Bethesda Big Train

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Bethesda Big Train
League Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League (2005-present)
Clark Griffith League (1999–2004)
Location Bethesda, Maryland
Ballpark Shirley Povich Field
League championships 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2016 (CRCBL)
Post-Season Tournament championships 2005 (co-champions), 2009, 2010, 2011, 2016
Mascot Homer, Bunt
2012 season 25-16
Management Denise Gorham, Jean Kurtz (BCC Baseball), Bruce Adams, Randy Schools (Chairmen)
David Schneider (President and GM)
Manager Sal Colangelo

The Bethesda Big Train is a collegiate summer baseball team based in Bethesda, Maryland. Most of its players are drawn from the college ranks. The team is a member of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League (CRCBL), and derives its name from the nickname of Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson,[1] who was a Bethesda resident for ten years.[2] The Big Train plays its home games at Shirley Povich Field. The Big Train is owned and operated by the non-profit The Bethesda Community Base Ball Club, Inc., and is funded through merchandise sales, donations, and other fundraising efforts at games. As of March 2008, 34 Big Train Alumni have played professional baseball.[3]


The Bethesda Community Baseball Club, Inc. was founded in 1998 "to raise funds to improve the quality of youth baseball and softball fields in Montgomery County and the District of Columbia." Proceeds from the operations of the Bethesda Big Train are used to further this mission. As of March 2008 the Club reports they have raised $300,000 in support of this mission.[4]

The Big Train commenced play in 1999 as part of the Clark Griffith League (CGL). In 2004, they won the CGL championship.[5]

In 2005 the Big Train joined the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League (CRCBL).[6] That first year, the team won the regular season championship and shared the league championship with the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts. In 2006 the Big Train were the regular season champions.[7] In 2009, the Big Train won both the regular season and league championships. In 2010, the Big Train captured their 2nd straight league championship after placing 3rd in the regular season, and in 2011 rolled to their 3rd consecutive league championship with a 36-9 overall record and were ranked the #1 summer collegiate baseball league team in the nation by Perfect Game USA.

In early 2012, BCBBC announced its merger with one of its longtime partners, BCC Baseball. Both organizations now operate as a single non-profit entity under the banner of the Bethesda Big Train. To this day, all proceeds from the Bethesda Big Train continue to enrich the ballfields of Montgomery County, MD and the District of Columbia. Starting in the summer of 2012, the summer camp programs of the BCBBC and BBC Baseball will also become one. The Bethesda Big Train summer baseball camp will allow for an even wider range of young people to take advantage of what the Big Train players and coaches have to offer.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Hunter Renfroe, 2012 Big Train, first player to ever have his number retired by the Big Train since they have been a member of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League, 13th overall pick in 2013 MLB Draft (San Diego Padres)
  • Michael McKenry,[8] 2004 Big Train, has played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Colorado Rockies.[9]
  • Carlos Gutierrez,[20] 27th overall draft pick in 2008 draft
  • Chris Mobley,[21] 2002 Big Train, 2005 SAL All Star
  • Evan Frederickson, 1st round draft pick


  1. ^ "Walter Johnson" at Bethesda Big Train official site. Retrieved 2015-06-02.
  2. ^ Walter Johnson: Baseball's Big Train, by Henry W. Thomas, Published by U of Nebraska Press, 1998, page 288. On Google Books.
  3. ^ "Big Train official web site". Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  4. ^ "Big Train official web site - Mission". Archived from the original on 2008-09-08. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  5. ^ "Clark Griffith League History". Retrieved 2008-03-29. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Big Train CRSCBL Announcement". Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  7. ^ "CRSCBL Archives". Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  8. ^ "MLB Player Profile". Retrieved 2011-08-22. 
  9. ^ "Baseball-Reference web site". Retrieved 2017-01-03. 
  10. ^ "MLB Player Profile". Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  11. ^ "Baseball-Reference web site". Retrieved 2017-01-03. 
  12. ^ "Cincinnati Reds Player Profile". Retrieved 2008-04-16. 
  13. ^ "Baseball-Reference web site". Retrieved 2017-01-03. 
  14. ^ "MLB Player Profile". Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  15. ^ "Baseball-Reference web site". Retrieved 2017-01-03. 
  16. ^ "MLB Player Profile". Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  17. ^ "Baseball-Reference web site". Retrieved 2017-01-03. 
  18. ^ "MLB Player Profile". Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  19. ^ "Baseball-Reference web site". Retrieved 2017-01-03. 
  20. ^ "Minnesota Twins article". Archived from the original on 2011-06-16. Retrieved 2008-04-16. 
  21. ^ "Carolina Mudcats". Retrieved 2008-04-16. 

External links[edit]