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Southwest Baseball Association

History of SWBA

Southwest Baseball began under new leadership in 1994.  At that time, the association offered baseball to some 70-80 children between the ages of 4-8.  Our home was Sweetwater Park on Clay Road in Austell.  Our group practiced at local churches and schools, while using two of Sweetwater's fields for games on Saturdays only.  At the time, Sweetwater Park was one of the largest girl's softball parks in the county.  As such, it did not offer typical baseball field amenities like permanent pitching mounds and grass infields.  Nevertheless, we were grateful to have a place to play. 
From 1994-1998, the association's numbers grew rapidly.  In fact, we were one of the fastest growing youth organizations (of any type) in all of Cobb County.  Our use of Sweetwater Park was still limited exclusively to Saturdays only.  With very little membership turnover, we now offered baseball for ages 4-12.  At this time, Cobb County Parks and Recreation approached the association about moving to historic (and abandoned) Clarkdale Field.  The original Clarkdale Field (built in 1931) was once a community mill park and even hosted games of the Atlanta Crackers. 
Southwest Baseball moved to Clarkdale Park in time to begin the Spring '99 season.  The association worked hard to raise the money necessary to convert the adult sized field into three youth fields.  Leadership of the association worked with local political and business leaders to raise over $100k.  We worked tirelessly, physically completing much of the construction necessary to move into this once historic park. We were able to expand our membership to include ages 3-14.  The membership continued to grow to over 400 players. 
In 2005, Cobb County government sold the property to the City of Austell.  In the land swap, Cobb County Parks and Recreation secured the property we currently call home.  Again, association leadership took an active roll in helping the Parks Department to complete our current home.  We continue to make the necessary investments to make this one of the finest baseball facilities in the metro area. 
Over the years, the association has added such offerings as coach and player clinics, All-Star participation, and travel baseball.  In fact, Southwest Baseball has sent 12 year old teams to the Cooperstown Dreams Park near Major League Baseball's Hall-Of-Fame since 2002.  Our All-Star and Travel Teams continue to compete well against competitive baseball teams from all over the United States and Canada. 
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