Current AAABA News

Current News and Updates

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Congratulations to John Smoltz on his Hall of Fame Induction

 

 

 

 

Photo: John Smoltz shown chatting with former AAABA President Bob Wolfe of Zanesville. Smoltz took time away from a busy spring training in the 1990's to drop by the annual AAABA meeting in Florida.

 

On Sunday, July 26th, John Smoltz was formally inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Smoltz became the fifth former AAABA player to be enshrined in Cooperstown joining fellow AAABA players Al Kaline (Maryland State - 1952), Joe Torre (Brooklyn - 1958, 1959), Reggie Jackson (Baltimore - 1965), and Barry Larkin (Detroit - 1983). Smoltz appeared in the 1983 AAABA tournament as a 16 year old third baseman for the Lansing, Michigan franchise. He would return to Johnstown in 1985 as an infielder/pitcher leading his team to a 3-2 record while batting .417, smacking two home runs and striking out 12 batters in 7 1/3 innings of work. After the tournament, John was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 22nd round of the 1985 draft and made his Major League debut in July, 1988 at the age of 21. He would finish his MLB career with 213 wins, 8 NL all-star selections, and won the NL CY Young award in 1996.

 

 


 

 

 

The AAABA Welcomes a New Franchise in 2015!

 

On March 1, 2015 the AAABA National Board voted unanimously (18-0) to approve the new Boston BASE Astros franchise. The Astros received an automatic bid to compete in the National Tournament in Johnstown in 2015. In 2016 and 2017, the franchise will have to compete in a regional tournament in order to advance to Johnstown. Boston franchise representative Jimmy Caruso said "First and foremost we"re real excited to be a part of such a great organization with a great reputation, we're excited about the reputation of the tournament. We want to be competitive."

Caruso emphasized that while baseball is at the center of their program, their mission goes far beyond the field: "With our organization, it's just a culture. We work with a majority of inner-city youth. We are a baseball program, but we realize that what we're doing is much greater than baseball. They're learning life lessons and baseball is almost a way out for them." ESPN baseball guru Peter Gammons had nothing but praise for the Boston based program saying "hands down, the best urban baseball program in America". Click here to view the BASE franchise website www.bostonastros.org  

 

The last franchise to represent the Boston area was the Milford Town Team from Milford, Massachusetts. Milford was a popular AAABA franchise that first competed in the Johnstown national tournament in 1955. A local favorite for Johnstowners over the years, many were disappointed when the franchise became inactive in 2003. Milford won the national tournament title in 1958 and finished runners-up in 1959, 1962 and 1982. Fourteen players from the Milford franchise went on to the Major Leagues including the legendary Mark "The Bird" Fidrych.

 

 


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