Joy League ended its season for the first time this year with a championship tournament, which replaced the traditional all-star games.
The change capped a year of changes for the baseball league. It moved from its longtime home at Edgewood Elementary School and began playing at Homewood Middle School.
It also got new members on its board of directors and a new commissioner, Tim Meehan.
“I’m very excited about the direction of the league,” Meehan said. “We acquired some great sponsors this year who helped us upgrade our jerseys and safety equipment, and the response from our coaches and parents has been overwhelmingly positive all year.”
This year, the championship trophies for the regular season and the tournament, held June 15, were named in honor of people who have worked to maintain the Joy League through the years. This year’s winners were:
• 1A Regular Season Champs – Clyde Cook Trophy was awarded to the Yanks
• 1A Tournament Champs – George Leigh Trophy was awarded to the Yanks.
• 2A Regular Season Champs – Bill Hutto Trophy was awarded to the Yanks.
• 2A Tournament Champs – Ted Hagler Trophy was awarded to the Bucs.
• 3A Regular Season Champs – Perry Akins Trophy was awarded to the Yanks.
• 3A Tournament Champs – John J. Smith Trophy was awarded to the Yanks.
New board members were named after commissioners Perry Akins and Ted Hagler retired following the 2018 season. The two served the league for a combined 80 years. Bill Hutto, the league’s marketing director, stayed on.
In addition to Meehan, other board members are Stephen McGhee, John David Owen, Foster Phillips, Jim Rice, Izzy Rohr, John Stevens and Tyler Wright.
The Joy League has operated in Homewood since 1958. It is a league for boys and girls ages 4 to 12 that stresses the importance of having fun while learning to play baseball. Kids do not have to go through tryouts or evaluations to be able to play; every player gets to play in every game.