Let's take a trip back in time -- say 36 years. It is the summer of 1976.
The cream of the crop in adult amateur baseball in York County was Conrads. In fact, Conrads had just completed its 1976 season with another Susquehanna League championship -- its ninth in a row. Its record that year was a sterling 34-2.
Conrads was also coming off two straight wins in the York County Baseball Championship Series, having beaten the Central League champ in 1974 and 1975, the first two years the series was played.
So Conrads was riding high. As teams go, they were about as talented as any team that ever played townball in York County. In fact, this same team -- more or less -- won 13 consecutive Susquehanna League titles through the 1980 season.
Consider, for example, this lineup on pretty much a daily basis for most of those years: Clint Workinger, C; Mike Bacon, 1B; Marlyn Bacon, 2B; Rod Grim, SS; and Sheldon Markel, 3B, around the infield, and Wayne Bacon, Lonnie Strayer and Mike Grim in the outfield.
Add a pitching staff built around workhorse Ed Workinger -- he was a perfect 16-0 in league play in 1976 -- Sam Fitz, 11-1, and Carl Winters, 6-0.
The team was managed by Vernard Bacon.
They were a powerhouse. No doubt about it. In fact, 10 players on Conrads' roster that year went on to gain entry into the Susquehanna League Hall of Fame.
The Central League representative in the county championship series that year was Stoverstown, with a record of 27-9.
It was a team that included seven players that went on to be inducted into the Central League Hall of Fame.
Most games, Stoverstown's lineup looked something like this: Larry Hicks, C; Jim Rife or Jim Holtzapple, 1B; Dick Amspacher, 2B; Scott Lilley, SS; Randy Montgomery, 3B; and an outfield that included Mike Keesey, Tom Leese, Don Guise and Steve Besecker.
Pitching for the Tigers were Darrell Wildasin, 13-3; Paul Masters, 9-2; and Keesey, 4-3.
The team was managed by Curly Holtzapple.
And Stoverstown won the county championship that year, winning three straight games in a well-contested series.
So now, fast forward 36 years.
I don't want to say Stoverstown and Conrads are destined to play each other again in the county championship, but what are the chances Stoverstown might win the Central League title, and Conrads, which hasn't won its league in nearly a dozen seasons, also is in position to win this year?
For the first time since 1976, Stoverstown is in a position to win the Central League regular-season championship. It's in first place with a record of 23-5, with seven games to go in the season. Mount Wolf and Jefferson are tied for second in the loss column with 11 losses each.
Basically, any combination of two Stoverstown wins or two losses by Mount Wolf and Jefferson earns the Tigers the title this year.
Conrads also is sitting in first place in the Susquehanna League at 26-8, 11/2 games ahead of second-place Red Lion (23-8). Red Lion, the four-time defending league champ, has five games to play, while Conrads has just two games remaining.
So for Conrads to get a chance to match up again with Stoverstown in the county championship, it'll have to win both its remaining games and hope that Red Lion loses one of its remaining games.
That's how things stack up at the moment. We probably won't know for certain the champion in either league through the weekend, at least.
But it'll be fun watching.
Sports columns by Larry A. Hicks, Dispatch columnist, run Thurs days. E-mail: lhick firstname.lastname@example.org.