baseball, but it has allowed for the hosting of a number of baseball and softball tournaments sponsored by HCB, which have brought teams and visitors to the area, boosting the economy of Huntington County.

Those tournaments have also made Homier Park a popular destination for summer youth baseball and softball events in the state.

"We are thrilled that Homier Park has not only allowed our league to grow, but it's become a great spot for other tournaments to be played here," said Joe Santa, an HCB board member since 1984. "Last year we hosted four different tournaments, which brought over 120 teams to Huntington. That means, including families and players, we probably saw close to 7,500 people spending time and money in our community."

In 2013, more than 650 athletes took part in Huntington County Baseball leagues. HCB will provide five softball leagues and six baseball leagues for boys and girls in 2014.

More information about Huntington County Baseball can be found at its website at www.hcbsports.org, which has information for players, parents and coaches, and also has information on registration, scheduling and team building.

Opening weekend for Huntington County Baseball is May 2-3, which includes the annual parade, opening-night activities and fireworks.