Another Little League season is under way and it’s a special one, both locally and nationally.
This the 25th year for Goshen Little League and the 75th for Little League International.
Mike Schnell, 1971 Goshen High School graduate, spearheaded a drive to get Goshen Little League started in 1990.
Among others involved were John Ferguson, Phil Berry, Dave Hildebrandt, Dean Lerg, Gary Haney, Ron Hoke and Dale Miller.
There were 112 players in the program that first season with Major Division (ages 9 to 12) games at the former Rensberger diamond on East Lincoln Avenue and Senior Division (ages 13 to 15) at Phend Field on the Goshen High School campus.
Land was badly needed for expansion and it came Feb. 20, 1991 when Harold and Thelma Schrock leased 19 acres just east of Model School, near Berkey Avenue and Greene Road.
“This is truly a God-send,” said Schnell at the time. The drive was then on to raise $50,000 for the construction of the first diamonds.
Two diamonds were built at the new facility and dedication ceremonies were held July 13, 1991.
By 1994 in Goshen, there were about 500 baseball players with 16 teams in Minors, 10 in Majors and eight in Seniors. Girls softball would soon be added to the program.
The current central base multipurpose building at Goshen Little League was added in 1994 when officers were Dave Barhydt, John Ferguson, Darryl Riegsecker, Tina Reid, Larry Keil and Jan Schrock.
The 1996 Goshen Seniors (age 15) made history by becoming the first Goshen Little League team to capture district and state championships. They played in a Midwest Regional at Peru, Illinois.
Players on that team 18 years ago were Joe Camacho, Scott Taylor, Justin Kincaid, Mason Ogle, Nick Ogle, Dustin Coffman, Andy Yoder, Josh Keister, Brian Cotherman, Matt Burke, Mike Hogan and Trent Gingerich.
Mike Kincaid was head coach, assisted by Gary Keister and Steve Gingerich.