Owls Sports Club, Inc.
January 6, 1941: 1st meeting of the unincorporated Owls Sports Club at Clubhouse Rooms, 2344 Penn Avenue, West Lawn, PA. Meeting presided over by temporary President Joe Kline .. “After having appointed Lewis Frey temporary Secretary, Joe Kline gave a short talk on the origin of this club. Through the efforts of the five club members, namely, Joe Kline, Samuel Hettinger, Casper Simon, Harry Peiffer, and Robert Sheidy, and the cooperation of the officers of the defunct West Wyomissing Athletic Club, namely, Paul Potteiger, Harold Meyer, Chester Morgandale, John Gilbert, and James Smith, it was decided to merge these two clubs into one in order to further the activities in sports of these local communities.” (Owls Sports Club minutes as reported by Temporary Secretary Lewis Frey, January 6, 1941 ... Treasurer’s Report with a balance of $18.41)
· May 1946: Start of the Owls Sports Club Award to an outstanding Wilson High School Athlete.
· January 15, 1948: Owls Sports Club incorporated in the State of Pennsylvania as a non-profit corporation, becomes the Owls Sports Club, Inc.
· June 1949: Work begins on grading of Owls Field.
· June 1955: West Lawn Owls American Legion baseball program begins its first season in the Berks League under the guidance of Ralph Leininger .. the franchise having been picked up from West Reading, who could no longer field a team.
· June 1955: West Lawn Owls, the 10th team of the Lebanon Valley Baseball League, begins its initial season.
· August 1962: West Lawn Owls, PA State American Legion Baseball Champions.
· July 1992: West Lawn Owls host their first PA Region 2 Baseball Tournament, using Reading’s George Field as the host site. The financial success of this tournament provides the impetus for the Owls Field renovation project, as the Owls members concluded having our own facility to host these tournaments is paramount to making the Legion baseball program a success on a local, state and eventually national level.
· September 1992: Executive Board recommends and General Membership approves the plan to renovate the Owls Field, including lights, electronic scoreboard, new fence enclosing entire playing field, new playing surface, eventual elimination of the softball field in left field, new dugouts, new press box/concession stand/garage, underground irrigation system, terraces for park-like seating.
· April 1994: Owls Field upgrade project begins w/construction of new press box/concession stand/garage structure and light installation.
· 1997: Owls softball field removed making the Owls Field a baseball-only venue and one of the finest amateur enclosed baseball fields in Pennsylvania.
· July 1998: West Lawn Owls host their first PA State American Legion/win their first ever Region 2 Tournament Title .. Field name is officially changed to: OWLS FIELD AT TED PALKA PARK to honor long-time member Ted Palka for all his time and efforts for the Owls.
· July 1999: West Lawn Owls repeat as Region 2 Tournament Champions.
· July 2004: West Lawn Owls host first Jr. Legion Eastern Region Tournament.
· July/August 2005: Owls celebrate their 50th anniversary of West Lawn Owls American Legion Baseball by hosting their second PA State Tournament, finishing 2nd to Boyertown and qualifying for their first ever National Regional Tournament, assigned to Great Lakes National Regional Tournament at Augustana College in Moline, Illinois (home of John Deere, by the way).
· July 2006: West Lawn Owls host the PA Region 2 Tournament.
· August 2007: West Lawn Owls host their first ever Mid-Atlantic National Regional Tournament, with teams from NJ, MD, VA, WV, DE, NY, PA.
· July/August 2010: West Lawn Owls host the PA Region 2 Tournament in July and their 2nd Mid-Atlantic National Regional Tournament in Augusts.
· July/August 2011: West Lawn Owls host the Berks County Play-offs and the PA State Tournament.
· July/August 2012: West Lawn Owls host the PA Region 2 Tournament in July and their 3rd Mid-Atlantic National Regional Tournament in August.
· July 2013: West Lawn Owls host the PA Jr. Legion Eastern Regional.
· July 2014: West Lawn Owls hosted the PA Jr. Legion Eastern Regional.
· July 2015: West Lawn Owls hosted the PA Legion State Tournament.
· 2016 saw the construction and opening of our indoor baseball facility.
· 2017: West Lawn Owls hosted the Region 2 Tournament.
- 2018: Junior Legion will host the Eastern Regional July 21-25.
Through the efforts of many volunteers over a 70 year span of time, the Owls Sports Club stands out as an example of the long-term vision of ten men who first started the Owls way back in 1941. Through some good times and some lean times, the Club has endured and persevered. The multitude of volunteers have stepped up to help in many ways, and the present edition, the 72nd edition of the Owls Sports Club, Inc., is proof of that devotion to keep the Club and its endeavors moving forward throughout the 21st century. We, of this generation, can only say thank you and hold many of these original Owls, of the greatest generation, in our thoughts and our hearts. We, of this generation, need to keep and carry the torch for their gift of the Owls to us and to future generations, so that American Legion Baseball can continue to prosper and be a solid foundation for our children and grandchildren. The 2013 edition of the Owls Sports club salute that group of men, of the greatest generation, who created and passed on this gift, so that we may pass it on to our future. God Bless America!
Compiled and Written by Mitch Hettinger