Oakland Babe Ruth League
The Babe Ruth League is an international youth baseball and softball league based in Hamilton, New Jersey, named after George Herman "Babe" Ruth. Babe Ruth League, Incorporated, is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization and consists of Cal Ripken Baseball (ages 4–12) and Babe Ruth Baseball (ages 13–18).
Archived Q&A and Reviews
My older son played in Little League and now my younger son is playing in Babe Ruth, so my comparison is based on experiences which aren't league-wide.
You might want to look into Babe Ruth. It can be a little hard to make initial contact as it's not very obvious on their website. Kids' baseball in Oakland appears to be divided between privileged, predominantly white kids in NOLL/SOLL and working class and lower income black and latino kids in Babe Ruth.
Babe Ruth practices seem to be after work more than NOLL/SOLL and the same thing that's frustrating about Babe Ruth -- that it can be hard to get questions answered, figure out who to contact, etc. -- also makes it easier to deal with and more flexible. If they have age requirements, I bet that they would let a coach decide whether your kid is ready to play. I think they're currently registering for the 2014 season, but the website isn't updated.
Games are often out by the airport, but often in Little League we ended up going all over the place so it wasn't very different distance-wise.
If you were interested in Babe Ruth, I'd ask about a team based on where it practices, so the weekday practices are convenient.
It's a totally different vibe and in later years, more competitive (I've been told). Don't expect organic snacks -- more likely cheetos and bug juice. (And my son begged me to bring something comparable when it was our turn.)
I've really liked the Babe Ruth coaches I've seen. They seem experienced, committed, and smart at coaching the kids. Babe Ruth Fan
My son is only 11 but plays a lot of baseball. His experience so far has been with the Berkeley Bears, City of Berkeley Summer League and informal practice with Albany Little League. He is considering N. Oakland Little League. He has been approached by a coach from Oakland Babe Ruth. Does anyone have any experience with Babe Ruth vrs. NOLLSOLL?
My son has played in both Babe Ruth and NOLL/SOLL. The main differences are that in NOll/Soll there is a draft for players but in Babe Ruth there are teams that are coach chosen so kids move up within a particular team. Babe Ruth has a lot of African American kids and some Hispanic and white kids, NOll Soll is mostly white. Babe Ruth is more competitive, more like real baseball at the younger levels. Noll Soll is more ''developmental''. Babe Ruth has a great facility for games near the Coliseum. There is a snack shack. The kids chant in the dugout. My son, who is white, really liked Babe Ruth but there were some communication problems on the team between some other parents. It didn't directly affect our family but the team fell apart at the end of the season. We didn't want to join an unknown team (some of the coaches are quite fierce) so he's going back to NOLL/SOLL. I'd say that if you find a coach whose style you like and get on his team Babe Ruth is great for a kid who loves baseball
mom of a catcher
I sent my son to the BABE RUTH BASEBALL league in Oakland. Their signups usually end in end of JANUARY. You may still have a chance. Call them at 510-639-7792. The adminstration for this group has a very little budget so they have no web page. However, you will be surprised at how big the attendance is. They are more serious about baseball and have a beautiful parade for opening day. My son had no experience at all but was taken in by really nice coaches and were not requiring experienced kids (he was 6 and playing tball). The parents were more competitve during games and you had to put in some time helping the league. The games are held in south Oakland near the coliseum and near ST. Mary's college. Please feel free to call me if you have more questions. 510-450-7467. Annabelle
Babe Ruth in Oakland has looser deadlines, and a more relaxed attitude about the whole thing. My son participated last year as a brand new 4th grader and had an excellent experience with a truly kind coach and fun teammates. I think traditionally it is an African American League, and is very diverse, in all kinds of ways.They take their baseball seriously, but not the other stuff (i.e. uniforms and the like) The one downside is that the neighborhood that many of the games are played in isn't great (near Havenscourt Middle School in Oakland) Anon