1956 and Beyond

South Plainfield, New Jersey, Mayor Harry Apgar tosses the first pitch at opening day ceremonies, 1956

Mayor Harry Apgar tosses the first pitch, Opening Day 1956

1956 Opening Day, South Plainfield Junior Baseball League

Pre-Game Ceremonies — Ball players and marchers in the junior baseball ceremonies line up around infield at Borough Park to salute flag prior to launching the season. Color guard includes representatives from American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Polish National Home. Play was opened in both the Small Fry and Pony Leagues. (Photo by Normandy.)

In 1956 Pony League play was added (ages 13-15) and consisted of four teams:  Cubs, White Sox, Cardinals and Red Sox. Mayor Harry Apgar threw out the first ball for the opening ceremonies in 1956, and expansion was under way.

1956 league champions were:
Pony League: American Legion White Sox
Small Fry League: Polish National Home Dodgers

With the addition of the new age group, the club decided to change its name. Small Fry Baseball became the South Plainfield Junior Athletic Club. In 1958 a “Farm System League” was added, later to be called the B League. This was initially set up like the major leagues’ minor league system, with each farm team affiliated with a team in the Small Fry League. A third league was added in 1962 for the 9 to 12 year old age group (named the “C” League).

Next: Funding the League