History

Butler County Challenger Baseball offers kids with developmental disabilities, from age 5 through adulthood, the chance to learn and experience the game of baseball while making new friends and being cheered on to greatness.

In the fall of 1988, a group of 6 people got together to start the first Challenger Baseball League in the State of Ohio. The league started in 1989, with 4 teams that consisted of players from Hamilton, West Chester, Fairfield and Oxford. We had about 50 players and played at various fields of other Leagues.

In 1994, with the league growing to 7 teams, we built the first Challenger field at Crawford Woods Park in Hamilton, Ohio. We were able to play all our games during the week for the first time. The new diamond was nice, but we had no parking close to the field for our players in wheel chairs and walkers.

In the fall of 2005, Friends of Challenger Baseball received permission from East Hamilton Little League to take over an old ball field near a parking lot that was not in use.  With a grant from the Hamilton Community Foundation, construction began to remove all the old fence and dugouts and grading a new infield. We built new handicap accessible dugouts, new backstops and fencing and added crushed brick to the new infield.  We opened the 2006 season at our NEW field and still use it today.  The following season we added a 16 by 20 shelter with tables for parents and friends to enjoy watching the games.

In 2008, we applied for a Little League Charter for our Challenger league and it was accepted in the winter of 2009. We are the first Challenger League in the U.S. to have our own Charter, which means we have our own Board of Directors with officers who run the day to day operation of our League. We had grown to 10 teams and 125 players.

As the league continued to grow in 2011, we started plans for a 2nd field and began construction in the winter of 2012. With the help of grants from the Hamilton Community Foundation and donors, we completed the new field.   At Opening Day 2012, we christened the new field and officially had a baseball Complex for our players and League.

In 2013 we hosted the Ohio State Tournament for the 3rd time. It took place at the Fairfield Waterworks Park and the new Miracle League fields in Fairfield. We had 34 teams from all over Ohio travel to Butler County and participate in a great weekend.  Later in 2013, we applied for a new grant from the Hamilton Community Foundation to add a new building within our complex.

In the winter of 2013, we started construction of a new building to house a concession stand, storage area and pavilion with picnic bench seating in front of the concession area.  The project was completed late summer of 2014 just in time to be christened to open our fall league schedule.

Our Board of Directors approved plans in the summer of 2014 to add a handicap accessible bathroom to our new building.  Since 2006, the league had rented a port-o-let to provide bathroom facilities for our players and fans.  Thanks to a grant from the Hatton Foundation, we were able to start construction of a handicap bathroom, concession area extension and field equipment area addition to our existing building.  Work began in January of 2015 and was completed prior to our first game of fall ball of 2015.

We currently have a baseball complex with 2 handicap playable fields, parking area between the fields, a building with team equipment storage area, field equipment storage area, a handicap accessible bathroom, concession stand and pavilion area for our families. We will continue to update and improve our complex as needed, to make it the best in the City of Hamilton.

For the upcoming 2017 season to begin in May, we anticipate having 10 teams in our 2 divisions (minor,major) and at least 2 teams in our NEW adult league that allows players to continue to play in the challenger league until they are 50 years of age.