Little League baseball in Vienna Township began in 1953, supported by the Vienna Athletic Club. Many businesses have sponsored teams, and many individuals have volunteered to coach and manage teams.
A National Organization
Little League Baseball is a national, nonprofit organization that fosters local baseball programs. The organization was founded in 1939 by Carl Stotz in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. From 1951 to 1974, Little League Baseball teams were composed only of boys. In 1974, girls were allowed to play as well. Today, several divisions of baseball and softball serve children between the ages of five and eighteen.
Vienna's First Team
The Kiwanis Club of Vienna sponsored the first team in 1953. With the guidance of Paul Miller as manager and Tom Craig as assistant manager, the boys on this first team were molded into the Township's first competitive Little League team. Miller and Craig returned to their roles in the summer of 1954, leading the team and playing games against teams in Kinsman, Johnson, and Hartford, Ohio, and teams in Orangeville and Jamestown, Pennsylvania. Many parents volunteered to drive the boys from town to town. Community support buoyed the boys' play, and Vienna's team enjoyed the game. The boys' enthusiasm was evidenced in the selection of several Vienna players for an All-Star team in 1955.
A League of Its Own
As interest in boys' baseball continued to rise, due in great part to post-World War II baby boom, Vienna established its own league in 1959. The names and managers of the first four Little League teams were the A's (Paul Smith), Bucs (Paul Miller), Nats (Glen Burns and Howard Everett), and Sox (Harry Graft). These teams played a schedule of 18 games in 1959.
A fifth team, the Pirates, joined the league in 1969. The Pirates, sponsored by Vienna Dairy Queen, were managed by Herman Stein, Sr. The Cubs came aboard as Vienna's sixth team in 1970. The team was sponsored by the Vienna Athletic Club. Frank Miranda was its first manager.
In 1990, the Giants, sponsored by Liberty Steel and managed by Buster Yannon, were added to Vienna Little League.
The decline in Vienna's population later in the decade and rising interest in other sports led in 1996 to the reduction of the number of teams. The Giants and the Tigers were eliminated.
Vienna's first girl's softball teams were created in 1971.
Jim Browning was the first individual in charge of the Trumbull County Pony League. This league started in 1954 and drew teams from Vienna, Braceville, Champion, Kinsman, Lordstown, and two teams from Newton Falls.
In 1970, the Vienna Colt League Team was sponsored by Midway Mobile Homes and played in the Champion Hot-Stove League.
This entry is adapted from "Little League/Vienna Athletic Club" in Vienna, Ohio, "Where We Live and Let Live": Town 4, Range 2 of the Connecticut Western Reserve (Apollo, PA: Closson Press, 1999), pp. 207-208, and "Vienna Community Baseball League 1970."