©Dykes W-517 baseball card photo courtesy of Bill Spigler,
Class D, Blue Ridge League
Did you know professional baseball once took the limelight
along the northern region of the Blue Ridge Mountains? From
1915 to 1918, and 1920 to 1930, the Class D, Blue Ridge
League flourished in the communities of Hagerstown and
Frederick, in Maryland; Martinsburg, West Virginia, and the
Pennsylvania towns of Hanover, Chambersburg and Waynesboro.
At one time the far Western Maryland communities Cumberland
and Piedmont, and Gettysburg, PA were also were members of
Over the years they were known as Hustlers, Maroons, Blue
Sox and Red Birds. Dry Bugs, Colts, Terriers and Ponies.
They had nicknames like "Lefty", "Babe", "Hack", "Chick",
"Bugs", "Rube", "Snooks", "Dutch" and "Shorty". They played for the love of the game,
and the outside chance someone might see them for a chance
to tryout for one of the nearby Major League teams in
Washington, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, or at least a chance to move up
to a higher class league. The names Connie Mack, Clark
Griffith and Jack Dunn were revered by the players and team
owners in the league, who were known to send players to each
of the league teams throughout the league's history.
The league produced three Baseball Hall of Famers: Pitcher
Robert Moses "Lefty" Grove; outfielder Lewis Robert "Hack"
Willson; and umpire Bill McGowan. It also produced several
well known Major League players and managers, such as Jimmy
Dykes (pictured), Johnny Neun, Luzerne "Lu" Blue, Clyde Barnhart, Bill
Sherdel, Bill Lamar, Herb Thormahlen, Marvin Goodwin,
Clarence Blethen, Rollie Hemsley, Roger
"Doc" Cramer, Joe Vosmick and "Babe" Phelps.
Based in Hagerstown (MD), the Class D, Blue Ridge League (BRL)
was part of the National Association of Professional
Baseball Leagues (NAPBL), now known as The Minor Leagues.
The league was founded by Charles W. Boyer, a former league
president in the original South Atlantic League, in 1915,
who served as league president of the BRL in 1915. Due to a
conflict of interest, Boyer resigned as president the first
week of the 1916 season, and James Vincent Jamison, Jr., a
Hagerstown businessman, was named to replace Boyer as league
president. Jamison would become one of the most respected
league officials of his era, and serve as the BRL's only
other league president, until the league disbanded for good
after the 1930 season.
To find out more about the Class D, Blue Ridge League,
please click onto the History link, and then click on one of
the highlighted years to find out more about the league, and
the players who played in the BRL.
Check out our Pictures page for new information!
For more information email:
The goal of this website is to continue the legacy
of the original Class D, Blue Ridge League (1915-18,
1920-30), and remember those players and officials
who played an important role of bringing the
excitement of professional baseball to the Western
Maryland, Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, and
South Central Pennsylvania during a almost forgotten
time in our history. We respect the intellectual
rights of our fellow researchers, and ask that if
you use anything from this site that it is properly
credited, whether from the author (read below), or a
third party. Though we respect the privacy of the
families of these players and officials, we hope
this site can remember some of them for their
accomplishments on or off the field.
If you would like to add any pictures or
content to the site, or request to reproduce any content,
please send inquiries to: Mark C. Zeigler, Boys of the
Blue Ridge at
If you use any content or pictures from this
website please include any copyrights to
© Mark C. Zeigler, Boys of the Blue
We are not responsible for any copyrights on any third party
photographs (i.e. - Baseball Hall of Fame Library,
University of Maryland, Philadelphia Athletics Historical
Society, et al), and do not hold the copyright outside of
this website, and our upcoming publication, "Boys of the
Blue Ridge - The Early Years."
Disclaimer: This web site has no connection to Major
League or Minor League Baseball or any of its affiliated
franchises. The information contained herein is factual, and
has been researched through the archives of many newspapers,
especially in the areas of the Blue Ridge League cities and
Special thanks to Ken Malnar, Nikoletta
Benami and Andy Smith of
Frederick, Maryland; Mary Mannix and Maryland Room of the C.
Burr Artz Library, Frederick, Maryland; Mary Jo Price of
Frostburg State College, Frostburg, Maryland; John Frye,
Western Maryland Room, Washington County Free Library,
www.newspaperarchives.com; ProQuest; the Baseball Hall
of Fame Library, Bert Giamatti Research Center, Cooperstown,
NY; Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society, Philadelphia,
www.vintageball.com, Frank Russo and
www.thedeadballera.com; and the Society of American
Baseball Research, Cleveland, OH, and its members.
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