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Ottumwa Stories: A Rich History of Baseball
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Ottumwa Stories: A Rich History of Baseball

One of the most beautiful sounds you hear in spring in Ottumwa is that first shout of “Play Ball!” Boys here grow up with thoughts of baseball and dreams of that winning hit for their team. It’s no surprise that Ottumwa has become known across the country for its teams and facilities.

A rich history of great baseball is the foundation for the leagues that play in Ottumwa today. Providing an opportunity for all ages and skill sets – from beginners to teenagers hoping to play college ball – four local leagues play on ballfields all over the city.

Ready to throw out the first pitch? The Ottumwa Family YMCA starts baseball players at an early age, offering T-Ball for ages 3-5 and 6-8. YMCA games are played on the Ottumwa Little League Baseball Bridge View fields, right next to the beautiful Des Moines River.

American Little League Baseball is broken down into three ages groups: PeeWee for ages 4-6, Minors for ages 7-9 and Majors for ages 10-12. The largest Little League, Ottumwa Little League Baseball offers five divisions: PeeWee for ages 4-6, Minors for ages 7-9, AAA Division for ages 10-12, Majors for ages 10-12 and a Challenger Division for anyone with a disability aged 4-18.

Babe Ruth Baseball is at the center of sports activity for players 13-15 years old. Ottumwa was the proud host of the 13-year-old Babe Ruth World Series in 2016, hosting teams from Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Florida, Washington, Mississippi, and even Hawaii. Babe Ruth Baseball recently announced that Ottumwa will be hosting the 14-year-old Babe Ruth World Series in 2021, and the community is excited to show teams from across the country our Iowa Nice.

As you travel through southeast Iowa this spring and summer, come join us for a game of baseball and find out why it’s Ottumwa’s favorite pastime. For more information about attractions and events in Ottumwa and Wapello County, visit

Image credit: Creater Ottumwa CVB, Heather Burgess

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