From the blog: 2018 little league baseball on WDWS

From the blog: 2018 little league baseball on WDWS

Blog PhotoFresh off the announcement of a special season opener, WDWS is pleased to announce this year's FULL little league baseball broadcast schedule.
 

Date Team Location
4-16 Plumbers vs. Wampler Zahnd
4-16 Dodds vs. Broeren Russo Zahnd
5-3 Wampler vs. Illinois American Water McFarland
5-9 Dodds vs. Kuhns Bottenfield
5-16 Campus Sportswear vs. Bacon and Van Buskirk Robeson
5-21 Broeren Russo vs. Meyer Capel Yankee Ridge
5-30 Plumbers vs. First Federal Bottenfield
6-6 Bacon and Van Buskirk vs. Meyer Capel Yankee Ridge
6-18 Playoffs first round TBD
6-20 Quarterfinal TBD
6-25 Semifinal one Zahnd
6-25 Semifinal two Zahnd
6-27 Third place Zahnd
6-27 Championship Zahnd


The usual crew of myself, Michael Kiser, Evan Conn, and Alli Adams will call this year's games.

As always, you can hear the games in one of three ways: the old fashioned way on 1400-AM, streaming on your desktop computer or mobile device here, or on-demand in podcast form here.

In advance of this year's season, I did some research into the history of C-U Kiwanis Little League. Here are some fun facts:

  • 1949: C-U Kiwanis Little League was founded after Wayne Winters read a magazine article about the 10th anniversary of little league at Williamsport. Clips of those games were shown locally to recruit players. The effort led to six teams with all games played at South Side School. The 1949 season was cut short by a polio outbreak.
  • 1950: The league expanded to 20 teams in five leagues.
  • 1973: Participation peaked to nearly 1,600 players.
  • 1998: Tom Jones founded the Challenger League as an offshoot of C-U Kiwanis Little League.
  • 1999: WDWS begins broadcasting games, and the championship games move to Zahnd Park.
  • 2018: The league boasts 61 teams and around 700 players from t-ball to suited.
  • Around 25,000 kids have gone through little league since it began.
  • Joseph Kuhn & Co. is the only business to be a sponsor each year. Kiwanis has always been the title sponsor.
  • The three "pioneer" ball diamonds in C-U were at Bradley and McKinley (it closed after one year), Switzer School (now the site of Judah Christian School), and Eisner Park.

And now, something many of you have asked for: a full list of all the little league postseason champions (with some fun facts about a few of the games).

  • 1952: Rasmussen (Bob Rasmussen pitched all three tournament games)
  • 1953: Reliable

  • 1954: Kuhns

  • 1960: Reliable Furniture

  • 1961: Harlan E. Moore

  • 1963: Carters Mayflower

  • 1964: White Line

  • 1965: McBrides

  • 1966: JC’s Drive In

  • 1967: Skelton’s Pharmacy def. Reliable Furniture 8-7 in eight innings. First extra inning title game

  • 1968: Champaign Police

  • 1969: Champaign Police (first repeat winner)

  • 1970: Windsor Swim Club

  • 1971: American United Live

  • 1972: Central Loan

  • 1973: Thomas Jefferson Life

  • 1974: Sholem def. Lincoln Square 9-5 in eight innings. First all-Urbana final.

  • 1975 (at Woodland Park in Urbana): Busey Bank def. Lincoln Square 8-1 (both teams from Southern League)

  • 1976 (at Centennial Park): Champaign Loan and Building def. Lincoln Square 12-4 (players shaved coach Gary Wheeler’s head afterward) (CLB outscored opponents 71-18 in the tournament)

  • 1978: Champaign Loan and Building (players again shaved coach’s head afterward)

  • 1979: Carters

  • 1980: Carters

  • 1981: Landmark

  • 1982: Landmark

  • 1983: Lincoln Square

  • 1984: First Federal

  • 1985: Bacon and VanBuskirk

  • 1986: Midstate Savings

  • 1987: First Federal

  • 1988: Colonial Pantry

  • 1989: Champaign National Bank (22-2) def. Cozad Financial Systems (18-6), 10-5, at Blair Park

  • 1990: Christie Clinic def. Doddson Travel

  • 1991: #4 First Federal def. #2 Bank of Champaign, 4-3

  • 1992: Busey Bank/Sunnycrest def. Colonial Pantry, 7-5

  • 1993: Bank One (of Robeson League)

  • 1994: Macks (went undefeated)

  • 1995: Macks def. Pepsi 6-5

  • 1996 (first under lights at Knights of Columbus Field, delayed by weather): Pepsi

  • 1997: Carter’s def. Plumbers 11-1 at Robeson

  • 1998: Insurance Rick Managers def. Elks 7-2 (IRM went undefeated)

  • 1999 (at Zahnd): First Federal def. Elks

  • 2000: Brownfield Sports def. First Federal

  • 2001: #2 First Federal (20-1, HC: Kevin Crump) def. #5 Christie Clinic 6-3 (17-5)

  • 2002: Dodds def. Bacon and VanBuskirk 5-4

  • 2003: Macs def. Creative Marble 8-5

  • 2004: Dimond Brothers def. Pella 14-0

  • 2005: #2 Bacon and Van Buskirk def. #1 Dimond Brothers 6-2

  • 2006: Meijer def. Busey Bank, 13-9

  • 2007: #1 Illinois American Water (20-2) def. Bacon and VanBuskirk, 12-6 (Michael Finke caught stealing to end the game)

  • 2008: Clifford Jacobs (19-1) def. Super Pantry (20-2), 5-1

  • 2009: Illini Pella def. Busey Bank, 10-1

  • 2010: #1 Campus Sportswear (20-0) def. #1 Illinois American Water (14-4-1), 8-2

  • 2011: Bacon and VanBuskirk def. Dodds, 4-3

  • 2012: Aarons def. Illinois American Water 7-0

  • 2013: Dodds def. Wampler, 5-3

  • 2014: #1 Wampler def. #7 Creative Marble, 3-2. (Wampler was 3rd place in 2012, 2nd place in 2013.)

  • 2015: Wampler def. Campus Sportswear

  • 2016: Illinois American Water def. Campus Sportswear, 6-5. IAW came from behind and won on a throwing error.

  • 2017: Wampler Property Management def. First Federal, 2-0, in seven innings.

  • 2018: #1 Illinois American Water (17-1, First String, HC Lawrence Davis Sr.) def. #7 Plumbers and Pipefitters (8-10-1, Urbana, HC Randy Lowery), 12-3 [First championship for First String]

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