Columbus City League Baseball

ColinHebert

New member
Hello everybody! I was wondering if anybody on this board follows baseball in the Columbus City League? I know that it's tough to get info coming out of schools as most devalue the sport, and only a couple are even competitive with schools outside of the league, but I've always been intrigued by the league.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
Hello everybody! I was wondering if anybody on this board follows baseball in the Columbus City League? I know that it's tough to get info coming out of schools as most devalue the sport, and only a couple are even competitive with schools outside of the league, but I've always been intrigued by the league.
Isn’t it always just Whetstone and then everyone else? Some years Northland has an O.K. team? Some years Centennial?
 

ColinHebert

New member
Isn’t it always just Whetstone and then everyone else? Some years Northland has an O.K. team? Some years Centennial?
The North Division is the more competitive. It's always bouncing between Whetstone and Centennial with Northland lurking. In the South, Briggs seems to have a hold on it, with West having some decent teams.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
The North Division is the more competitive. It's always bouncing between Whetstone and Centennial with Northland lurking. In the South, Briggs seems to have a hold on it, with West having some decent teams.
West won the Class AAA state title in 1975. Incredible what a difference 30-45 years has made. I know Briggs has a hold on the South, although I’m not even convinced the bottom half of the South has ever actually played each other (hyperbole.)

Makes sense if the Hilltop schools are the neighborhood with some baseball activity in that part of the league.
 

scbuckeye99

Well-known member
West won the Class AAA state title in 1975. Incredible what a difference 30-45 years has made. I know Briggs has a hold on the South, although I’m not even convinced the bottom half of the South has ever actually played each other (hyperbole.)

Makes sense if the Hilltop schools are the neighborhood with some baseball activity in that part of the league.
Busing, White Flight and the popularization of Basketball among the black community can kill a baseball program. Columbus East won a baseball title not too many years prior to West winning one. The white community ran to the burbs and the black community embraced basketball. In the end urban baseball suffered.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
Busing, White Flight and the popularization of Basketball among the black community can kill a baseball program. Columbus East won a baseball title not too many years prior to West winning one. The white community ran to the burbs and the black community embraced basketball. In the end urban baseball suffered.
Yup. Still curious how Start in Toledo did it.
 

scbuckeye99

Well-known member
Yup. Still curious how Start in Toledo did it.
Toledo didn't experience white flight the same way Columbus did. Up until the mid 90s (Start's peak) TPS was still predominantly white with Start, Bowsher, Waite and even Woodard boasting greater than 50% white enrollments and Rogers and Libbey still between 40-50% white enrollments. Scott had long since fallen into the traditional inner city public school role.

The other key component with Roy C Start High School was Rich Arbinger. Arbinger was a math teacher at Start (being in house helps) who was committed to making baseball at Start a priority and a key player not just in the city, not just in Lucas County, not just NW Ohio but a major player in the state and nation. Arbinger's presence and impact was felt so much that even after he retired the Spartans were not a state force but still very competitive because Start was the place to be if you played ball in the city.

Just like any other sport in the inner city you have to have a coach who is willing to take the time necessary to build their vision of what can be, make that school the mecca of Toledo, Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland city school baseball,

FWIW Arbinger I believe played college ball at BGSU and well its RARE that a city school gets a head baseball coach who played D1 college ball and is a teacher in the building and is committed to sticking around for years to come.

But yes, you're absolutely right. Toledo Start stands out as that lone urban public school who competed at a very high school in the more recent modern history of high school baseball. Unfortunately Start as fallen off big time lately.
 

Iroquois

Well-known member
In the Columbus City League Whetstone has won the City League Championship 9 straight years (A record). Last year they sent three pitchers to college, two D3 and one D1. They are have a solid program , they usually beat 3 -6 non city schools a year and head South for spring break to the Ripken or Cocoa. It helps that they have a JV and Freshman team as no one else in the city is even close to them in numbers. I think last year only 2 or 3 teams in the entire city league were going to have a JV team, none have a freshman team. Whetstone has a solid team but unproven pitchers, they have a good catcher who is committed to D3 Thiel College. The Whetstone coach has been at Whetstone since 1994 and has 30 plus years as a coach. Not sure of any coaches in the city league that have been the head coach at one school that long currently (Any sport)

This year Centennial should be very good. Their #1 pitcher who plays for Bo Jackson 18U Elite is headed to UC (D1) next year to play baseball, he has a teammate going to Seton Hill University (D2) to play baseball. It should come down to Centennial and Whetstone in the North Division again this year. Centennial defiantly has the edge with two pitchers

Northland is ok, they haven't won the North Division since 1997, so it's been a while. Briggs and Eastmoor will battle it out in the South Division. Two years ago Briggs beat Eastmoor in a one game playoff to determine who wins the South Division, Briggs won then got 2 hit run ruled by Whetstone in the title game. Briggs seems to always have a solid team, but struggle against non city schools and the north division top teams.

There's your City League Baseball info:
 

Iroquois

Well-known member
Yup. Still curious how Start in Toledo did it.

His 1994 and 1995 teams were simply loaded. He had a ton of open enrollment players on those teams. There was no recruiting going on, the program sold itself to top notch players in the area. The players on the 94 and 95 teams were grown men in high school.
 

WishIWasGolfing

New member
New to this forum. I loved JJHuddle years ago. Does anyone know if the little league teams (Brookshire, Georgian Heights, Findland, etc...) still exist on the Hilltop? Believe it or not, Columbus City League baseball was legit for a long stretch of time. Has a team from the city made it out of sectionals recently?
 
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