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Championship Dreams Begin in Berkeley Township

Berkeley Little League complex
Berkeley Little League complex (Berkeley Little League)

The 75th anniversary of Little League Baseball will find all eyes in New Jersey focused on Bayville this July. 

New Jersey Little League championship logo
New Jersey Little League championship logo (Berkeley Little League)

That’s because the Berkeley Little League will host both the Little League and Junior League State Championships from July 22-27 at their complex on Moorage Avenue.  It’s the first time in 20 years that Ocean County has played host to the best teams in the state.

The Little League division is the one most are familiar with and leads to the World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania where two local teams have won World Championships.  The Lakewood Little League came home with the crown in 1975 and in 1998 Toms River East American won it all led by current Cincinnati Red Todd Frazier.

The Junior League division is one age group up and last summer the Manchester Little League won the state title before losing in the East Regional Finals.

Berkeley Little League President Bob Everett and others have been working for quite some time on plans to host the state championships and were thrilled over being selected as the host for the first time.  Their slogan for the event will be Ocean County:  The best beaches, boardwalk and baseball!

The Berkeley Little League has received support from TD Bank, Perlmart ShopRites, The Cove Waterfront Grille and the Hersey Motel in Seaside Heights along with the Ocean County Tourism Advisory Council and Seaside Heights Business Improvement District.

Our Shore Sports Network and the Asbury Park Press will serve as media partners for the week-long event which will feature a total of eight teams from throughout New Jersey.  For more information you can visit shoresportsnetwork.com and berkeleylittleleague.org

NJ Devils Jim Dowd with Shawn & Sue
NJ Devils Jim Dowd with Shawn & Sue (Shawn Michaels, Townsquare Media)

Former Devil and NHL standout Jim Dowd will be coaching hockey next season and he won’t have to travel far from his Point Pleasant Beach home.  Dowd has been named head coach of the Manasquan-Point Beach co-op high school team, taking over a program that went that went 5-11-3 this past winter.

The former Brick Green Dragon star spent 17 seasons in the NHL and remains active with the Devils alumni organization.  Dowd told me this morning he is very excited about the coaching opportunity.

In 1999 the Asbury Park Press ranked Frank Budd as the greatest shore area athletic of the century and who would argue.   A graduate of Asbury Park High School, he was an Olympian who at one time was the “world’s fastest man” and later spent a couple of seasons as a wide receiver in the NFL  Budd, who lived in Marlton in recent years died this week at the age of 74.

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