TIDEWATER SUMMER LEAGUE
The Tidewater Summer League traces its origins back to the mid 1940′s. In the midst of WWII, a group of local baseball teams, including some Military teams, organized by Harry Postove, begin playing in what eventually became known as the Norfolk City League. The inaugural season of the Norfolk City League is listed at 1946, withthe 1946 City League All Star game drawing over 3,000 fans to Norfolk’s Lakewood Park, as reported by the Virginian.
The league has boasted of many great players and teams throughout the years, and continues to provide the Tidewater area with great baseball summer after summer. Former League Commissioner Bud Metheny led the City League for many years, with the help of great baseball men like Harry Postove, professional scout and long time league executive committee member along with countless others. Joe Hudgins served as commissioner during the 1960’s and in 1980, under the leadership of then commissioner Sully Callahan, the City League merged with the local Thoroughbred baseball program, and was renamed the Tidewater Summer League.
Leading the transition were men like Robert McKinney, Sr., Bill Kline, Maylen Parker, Bobby McKinney, Ducky Davis and Gary Wright, with the continued guidance and advice of Harry Postove, whose passion for baseball, devotion to the league and countless hours of hard work provided a great platform for the league to be able to continue its mission of providing local athletes the opportunity to play the game of baseball at a high level of competition, while providing the baseball fans of Tidewater a great league to support and enjoy. Gary Wright served as commissioner during the mid 80′s and early 90′s, with the continued help of Harry Postove, Towny Townsend, local scout Bobby McKinney, and many others. Gary Wright helped guide the league and continued its great tradition of quality baseball in the Tidewater area. In 1995, Michael Dooley became the league’s commissioner, and continues in that position at present.
During Michael Dooley’s tenure as commissioner, with the continued support of Gary Wright, Bobby McKinney, Harry Postove, Chris Parsons, Chuck Slaughter and many others, the league has continued to focus on providing local collegiate athletes the opportunity to play in a high quality, competitive summer baseball league. In 1998, the league begin allowing only wood bats for use in games, and increased opportunities for collegiate athletes to participate.
Over the past 20 plus years, Commissioner Dooley has increased the league’s focus on scouting and recruiting the area’s top prospects, player development, establishing and expanding networks to help connect players and collegiate programs, while working to provide a high quality venue for collegiate and professional scouts to evaluate players.
In addition, during this time, the league helped to establish wood bat summer programs for our local high school student/athletes, adding a summer high school varsity wood bat league and a summer high school junior varsity wood bat league that plays a mid week schedule, and also adding a fall high school varsity wood bat league. Roland Wright (Western Branch HS Head Coach) was instrumental in the establishment and development of the high school divisions, and continues to serve as the commissioner of all three high school divisions.
In 2020, the TSL launched it’s newest division, the Premier Collegiate League. It’s inaugural season featured 4 teams from southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina and grew to 8 teams the following year. The TSL is thankful to have had the privilege of working with some great organizations as we established this highly competitive division, providing additional playing opportunities for collegiate baseball players and great community partners across the Mid-Atlantic region.
In all, the TSL combines to field over 40 teams each year, providing over 500 local student/athletes the opportunity to compete in a high quality, local, wood bat league. We are very appreciative of the support we receive from our local colleges, high schools and cities, as well as the support of our local business community. 70 + years of baseball in the Tidewater area and still going strong, the Tidewater Summer League is looking forward to many more great years of baseball to come.
EXECUTIVE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
- Michael Dooley, founder and GM Greenbrier Knights Baseball Club; former Head Coach TSL’s Greenbrier Knights; GM & Head Coach TSL’s Outer Banks Daredevils; 13 Tidewater Summer League Championships; former player TSL;
- Gary Wright, founder and GM Tidewater Drillers Baseball Club, General Manager & Head Coach Tidewater Drillers Baseball Club; ODU Baseball Alum; Bud Methany Award Recipient; 12 Tidewater Summer League Championships & Muliple Youth Travel/Club Ball Regional & National Championships; former player TSL;
- Gary Lavelle, former head coach Bryant & Stratton College; co-head coach TSL’s Norfolk Voyagers Baseball Club; retired MLB pitcher who played in Major League Baseball from 1974 to 1985 and 1987, San Francisco Giants & Tornoto Blue Jays, recording 769 big league strike outs.; former pitching instructor NY Yankees; former state champion high school coach with Greenbrier Christian Academy;
- Michael Cuddyer, retired MLB player who played 15 seasons in Major League Baseball for the Minnesota Twins, Colorado Rockies, and New York Mets. Cuddyer was a two-time MLB All-Star, and won a Silver Slugger Award in 2013, when he led the National League in batting average; former player TSL;
- Tony Guzzo, Spec. Asst. Head Coach, Old Dominion University; former head coach ODU, VCU, NCW, played collegiate baseball at East Carolina University, former player & coach TSL;
- Norbie Wilson, head of baseball operations & asst. coach, Bryant & Stratton College; co-head coach TSL’s Norfolk Voyagers Baseball Club; former head coach, College of the Albemarle, First Colonial HS, VHSL Hall of Fame coach;
- Jack Moore, Head Coach Rappahanock College; co-head coach TSL’s Greenbrier Knights Baseball Club; former head coach Chowan Univ; former asst coach VA Wesleyan College; former player TSL;
- Claudell Clark, former head coach & Asst Athletic Director Norfolk State Univ; current Director of Development FestEvents, Norfolk VA; former player TSL;
- Roland Wright, head coach Western Branch High School (VHSL State Baseball Champions), commissioner TSL High School Varsity & JV divisions, commissioner TSL High School Fall Ball division, former player TSL;
- Bobby Mckinney, associate scout, Atlanta Braves; Founder, GM & head coach of TSL’s Churchland Thoroughbreds Baseball Club/Mid Atlantic Pirates; 3 Tidewater Summer League Championships; former player & coach TSL;
- Chuck Slaughter, former head coach IC Norcom High School; head coach TSL’s Greenbrier Knights Baseball Club; 9 Tidewater Summer League Championships; former player TSL;
- Allan Erbe, former associate scout, LA Dodgers & Chicago Cubs; co-head coach TSL’s Va Beach Shredders Baseball Club; longtime area coach, instructor, former player TSL;
Colleges and Universities:
- Here is a partial list of the colleges and universities that have been represented in the Tidewater Collegiate Summer League during the past few seasons:
- Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, James Madison University, Radford University, University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University, William & Mary, East Carolina University, Virginia Military Institute, Auburn University, Canisius College, Campbell University, George Mason University, Longwood University, Mount St. Mary University, Coastal Carolina, Liberty University, LSU-Eunice, Coastal Bend College, LSU-Alexandria, Urbanna University, University of Mt. Olive, Methodist University, Lenoir Rhyne University, Montreat College, University of South Carolina, University of Tennessee – Martin, Walters State CC, Virgnia State University, Christopher Newport University, University of Mary Washington, Lynchburg College, Lander University, Francis Marion University, Limestone College, Belmont Abbey College, Tusculum College, Marymount University, Virginia State University, Randolph-Macon College, Chowan University, Eastern Mennonite University, USC – Sumpter, St. Andrews University, Virginia Wesleyan University, Washington & Lee, Dickinson College, Marietta College, Hampden Sydney College, King University, Cairn University, Bethel College, Averette University, High Point University, Case Western Reserve University, Newport News Apprentice School, Swarthmore College, Bluefield College, Clarke University, Penn State Mont Alto, UVA-Wise, Shenandoah University, North Carolina A&T, Roanoke College, Ferrum College, Louisburg College, College of the Albemarle, Central Virginia Community College, Thomas Nelson Community College, Lenior Community College, Patrick Henry Community College, Kirkwood Community College, Bridgewater College, Danville Community College, West Virginia Tech CC, Iowa Central Community College, Pitt Community College, Dundalk Community College, Central Alabama Community College, Frederick Community College, Anne Arundel Community College, Prince George’s Community College, Shasta College, Lincoln Memorial Univ, Alma College, Spartanburg Methodist College, Hagerstown CC, California University of PA, Bryant & Stratton College, Chatham University, Lasell College, Coppin State University, Mineral Area CC, US Naval Academy, Brevard College, Wartburg College, Hendrix College, Palm Beach Atlantic University, Bryan College, Lynn University, Bowling Green State University, LA Tech, Saint Vincent College, Siena Heights University, Mott CC, Elizabethtown College (PA), Rollings College, Milligan College, Lake Erie College, San Diego Christian College, New River CC, Kansas City Kansas CC, Elms College, Mercyhurst University, Lasell College, Houghton College, Keystone College, Methodist University, Niagara University, Webber International University, College of the Redwoods, Bellarmine University, Asbury University, Alabama A&M University, Three Rivers CC, Saddleback College, Lehman College/C.U.N.Y., Coker College, Wagner College, Jefferson College, Babson College, Daytona State University, Catawba Valley CC, Unive. Of Pittsburgh-Hohnstown, Southern Maine CC, Davis & Elkins College, Allegheny College (PA), Gonzaga, Winston Salem State University, Lincoln University, University of New Orleans, College of the Sequoias, Robert Morris University, Dean College, Penn State Harrisburg, Salva Regina University, Jefferson CC, McHenry County College, Garret Junior College, Hagerstown CC, Gannon University, Cazenovia College, Chatham University, Oklahoma Panhandle State University, Selma University, Osnard College, Lane College, Central Methodist University (LA).
TSL CHAMPIONS (1980 – 2020)
- 2020 – Greenbrier Knights
- 2019 – Lakewood Legends
- 2018 – Outer Banks Daredevils
- 2017 – Virginia Beach Waves
- 2016 – Outer Banks Daredevils
- 2015 – Outer Banks Daredevils & Greenbrier Knights
- 2014 – Tidewater Drillers
- 2013 – Outer Banks Daredevils & Tidewater Drillers
- 2012 – Greenbrier Knights
- 2011 – Virginia Blasters
- 2010 – Virginia Blasters
- 2009 – Virginia Blasters
- 2008 – Salem Lobos
- 2007 – Greenbrier Knights
- 2006 – Salem Lobos
- 2005 – Tidewater Drillers
- 2004 – Greenbrier Knights
- 2003 – Tidewater Drillers
- 2002 – Greenbrier Knights
- 2001 – Greenbrier Knights
- 2000 – Greenbrier Knights
- 1999 – Greenbrier Knights
- 1998 – Tidewater Drillers
- 1997 – Greenbrier Knights
- 1996 – Tidewater Drillers
- 1995 – Tidewater Drillers
- 1994 – Tidewater Drillers
- 1993 – Norfolk Redbirds
- 1992 – Norfolk Redbirds
- 1991 – Norfolk Redbirds
- 1990 – Churchland Thoroughbreds
- 1989 – Tidewater Drillers
- 1988 – Tidewater Drillers
- 1987 – Tidewater Drillers
- 1986 – Tidewater Drillers
- 1985 – Churchland Thoroughbreds
- 1984 – Churchland Thoroughbreds
- 1983 – Chesapeake Athletic Club
- 1982 – Chesapeake Athletic Club
- 1981 – Harrison’s Moving & Furniture
- 1980 – Chesapeake Athletic Club