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Our History

West Side Little League is located in Hamilton, Ohio about 26 miles north of Cincinnati, Ohio.  We compete in Ohio Little League District 9.  Our program held its first opening day on May 24, 1952 that includes a rich history of success led by many dedicated volunteers over the years.  This begins the excerpt from the opening day program from 1952:

West Side Little League


President - Tom Karch Vice President - Richard Koehler Secretary - Robert Tracy Treasurer - Lyman Clapper

The date was October 6, 1952. Autumn was in the air and the New York Yankees were on their way to win the 1952 World Series. The end of the Series meant the end of the 1952 baseball season. Sports talk would now center on football and basketball.

Not so however with the West Side Little League. Headed by President Tom Karch, this was the BEGINNING of the baseball season - the beginning of the West Side Little League. A person who saw the benefits derived from Lindenwald Little League baseball was now determined to make these same benefits available to "kids" on the west side.

The tremendous task of organizing a Little League had begun and along with it the many problems that were to confront the officers: Where would the necessary funds come from? Where could sponsors be obtained? Where would the games be played? Would cooperation be forthcoming from all sources?

Meeting after meeting was held during the winter months and one by one the answers to all of the League's perplexities came into focus. Sponsors volunteered - Black-Clawson, Champion Paper, Kiwanis International, and Optimist International.

City recreational and school authorities came forth with their whole-hearted co-operation. Most important, Pillsbury Mills, Ine. offered a playing site adjacent to their plant on Eaton Avenue. It was now mid-February and the biggest obstacles had been hurdled.

The next task was to Inform the eligible children on the West Side that a Little League was to be formed. Naturally, this could best be done during school hours only and permission was necessary from the superintendent of schools and the pastor of St. Peter's Church. The cooperation received from school authorities was truly grat-itying and heart warming. As one school official aptly stated *we can provide sports during the school term but vacation time is the critical period. Keep the boys engaged in a wholesome sport and you have taken one step in the direction of laying the groundwork for our future citizens.* Player parent agreements were them signed and the next task was the selection of managers for the four teams. These men were carefully selected since they were required to possess qualities that a child would

*Took up to." also from these men, each boy would learn some of the lessons of fair play, discipline and team work.

The time is now April sth. Almost 6 months have elapsed and here were the boys. all 176 of them, trying out for positions in weather that is anything but pleasant.

Two more tryouts are held and them the four managers convene for a player auction governed by a player agent. Bidding is begun for No. 6, No. 15, ete, since this is the only way the players are known. The auction is completed and each manager now has a 15 boy roster.

April 24 - a refreshment stand has been built - the backstop has been erected - Pills-bury Mills has begun to erect the dugouts - the playing area has been measured. rolled and base paths drawn - the score board in center field is almost completed.

May 24 - opening day. A reality achieved through teamwork, cooperation and un-selfishness. Everyone contacted gladly gave off their time; even the 32 youngsters who helped make the playing area. And now - now on the field is Henry's boy, Helen's boy, Jim's boy; all learning that the other boy, regardless of race, creed or color. is a pretty nice fellow after all and this kind of thinking spreads from the boys to their families and then to the communities.

West Side would be remiss if not mentioning The Nichting family.  The Nichting family has been a mainstay of the local league where patriarch, Ray Nichting managed from 1968 until his retirement from West Side in 1999.  Ray led the 1991 and 1993 teams to Williamsport.  His son, Tim Nichting started coaching with his father in 1983 and still presently coaches to this day.   Tim led the 2007 and 2010 teams to Williamsport.  Ken Coomer has also led a long successful managerial career at Westside and most recently led the 2021 team to win the Tom Seaver bracket Championship at Williamsport before losing in the finals to Taylor, Michigan.  This was the farthest any team from West Side had advanced at Williamsport.  Ken and Tim still coach together to this day and rotate responsibilities of Manager and Coach.  WSLL is very proud of its baseball history and  is privileged to work with amazing parents and children that support sportsmanship.  

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