Babe Ruth baseball gets new life in Portsmouth

Five-team league competes against Middletown, Newport


PORTSMOUTH — A few years ago, the Portsmouth Babe Ruth baseball league barely had enough teams to play each other.

There’s no lack of competition now, however.

“In the last three years it’s grown greatly,” Bob McSparren, president of Portsmouth Babe Ruth, said between innings Sunday as he coached Grande Masonry in a matchup against R&R Construction at Glen Farm.

“We went from two teams to five teams with 63 players. I think it’s all due to the fact that everyone gets to play a minimum of four innings a game, and there’s continuous hitting. It’s a great place for people to come play and just enjoy recreational baseball,” Mr. McSparren said.

The five teams of players ages 13 to 16 — the others are North End Pizza, A-1 Paving and Ferreira’s Wine and Spirits — also participate in spring Aquidneck Island inter-league play with Middletown (four teams) and Newport/Jamestown (two teams). Games are held at Cardines Field in Newport, Berkeley-Peckham in Middletown and at Glen Farm. 

The league is very competitive, Mr. McSparren said.

“For instance, I have a boy who plays varsity baseball and I’ve got three JV players. Middletown has about five varsity players and another five JV players. So it’s a competitive league, but I think they’re all enjoying it.”

For a “minimal amount” ($110), players also get four indoor hitting sessions, he said. “We’ve had five outdoor clinics before we even started the season,” he said.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.