The Little League program was founded by Carl Stotz in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in the late 1930’s and came to Canada at Little Mountain in 1951. Arbutus Ridge was the second league in District 1, followed by Dunbar in 1958.
A group of community minded men including Joff Joyce, Ralph White, George Fisher, Con Conlin, Ralph Stong and Dan Poitevin organized and chartered Dunbar Little League.
Records from the earliest days have disappeared, but by 1960 there were five teams, Dunbar Lumber, Nevilles, Town & Country, Fisher’s Drugs and Stongs, who have remained a loyal sponsor since the beginning. Teams did not play many games in the early days. A 1960 schedule shows alternating weeks when the team played one game then two games – with no weekend games.
The field was quite different in appearance in the early days because there was no grass, just a few weeds in the dirt in the far right field corner. Infielders certainly learned how to handle grounders, and successful bunts were rare. Of course there was no fence, no batting cage, no scorekeeper’s booth, and no concession stand. There was one long set of stands along first base which could have held 500-600 people.
To host a district tournament was a major undertaking (it was done only once) because it took weeks of work sifting dirt to eliminate rocks and then spreading the dirt and rolling the field.
As early as 1960 there was a minor league, called the “Farm League”. Over the years divisions for younger and younger players have been added and proper diamonds and backstops have been provided for them.
Over the years the Majors field has seen many improvements – grass on the field, the outfield fence, a batting cage (replaced by the one we have now), a scorekeepers booth, new stands, the concession stand and proper infield dirt. Many of these improvements were brought about when Dunbar hosted the B.C. Little League Provincial Championships in 1998.
Dunbar Little League has been very successful if judged by the calibre of baseball being taught and played. Dunbar has participated in 49 district tournaments, and has won 30 of them. Dunbar has been a Provincial finalist at least three Majors Provincials and has won twice, in 1975 and in 1992. Dunbar has also won one 9-10 Provincial tournament.
While Dunbar has never made it to the World Series at Williamsport, one of our umpires, Len Brown, has.
Throughout Dunbar’s history its source of strength has been the enthusiasm of the players, the support of our parents and the dedication of executives, coaches and umpires.