By RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
NEW BOSTON — In 1960, New Boston became the first team from Ohio to advance to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Va. Now more than 50 years later, a group of local residents is raising money to memorialize the team with a mural painting at the New Boston ball field.
“It was an unbelievable team,” said Bill Powell, whose son Mike Powell played on the team. “The toughest game we had was the first one, against Portsmouth, and it went extra innings. Then they won 11 straight tournament games. Ten more after Portsmouth.”
After beating Portsmouth, the New Boston team played Canton for the state title and then beat all other northern state teams for the regional championship to advance to the National Little League World Series.
Pennsylvania finally won the series, but New Boston finished fifth in the entire world league.
“There were only four teams from the United States; Texas represented the west, we (New Boston) represented the north. I can’t remember who represented the south, it was either Florida, or somewhere along there. But Pennsylvania represented the east. Then there were four teams, one from Europe, one from Asia, one from Mexico, and one from Canada. We beat Canada in the last game we played, and Pearl Harbor, we beat them real easy in the second game,” Powell said.
Powell is now part of a local group, along with Loren Hardin and New Boston Mayor James Warren, raising money to memorialize the Little League team with a mural painting on the Millbrook Park field house in New Boston — where the team played in 1960. Powell said the project will cost between $5,000 and $13,000, and will be painted by artist Charlie Reed.
“This has been in the works for the last seven years. It was supposed to have went on the floodwall at one time, but they lost all that information when they changed mayor’s two or three years ago. So we decided we’d go with New Boston,” Powell said.
The painting is expected to be complete in the next few months, if the group can raise enough donations to pay for the project. Donations can be mailed to the New Boston Little League Mural Project, c/o New Boston Mayor James Warren, 3980 Rhodes Ave., New Boston, OH 45662.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org.