Little League International celebrated 75 years of stolen bases, double plays and home runs in April, and since 1971 the Oak Ridge Woodlands Area Little League has brought the chartered baseball to local children.
"It started over on the other side of the freeway—it was a really small little thing," information officer Russell Doolittle said. "To [build it to] what it is has taken years of dedication and success. If they weren't successful I don't think we would have the park that we have today."
The ORWALL baseball complex now has 10 baseball fields of various sizes in a 16-acre park that hosts 12 age divisions —ranging from 4 to 18 years of age—and about 130 teams, officials said.
For 13 years, Michael Daniels, a division director, has coached his son Kyle and just last year watched him play with the Big League team in the Little League World Series.
"We have always liked the level of competition here," Daniels said. "It's convenient, his friends played out here and he made a lot of friends"
Officials said ORWALL players go on to play on local school teams, play in college and draw attention from major league recruiters.
"This particular area is very interesting because we have several 5A schools," Doolittle said. "We feed some of the top schools. The Woodlands high school has gone to State, but we also have Tomball High School down the way here. This is a very competitive baseball area."
Although ORWALL's spring season is coming to a close, President Sam Yeager said the organization has added softball to its charter, and it will be offering the sport in the upcoming fall season.
"We just started that this year, so in the next year to two we will have more softball coming in here," Yeager said. "Little League [International] offers softball, so we wanted to offer it to the girls that want to play softball here."
Yeager said ORWALL's growth over the years would not be possible without the help of the volunteer coaches, managers, and board of directors.
"Basically it is just ran by super great volunteers," Yeager said.
1130 Pruitt Road, Spring, 281-292-3765, www.orwallbaseball.com