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IRB Little League

IRB Little League

By Troy Sanders, President of IRB LL

Indian Rocks Beach’s Little League field, in Kolb Park, is named Joe Campalong Field. Do you know who Joe Campalong was? In the early 1950s, Joe lived in town with his wife Minnie, and son Joe Jr.

Joe owned Campalong’s Sundries, a small store on 15th Avenue. It was on the north end of the building where Hurricane Eddie’s is today, on the road that leads to Kolb Park. The baseball field was not there then, it was just a big field where kids played their own pickup ball games.

When Joe Jr. was about 9 years old, Joe Sr. began teaching him the fundamentals of throwing, catching, and hitting a baseball. Soon, other kids joined in, and Joe began coaching the neighborhood kids. Their parents helped by keeping the grass cut, and the first home field for the kids was created.

Joe began contacting nearby cities and started a little league for the beach towns.

By 1954, they formed the first team with 13 neighborhood boys and a bat boy. They played other city teams including Belleair, Seminole, Madeira Beach, St Pete Beach and Pass-A-Grill.

After a game in IRB, they would head to Joe’s store for refreshments. His fountain sodas were made the old- fashioned way, with an added squirt of cherry syrup or chocolate to any Coca- Cola. He had the usual hot dogs and hamburgers, and of course ice cream.

By 1957, the program had grown to four teams and with the help of our newly incorporated city, Kolb Park was redesigned.

As it remains today, home plate was situated in the southwest corner, a concrete block concession stand was built, two dugouts were created, and the fence was installed near home plate. In 1980, 26 years after Joe started coaching the neighborhood kids, IRB’s families and city officialsshowed their appreciation by naming the ball field Joe Campalong field. Joe died ten years later in February 1990.

Today, 70 years later, Indian Rocks Beach Little League continues to proudly call Campalong Field ‘home’.

Indian Rocks Beach’s first team - the Indian Rocks Indians and Coach Joe Campalong, Sr., 1954

Joseph Campalong's grandson plays in the league his grandfather started! Pretty cool.


IRB Little League
1507 1st St 
Indian Rocks Beach, Florida 33785

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