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Sunday, May 26, 2024
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‘22 Babe Ruth Season Opens

​The Wharton Babe Ruth (WBR) kicked off its 2022 season with Opening Ceremonies at Tiger Field in Wharton on Sunday, May 8.

Chartered in 1958, Wharton Babe Ruth Board, volunteers, and players are ready to start the organization’s 64th year of youth baseball. Over the next six weeks, 82 Babe Ruth baseball games will all be played in Wharton, Texas.

Wharton Babe Ruth is run by a four person board and several other volunteers.


The Board includes William Loocke, Wharton Treasurer and East Texas District 1 Commissioner, Grady Smith, President, Michelle Smith, Secretary, and Anton Peter, Vice-President.

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Schulz.

These volunteers work to make sure the Babe Ruth experience is a great one for the players, coaches, and parents in attendance.

​Opening Day was a warm and busy one. The Junior Division has more participation than anyone can remember in recent years with eight teams including 112 players ranging in ages from 12-15.


The Senior Division of 16-18 year olds will consist of 4 teams. They will get their season started in a couple of weeks.

“We are excited to see the surge in the number of kids wanting to play,” said WBR President Grady Smith.  “It’s great that they can join a team and get a lot of valuable playing time in right here in Wharton without having to travel into Houston or elsewhere.”

​Each team provided two cakes that were auctioned off to raise funds to benefit the league. Chris Burrow of Boling volunteered to conduct the auction that raised several thousand dollars.


Four exhibition games were played on Sunday that gave this year’s teams their first look at the competition.  

​Shelby Jacobs, Athletic Trainer for the Boling Independent School District, threw out the first pitch of the season.

Jacobs’ strike shared a special moment with Babe Ruth Ranger player and Boling Freshman, Kade Smith.

Only a weeks ago, Kade’s heart stopped beating while running in athletics class at Boling High School. Shelby was on campus, and through her quick actions, was able to resuscitate Kade through five rounds of CPR.

Kade was life flighted to Houston where he spent a several days in the hospital recovering. During his hospital stay, it was discovered that Kade has a previously undiagnosed genetic heart condition called Long QT Syndrome.

The syndrome can only be detected through an electrocardiogram or EKG.

Kade’s father and WBR President, Grady Smith, explained what happened to Kade to the crowd and encouraged all parents to have their children undergo an EKG to rule out this all too common and undiagnosed heart condition.

Wharton Babe Ruth players are from all around the area. Those locations include all of Wharton County, Wallis, West Columbia, Bay City, and Fulshear. All games will be played at Tiger Stadium in Wharton and each match up is a double header throughout the season.

​Wharton Babe Ruth thrives because of volunteers who care about kids and want to make a positive difference in their lives.

“The coaches we have that volunteer to work with these kids are great people. They are taking time from their busy schedules to help develop these kids into great baseball players. It’s fun to be a part of,” said Smith.

​The public is invited out to the ballpark to enjoy a game and support the league this season. There is no charge to get in the gate, and the homemade hamburgers in the concession stand alone are worth the trip.

​Play Ball!

Stephanie Schulzhttps://www.thecountygin.com
Stephanie Schulz is a lifelong Wharton County resident and a farmer’s daughter. She enjoys a good story and loves God, her family and all things Texas. Outside of her position at Shoppa’s Farm Supply, she enjoys photographing and writing about life in Wharton County.

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