District 9 of the Babe Ruth League is composed of teams from Ormond Beach, New Smyrna Beach, South Daytona Beach, Flagler, DeBary, Sanford and Port Orange.
Ned Clymer has been involved with Ormond Beach’s Babe Ruth League for almost 25 years. Every year, he has seen each generation of the area’s youth baseball players blossom from the ground up. He started with his son, who eventually grew into a Division I pitcher.
Over the past week, Clymer could be seen encouraging his team, the 10U Ormond Beach Golden Spikes, at the Babe Ruth League’s 2018 All-Star Tournament at the Flagler County Recreational Area in Bunnell.
“They’re gritty. They will play. They give everything they’ve got. Talent is supposed to be the ultimate in baseball. But grit, to me, is more important. And these boys have it.”
Ormond Beach 10U coach Ned Clymer
For Clymer, who is also the head baseball coach at Father Lopez Catholic High School in Daytona Beach, the Babe Ruth League is a chance to see baseball in its purest form.
“For me, this is fun,” he said. “Nobody is playing for money, nobody is playing to try to get to college. They’re just out here having fun. It’s a blast.”
On Saturday, June 9, Clymer watched the Golden Spikes take on the New Smyrna Beach. Ormond Beach’s Jacob McKinnon escaped a pickle to score a run in the third inning. McKinnon then approached the mound to close out the game in the sixth frame. He came up with a double play to give Ormond Beach a 9-3 win over the Barracudas.
“I usually do it all the time,” McKinnon said with a smile after the game. “It’s not too hard.”
He added: “It’s fun playing baseball. It’s been fun playing with everyone on the team.”
Ormond Beach is in District 9 of the Babe Ruth League, which has teams starting at 4 years old and capping out at 15. In addition to New Smyrna Beach, the Golden Spikes also compete with teams from DeBary, Flagler, South Daytona Beach, Sanford and Port Orange.
The All-Star players were selected following the recreational season.
“Most of the kids and parents have had a really good time,” said Barry Clymer (no relation to Ned Clymer), who has been the commissioner of District 9 for the past decade. “Just to see this whole atmosphere is so much fun. This is a great atmosphere for baseball.”