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World series champions: Blythewood youth baseball league wins tournament for first time in 50-year history

The Blythewood Youth Baseball Softball League won the Dixie Youth World Series after beating Alabama 10-3.

BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. — The Blythewood Youth Baseball League has won its first-ever World Series since it was founded in the mid-1970's. For months, the team has been practicing at Blythewood Park to gear up for the championship.

"It felt amazing," Lucas Baker, a player on the team, told me about the win. "It was shocking because we’re the first Blythewood team to ever win the World Series."

Nine-year-old Baker has been playing baseball for four years. This season, though, beats the others. He’s not the only one who feels that way.

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"It’s an awesome feat for us..." Head Coach Marshall Dinkins started. "We did it in a heck of a fashion for sure."

Dinkins tells me this victory was extra sweet for him because he played in the league himself a few decades ago. Now, he's come full circle.

This came after the league was founded by Greg and Lynn Robertson nearly 50 years ago. They wanted a place for their children to play sports, but at the time, Blythewood didn’t have a league. 

"A love of the game as they say. That’s what it was," Greg explained about the reason they took this project on.

The Robertson’s formed a team, and they built the original baseball field themselves - along with help from community members.

"It was truly the hub of this community during the 70s and 80s," she remembered.

Now five decades later, it still is. Lynn’s husband Greg says this recent win helped solidify that.

"Beaming," he said. "Every time ... I get chills every time I think of it. It’s been a dream come true."

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This is the first time the league has ever won the Dixie Youth World Series. The team has made it there three years total, but wasn’t able to secure the win until this year.

Winning this title came with a lot of hard work, according to Lucas's dad Stephen Baker.

"Really since May...I mean four to five times a week, two to three hours per night of just hard, grueling practices," he shared.

Dinkins agreed. To him and the team, he says this was a "four year dream" for them.

"We’ve played them, practiced them, mentally went through the ups and downs and they were prepared for anything that comes their way. And they were confident," he explained. "They operate as one group and I think that’s the outstanding thing to watch is how they worked as a unit."

Watching the players and coaching them brings back memories for Dinkins of his own time in the league. He played from t-ball all the way until the oldest possible opportunity at 12-years-old.

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Dinkins said that the accomplishment extends further than the sport. In fact, he said it's something that has united the entire community.

"These friends become our families, these acquaintances become our families," Dinkins said. "That’s who you go out to eat with after practice and this is who your kids hang out with. And it’s a friendship that these kids get - these lifelong friendships - and these adults…I think the parents enjoy it as much as the kids do."

And in Lucas's case, his dad says the community has rallied around the players.

"It really is a big deal for Blythewood," Stephen explained. "It’s 50 years in the making for Blythewood, so a very big deal."

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