After winning the Central Baseball League pennant in 1976, Stoverstown had to wait 36 years to celebrate another regular-season title.
They may not have finished on top in 31/2 decades, but the Tigers played some outstanding ball over the years, compiling a whopping 18 second-place finishes. Six times, they came within one game of first place.
Stoverstown featured terrific players and teams. They came along, though, at the same time as Mount Wolf's dynasty and a series of dynamic Dover and Glen Rock teams.
After so many close calls, the Tigers refused to settle for runner-up honors this year.
Stoverstown jumped into first place at the beginning of the season and stayed there, clinching the title on Sunday by sweeping two games from Jefferson.
The Tigers also punched their ticket to the best-of-3 York County Championship Series on Saturday, Aug. 25, and Sunday, Aug. 26.
Their opponent? Conrads, the same Susquehanna League team Stoverstown played back in the nation's bicentennial year.
The New Bridgeville club added another pennant to its rich history this season by outlasting Red Lion, which had won the previous four crowns, in a down-to-the-last-game race.
Both Conrads and Stoverstown displayed pitching depth and offenses that wore out opposing staffs during their title runs.
Conrads averaged a league-high 7.1 runs a game. Stoverstown, which still has five regular-season games to play, is averaging 5.9 a contest.
Each team has cracked 54 doubles. Conrads slugged 24 home runs, and Stoverstown has drilled 15 so far.
Travis Hake delivered 14 extra-base hits (nine home runs and five doubles) for Conrads. Austin Botts (eight doubles, four home runs) and Kyle Wildasin (nine doubles, three home runs) have 12 extra-base hits for Stoverstown.
Stoverstown's pitchers are holding opponents to 2.9 runs a game. Conrads yielded 4.0 a contest.
Jared Stiffler leads the Tigers in victories with seven. He's followed by T.J. Thomas (five victories), Ryan Kassab (four victories) and Brett Harman (three victories). Harman is 3-0.
Josh Knaub and Kerry Clark are Conrads' co-leaders with six victories apiece. Randy Stewart is next with five victories, and Anthony Ferrell is fourth with four. Ferrell, who along with Clark, joined Conrads this season, is 4-0.
When the teams clashed in '76, Stoverstown prevailed.
Which team will become the York County champion this time?
Will Stoverstown's young arms shut down a Conrads team that pounded Susquehanna League opponents for 256 runs?
Or will Conrads' bats stay hot and its pitchers control a Stoverstown team that leads the Central League in doubles and home runs?
The questions will be answered on the last weekend in August in what has the potential to be a very entertaining series.
-- Dick VanOlinda is a sportswriter for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at dvanolin firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-5407.