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Ottumwa Little League

Ottumwa Little League

League History

Little League Baseball came to Iowa in the early 1950s, when leagues were formed in the Davenport, Jefferson, and Ottumwa areas. In early years, Iowa leagues competed with leagues from neighboring states in district and sectional competition. In 1957, Iowa held its first state tournament. 

Today, Iowa has six districts, each of which sends a district champion to the Iowa State tournament. The Iowa champion advances to the Midwest Region tournament in Indianapolis, where they compete for the right to advance to the Little League World Series.

Fourteen Iowa leagues have participated in the Little League World Series, including Grandview Little League in 2018. Davenport East Little League finished as the U.S. runner-up in 2000, which represent Iowa’s best-ever finish at the Little League World Series.

Ottumwa baseball started with three separate Little League charters. They were the American League, National League and Midwest League. 

In December 2017, Midwest and National Little League merged into one league known as Ottumwa Little League. The new Ottumwa Little League was formed to allow more players to participate in levels better suited for their age and experience. A AAA division was formed to allow some of the kids from ages 9-12 to get comfortable and join the game. 

Ottumwa Little League merged with the American Little League in January 2020 to form one league known as Ottumwa Little League. This merger will also help to produce an all-star team capable of contending with the best teams in the state. The AAA system still exists and is renamed the Minor division.

Ottumwa Little League

District 7 Champions – 2019

National League

State Champions – 1971

District 4 Champions – 1971, 1972, 1980, 1995

District 7 Champions – 2011

Midwest League

State Champions – 1959

District 4 Champions – 1959, 1988, 1992

American League

State Champions – 1957, 1984

District 2 Champions – 1957

District 4 Champions – 1962, 1964, 1967, 1968, 1982, 1984, 1986, 2007

District 7 Champions – 2016, 2017

Gale Swarts

Gale Swarts was an Ottumwa native and played for the National League Phillies and was an All-Star in 1952 and 1953. Gale's love of the game ran for years as a player and then watching his grandchildren and great grandchildren playing the game. Gale was able to see one grandson win a state championship.

Gale passed away on June 6, 2022 and had asked that his memorial be made to the Ottumwa Little League. We sincerely thank Gale and his family for their generous donation of $1,400 for our All-Stars in 2022.

The photo below is the 1952 National League All-Stars that were state runner up. Gale is the young man circled in red in the front row.

1952 All-Stars

Gale Swarts

1965 National League Dodgers

Marv Hagglund on the far left.


Ottumwa Little League
PO Box 632 
Ottumwa, Iowa 52501

Email: [email protected]

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