Lake Bluff Youth Baseball Association    

        Celebrating over 60 years of serving our community




 Updated 1/21/18


Lake Bluff Baseball Family Brings Baseball Gear to Colombia

On a family trip to Colombia in late November, Sheridan Elementary School fourth grader Charlie Melin of Lake Forest learned that much of the language of baseball is universal.

Playing second base in a game in Medellin on that journey, Melin, who knows little Spanish, said hand signals are the same there as they are when he plays games in the Lake Bluff Youth Baseball Association. He also had no trouble lining up a cut off play from right field.

“It was really awesome,” said Charlie Melin. “You just have to know how to play the game,” he added showing outstretched arms for safe at a base, holding up his index and pinky fingers to show the sign for two outs and circling his hand demonstrating a home run signal.

Melin also learned there is a huge resource gap between what youngsters in Latin America have when they play baseball and what he is accustomed to in Lake Bluff and Lake Forest. He also got a chance to do something about it.

The mission of the Melin’s family trip to Colombia from November 17 to November 30 was in part an effort to improve the youth baseball resources in Medellin in Bogota, according to Philippe Melin, Charlie’s father. It was also part professional for Molly Melin, Charlie’s mother and a political science professor at Loyola University in Chicago.

Philippe Melin said he worked with the Lake Bluff Youth Baseball Association community and beyond to gather donations of gear whether it was gently used or new from money raised to purchase equipment.

Lots of Baseball Equipment Heads to Colombia

Connecting with Project Beisbol, Philippe Melin found an organization promoting youth baseball in Colombia eager to receive anything the Melins were able to bring. He said they packed up approximately 300 baseballs, 75 bats, 45 mitts and other assorted equipment used to play the game like cleats, batting gloves and protective gear.

“We reached out to people we know in Lake Bluff to donate,” said Philippe Melin. “We reached out to friends and family outside of youth baseball. Baseballs cost between $3 and $5 here but in Colombia they are $10.”

Justin Halladay, the president and founder of Project baseball, said baseballs are more expensive in Colombia not only because they are imported but the demand is much less than in the United States. That means no quantity discounts.

In a country where soccer is the most popular sport, Halladay said interest in baseball is growing He also said the equipment the Melin family brought to Colombia has 200 youngsters able to play organized baseball who could not before.

“The impact of the equipment the Melin family brought was huge, benefiting over 200 (kids) in four cities,” said Halladay in an email. “The leaders are there, interest is there, they just don’t have the resources to buy supplies on the local level and the sport fails as a result.”

Philippe Melin said his family got the idea of bringing baseball equipment to Colombia after a trip the year before to Cuba. Molly Melin had a conference there at the time. While she was working, Philippe Melin, Charlie Melin and Maizy Melin, a Sheridan first grader, watched some youngsters play baseball. Charlie got to play.

“They had one ball and one bat,” said Philippe Melin. “They had to share a mitt. We gave them a ball.”

Melin Family Becomes Baseball Ambassadors

After Molly Melin made arrangements to participate in a professional conference in Colombia in November, Philippe Melin decided to make his family baseball ambassadors. He did some research and reached out to Halladay.

There was more than baseball Philippe Melin said he noticed in Medellin. He said the area where they watched Charlie Melin play with local youngsters was a violent one just a few years ago, in part because of the drug trafficking around the area. There were still signs.

“There were still bullet holes in the buildings,” said Philippe Melin. “Parents were afraid to send their kids to school. Four years ago they felt it was safe enough for baseball to return.”

Molly Melin said watching her son play in the game in Medellin was different from the contests she watched when he competes in Lake Bluff.

“You really have to pay attention because there is no fence between the field and where we were sitting,” said Molly Melin.

“It made us feel pretty lucky about what we have in Lake Bluff,” Philippe Melin added.

Congratulations to LB 9U Red Travel

Deerfield Wooden Bat Tournament Champions!

2017 Mustang All-Star game caps a magical night of baseball at Artesian Park

Mustang All-Start Game: Bluffers Falls in Back-And-Forth Affair Against Lakers

The Bluffers and the Lakers passed the lead back-and-forth on Saturday, but eventually the Lakers prevailed 9-4.

The Bluffers captured the lead in the first inning. Scroggins drove in one when he singled in the inning.

After the Lakers scored one run in the top of the second, the Bluffers answered with one of their own. The Lakers scored when Valentincic singled off of Callahan, driving in one run. The Bluffers then answered when Mordini induced Brezak to hit into a fielder's choice, but one run scored.

The Lakers took the lead for good with two runs in the third inning. In the third Cassidy induced Gustavson to ground out, but one run scored. Another run scored when Cassidy induced Pezza to ground out, but Pezza got the RBI.

The Lakers scored five runs in the fourth inning. The big inning for the Lakers came thanks to a single by Alverez, a single by Gilcrest, a single by Diem, and a stolen base.

Scroggins went 2-for-2 at the plate as he led the Bluffers team with three runs batted in.

The Lakers tore up the base paths, as seven players stole at least two bases. Van Nuys led the way with four.

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Lake Bluff Baseball will have our annual Picture Day for Pinto, Mustang, and Bronco players and coaches on Saturday, May 13th.

Click below for more information,specific times, and location.  Please arrive 10 minutes before your scheduled team photo time.

Lake Bluff Baseball Opening Day Featured in The Lake Forest Leader

It was a wonderful day for baseball and our thanks to the US Naval Band, the Lake Bluff Fire and Police Departments, the 12U Cooperstown Team Families, the LBYBA Board, and all of you for making the Pancake Breakfast and Opening Day ceremony great!

Here is a link to the Lake Forest Leader website, with photos from the day: 

Opening Day is Saturday, April 15th!

Please join us for a wonderful day starting with our Pancake Breakfast followed by the Opening Day Ceremony and actual baseball games!  

Here is the schedule:

Pancake Breakfast (7:00 - 9:00 AM) at the Lake Bluff Fire Station. Stop in for some delicious all-you-can-eat pancakes, sausage and juice. $7 for adults and $5 for children ages 12 and under. Proceeds will go to the Lake Bluff Youth Baseball Association to support the programs.

Opening Day Ceremony (9:00 - 9:30 AM) will follow at Artesian Park.  All players, in uniform, and all parents should join us on the field for team introductions and special guest appearances.

Mustang and Bronco - first games begin @ 10:00

Pinto practices begin @ 10:30

Although T-Ballers will not start their sessions until May 6th, we welcome and encourage T-Ballers to join us at the breakfast and on the field for the Opening Day ceremony. 

 Scorekeepers and Umpires positions   
LBBA is looking for scorekeepers and umpires. These are paid positions and we encourage local junior high and high school students to participate. See details, below.

Umpire Clinics
 START YOUR PLANNING NOW - House league games are scheduled for 5:30 PM Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings / afternoons.  House league games start on 4/15/17.
Game assignments will be available after our last umpire clinic on April 11th.
All those wishing to umpire Mustang and Bronco House games beginning on April 15, must attend at least one of our umpire clinics. Must be 14 years of age or older to umpire. We will cover people management, rules, attire, pre-game conferences, assignments on our website, expectations and compensation. There will be a test of your knowledge, as well as field work.

Clinic dates/location  

  • Monday, April 10: 7pm-8pm; Community Room at Lake Bluff Police Station
  • Tuesday, April 117pm-8pm; Community Room at Lake Bluff Park District 

You must attend (at minimum) one clinic session.   

Game assignments will be granted based on clinic attendance.   

Umpire Pay is based on experience and LB Baseball Board rules, no experience and base ump position starts at $25/game.

Questions: Contact Us

We need Scorekeepers to serve Bronco and Mustang games at Artesian and Mawman fields. Games are scheduled for Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday and Saturdays. If you are interested in signing up for a scorekeeper position, please Contact Us.   Scorekeeper pay: $15/game


Scorekeeper meeting:  Monday, April 10: 6pm-6:45pm; Community Room at Lake Bluff Police Station.


The Lake Bluff Youth Baseball Association is pleased to announce that we will be offering an 8-year old travel team this upcoming travel season.

The travel season games will commence at the end of May and concludes at the end of July.  Practices will begin early May.

We will be holding tryouts for the 2017 team on Sunday, April 9th at Weshinskey Field in Artesian Park, Lake Bluff - 10:30-11:45AM

If there is a rainout, make-up date will be determined.

Please note the following age restriction and tryout time:

Eligible players must be 8 years old or younger as of May 1, 2017 (typically 2nd graders but 1st graders are welcome).

• Be sure to bring your glove, bat, baseball pants, cleats, and cap (those trying out should not wear anything that reflects prior Travel Team participation).

• Participants should arrive on time to check-in at the warming hut pavilion and have time for proper warm up/stretching.

• We will start the tryout promptly at 10:30 AM.



Questions?  See the Travel page for more information.


The LBYBA's "Spirit of Lake Bluff Baseball" scholarship application is now available on our website. Graduating high school seniors are encouraged to apply. The deadline for applications is April 1, 2017.

Click here for more information and to download the application.


The sessions are Skill Evaluations, not tryouts.

LBBA holds House League Evaluation sessions for Mustang and Bronco players in order to build balanced House League teams.

Our 2017 House League Evaluation session will be held on March 5th at Lake Forest High School East Campus Field House. 

  • Mustang players 9AM to 11AM
  • Bronco players 11AM to 1PM

The actual player evaluation process takes only about 15-30 minutes.  Players may arrive at any time during their league's given 2 hour evaluation window. 

Playing up:  LBBA encourages players to participate in the league at their grade level.  However, if your 2nd grade player would like to be considered eligible to play up in Mustang, please plan on attending the Mustang Evaluation session on March 5th.  We weigh player skill and safety in our decision to allow children to play up.


Lake Bluff Baseball will have our annual Picture Day for Pinto, Mustang, and Bronco players and coaches on Saturday, May 13th.

Specific times and locations TBD, but expect to arrive 30-45 minutes before your first game on that date.

*Stay tuned for details on T-Ball Picture Days.


T-Ball Session 1

  • Opening Day - May 6th

T-Ball Session 2:

  • Opening Day - June 10th


  • Opening Day - April 15th

Mustang / Bronco:

  • Spring Training (practices begin) - April 3rd
  • Opening Day - April 15th 
  • All-Star game and Skills Competitions - May 20th
  • House League Tournament Championship games - June 3rd


Registration for the 2017 Lake Bluff House Leagues opens in early February.  Lake Bluff Baseball is happy to offer baseball programs for boys and girls at the following levels:

  • T-Ball (Grade: Pre-K & K, typically 5 and 6 year olds). 
  • Pinto (Grades: 1st & 2nd, typically 7 & 8 year olds) 
  • Mustang (Grades: 3rd & 4th, typically 9 & 10 year olds)
  • Bronco (Grades: 5th & 6th, typically 11 & 12 year olds)

Please see the House League section of this site to find more information on dates and times.

LBBA encourages children to play with their grade level. 

We will evaluate players wishing to "play up" on a player by player basis.  Please contact us for further information on this policy. 

Please register early and avoid being wait-listed; league sizes are limited.


LBYBA plans to sponsor 8U summer travel team in 2017.  Eligible players will 8 years old or younger as of May 1, 2017 (typically 2nd graders).   

Tryouts for the 8U team will be held in April 2017.  Stay tuned for more details.