History of the Fox Valley Pony League
In the summer of 1974, Bob Boots, Kimberly, took his All-Star Team to La Crosse for a baseball tournament. There he saw this intermediate level of baseball that is between Little League and Babe Ruth called PONY. At this level the field is bigger than Little League but not as big as Babe Ruth. In PONY League the pitching mound is at 54ft. and the bases are at 75ft.
So, in 1975, Bob and Jim Kozlowski, Menasha, organized the Fox Valley Pony League for 13 year old boys. The league consists of teams from many different cities from the Fox Valley. In 2009, there are 19 teams representing 11 different cities. These teams include: Freedom, Kaukauna, Little Chute, Kimberly, Fox Valley Lutheran, Grand Chute, Hortonville, Greenville, Neenah, Menasha and New London. The teams play a 14 game season against teams from 2 divisions. The season starts in mid May and runs through the end of July, when the league then has its playoffs. During the season, the league also has its own tournament where all the teams play each other.
In 1999, both Bob and Jim decided it was time to retire from the league. In 2000, Otto Reetz, Grand Chute; Bob Brooker, Kimberly; and Gene Jenkins, Kaukauna, joined the league. In 2009, Michael Jenkins and Caitlyn Welhouse joined Gene Jenkins in running the league.
Through everyone’s effort over the last 35 years, many young men have had the opportunity to play baseball at this level. With the effort of those now running the league, many more young men will have great opportunities as the league is planning on expanding into some new areas. Teams will have the chance to play in even more games and tournaments around the area and other states.
The mission of the league is simple, give as many young men a chance to play as much baseball as possible and build friendships that may last them a lifetime. So, when you come to one of their games, cheer them on and support their efforts.
Fox Valley Pony League President