World Series win nearly 50 years in the making

The 2022 SC AAA team made history when they clinched the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series title with a 10-3 win over Alabama to become the first Blythewood team to do so. | Photo: BYBSL

BLYTHEWOOD – For Greg and Lynn Robertson, who were involved in establishing the Blythewood Youth Baseball & Softball League when it began back in the 1970s, last week’s World Series win was like the realization of a dream that was once theirs.

“This is a big deal,” says Greg Robertson, who was instrumental in the league’s founding and served as its first president.

“It’s a wonderful thing to have something like this in a little community that used to be just a blip in the road,” he said, “and now we’ve got this. This is marvelous. It’s been a long time coming.”

Greg and Lynn Robertson

His wife, Lynn Robertson, says her husband sought to start the league back then because he grew up playing baseball in Columbia and was quite an athlete – and wanted their sons, Johnny and Andy, to have the same opportunity.

Since there were no organized youth sports teams in Blythewood at that time, she says, he began inquiring about how to get a youth league sanctioned — and sought the help of elected officials to make a place for the kids to play ball.

First, they played at Killian Park, she says, and then behind what was then Blythewood Elementary School before the land was purchased for the current ballpark location.

The league began, she says, with just three teams.

“Out here we were picking up kids, hauling them in the back of our truck to the baseball field, picking them up taking them to and from practice, gathering up kids to play ball,” she says.

“I remember several years we made it to the finals in the region. We had some great players, but it was just tough to compete because we did not have the numbers.”

As the league began to grow, Greg Robertson pushed the effort to create a location for ballfields in the heart of Blythewood where the kids could play.

“Greg found out that the property where the current Blythewood Park is located was coming up for sale,” Lynn Robertson says.

“And I’ll never forget this because I taught at Bethel-Hanberry [Elementary School], and we were out on the playground, and Greg was out there with members of the Richland County Recreation Commission and Richland County Council. He had our house and senate representatives out there showing them the property and telling them that we needed a park in Blythewood.”

The council and the commission approved the request and bought the land, Greg Robertson says – and it proved to be a good investment in the community.

“They said they would put up the fence, but that was about all the money they had, so we hired somebody with money out of our pockets and dug out the infield, and they brought us some red clay, and we spread it around and we had us a ballfield,” he says.

“From that point it took about 10 years, and… we had probably eight teams, something like that, and now we’ve got an involvement between 450 and 500 children every year, so it has really, really grown.”

Lynn Robertson says the park became a central feature of social life in Blythewood – a gathering place for families in the area.

During this summer’s World Series and winning game, she says, she and her husband were sick at home with Covid, but they were following along with the scores and updates being sent out by the mother of Head Coach Marshall Dinkins.

“It brought tears to our eyes to find out that they had won, just to think how far and how much of an impact that league has had on the community,” she says. “It’s just something that always meant a lot to us and our children growing up.”

She says that when their kids played in the youth league, she and her husband also played in a church softball league with the adults – and there are many cases of two and three generations who’ve participated.

There was, for example Bill Britt, the youth league’s original Vice President and one of its first coaches, whose son Ken played in the league along with his brother and then grew up to coach a team for the next generation, including his son.

Dinkins, the coach who led this year’s winning team, also grew up playing ball in the league at Blythewood Park – a member of another family who the Robertsons say they’ve known for 50 years. 

“We’re just bursting with pride,” Lynn Robertson says, “because it’s like a dream come true to see them go all the way and win the World Series.”

Photo: BYBSL


  1. Darrell says

    Greg and Lyn are great people who care about their community in Cedar Creek and Blythewood. They get involved and don’t just sit on the couch and wait for others to do the work.

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