The summer of 2006 marked the inaugural season for the Omega Delta Youth Baseball League, Inc., (ODYBL) at Hoyne Park Playground, which is located at 3417 S. Hamilton in the McKinley Park community on the southwest side of Chicago, IL. The ODYBL was established by five members of the Omega Delta National Fraternity (http://www.omegadelta.org/) and one eager neighborhood parent. Prior to the ODYBL, Hoyne Park was home to the Ralph E. Bermele Little League for over sixty years. It was in the Bermele Little League where the founding members of the ODYBL began their coaching careers and served as coaches for several years before the league sadly disbanded in 2003. This led to the creation of the Omega Delta Youth Development Program (ODYDP) which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the enrichment, development and education of children in inner city Chicago, Illinois, through recreational activities, educational assistance, physical training and athletic competition.
Pulling together whatever little leaguers remained, the coaches assembled two tournament teams to compete at different parks and in the ODYDP’s very own tournament which has been hosted at Hoyne Park every year since 2004. The ODYDP tournament is held in late August and draws teams and families from all over Chicago. In addition to the tournament teams, the ODYDP also developed an indoor baseball training program which is conducted at a local teen center where members of the ODYBL volunteer as mentors. Seeing the demand for the indoor camp increase and having the tournament teams as a base, the ODYDP coaches felt it was time to expand their program and bring a league back to Hoyne Park. With the help of parents, players, volunteers, supporters and sponsors, the Omega Delta Youth Baseball League was formed.
After months of recruiting, planning and fundraising the inaugural season kicked off with eleven teams in three age divisions consisting of over 130 children between the ages of five and thirteen making our first season a huge success. Our second season in the summer of 2007 saw the addition of three new teams and a new T-Ball division which increased our player total to over 175 children. Our goal is to continually strive to provide a safe, organized, competitive and fun league for our kids. We look forward to many more successful seasons in the years to come.