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Junior Baseball Organization, Inc (JBO) got its start around 1948 when Frank Bashor put together a six-team league of 11-12 year olds from the Portland Metro area. In 1951, the program became known as the Baseball Association of Oregon and continued to grow in the Portland fringe areas. This early program revolved around today’s Federal level and expanded to include ages 9-16 year olds. After Frank Bashor’s death in 1960, Dean Gray, who had purchased Bashor’s business from his widow, continued the program. By the late 60’s the Midget (Minor), Junior and Senior programs had grown to 350 teams in four districts (Tri-County, mainly the eastern Multnomah county region; Clackamas county; Washington County; and West Hills). Throughout the ‘70’s and ‘80’s the program continued to expand and included areas outside the Metro area (LaGrande, Tillamook and Corvallis).
In 1975, Junior Baseball of Oregon formalized as we know it today, with the publication of the first “Baseball Association of Oregon Handbook”. In 1977 the name officially became “Junior Baseball Association of Oregon”. In 1987 the first State Tournaments were held for the American and National levels. Also, in 1987 the Cub’s program was revived to provide more opportunities for 15 and 16 year olds to continue playing organized baseball. In 1998 the name was shortened to “Junior Baseball of Oregon”. By 1999, Junior Baseball had grown to 484 teams from Roseburg to Portland and Tillamook to Bend. The State Tournaments at the National and American levels were expanded to twelve teams.
Today Junior Baseball Organization, Inc. continues Frank Bashor’s intention to provide a framework for youth to develop and refine their basic baseball skills within a team oriented environment, the program stresses continuity in age grouping for boys and girls ages 9-14, continuity in progression of age development and playing distances, competition at equal levels of ability and emphasis on the complete game of baseball (leading off, stealing, etc.). The program revolves around local associations creating a local program for local needs within the framework of a baseball program. And best of all, when it comes to playoff time, a team goes as a unit, without the heartbreaking and sometimes unjust all-star selection process. This tradition is continued today through JBO’s name change to Junior Baseball Organization and Junior Baseball’s expansion to areas outside the State of Oregon to further bring the JBO program to youth ages 9 through 14.
Who plays JBO in Oregon?
JBO in Oregon is made up of 3 districts encompassing more than 80 local associations.
- Westside Youth Baseball
- Clackamas County JBA
- Valley District JBO
For more information, visit the official Oregon JBO website at: Junior Baseball Organization
All JBO players play within a division based on grade and skill level. These are defined as follows:
- Minors: Players in 3rd or 4th grade as of start of season
- Juniors: Players in 5th or 6th grade as of start of season
- Seniors: Players in 7th or 8th grade as of start of season
- National: Players with beginning or recreation level skills within each division
- American: Players with intermediate level skills within each division
- Federal: Players at the highest skill level within each division
More information about placement of players is available through each association. Additional information is also available on the JBO Website.