A Short History of Pony Baseball
In the summer of 1951, PONY Baseball began with the organization of the Pony League in Washington, PA. On June 8th, 6 managers participated in the first player "auction." More than 130 boys were purchased at that auction.
On June 18th the first regular season Pony Baseball game was played between the Redwings and the Chiefs with the Redwings winning in 7 innings. The game was played at Wash High field, with an estimated 800 people in attendance.
The original teams were named: the Bisons, the Chiefs, the Colonels, the Orioles, the Redwings and the Royals.
The first season ended with a match game between the season's
first and second half champions. The Orioles were the first half
champions and the Redwings were the second half champs. In
the best of 3 series, the Orioles came out on top winning
Pony Baseball's first championship.
The growth of Pony Baseball, primarily by word of mouth, was rapid. By the end of the second season, 1952, the original six teams in Washington were joined by 505 others in 106 leagues across the country. A national tournament was conducted, and the first Pony League World Series was held that year.
In 1952 the first Pony World Series was played sharing headlines
with the Korean War. It was an 8 game event over a 4 day period.
North Charleston, South Carolina won the first game, defeating a team from Hagerstown, Maryland; 3 to 1.
San Antonio, Texas became the first official Pony Baseball World Series winner by defeating Brockton, Massachusetts in the final game by a score of 2 to1.
Lew Hays, among the founders of the Pony League, was named
Commissioner of the new league when it was incorporated for
national organization in early 1953 and held that post until 1964
when he became president of PONY Baseball.
In 1953, John Laslo, long time mayor of Martin's Ferry, Ohio, visited with Hays and discussed organization of a league similar to Pony League for 15 and 16 year-old players. The purpose was to permit players in this age bracket to compete with players of like experience in their first years on the regulation diamond. Laslo guided the development of Colt League, and in late 1959, Pony League and Colt League were merged into a single organization.
Now nearly 30,000 teams, over 450,000 players, and 4,000 leagues make up Pony Baseball in almost 30 different countries.
Lew Hayes Pony Baseball Field
P O N Y
Protect Our Nation's Youth
There are currently over 375 Major League Baseball players who are graduates of PONY Baseball. Mark McGuire, Tony Gwynn, Bobby Bonilla, Jeff Cirillo, Roger Clemens, Alex Fernandez, Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripkin Jr., Brett Saberhagen, Alex Rodriguez and J.T. Snow are just a few of the Major League players who have participated in PONY Baseball.
PONY Baseball is organized with two-year age brackets.
Shetland League - ages 5 and 6
Pinto League - ages 7 and 8
Mustang League - ages 9 and 10
Bronco League - ages 11 and 12
PONY League - ages 13 and 14
Colt League - ages 15 and 16
Palomino League - ages 17 and 18
For PONY Girls Softball, leagues are operated for fast pitch and slow pitch on an "and under" age concept.
Pinto League - age 8 and under
Mustang League - age 10 and under
Bronco League - age 12 and under
Pony League - age 14 and under
Colt League - age 16 and under
Palomino League - age 18 and under
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