Steel Lake Little League

HISTORY - STEEL LITTLE LEAGUE

1970 OLD STEEL LAKE LITTLE LEAGUE BALLPARK AT STONEWAY CONCRETE

Cliff Standfill was one of a first generation of kids to play at the 14 acre ballfield in Kent which began being used in 1970, originally Stoneway Concrete, as Cliff reflects on the history of the league's baseball fields:

"My dad helped build the first two fields there. I can remember laying sod when I was a kid. I even played a few years before (the ballpark at) Stoneway was built (in 1970). We used schools, the old Steel Lake field, and the Kiwanis field which was next to Federal Way High School, where the pool is now (the pool was recently razed for new construction at the school)."

Back then, before it split up into four different charters, it was simply known as Federal Way Little League and spanned as far south as Browns Points and as far north as Des Moines.

"Later as an adult I coached for 10 years. My son was the last generation to play at Stoneway Concrete site and first to play at South County Ballpark (in 2000)."

Cliff and several others also built the ballfield at Laurelwood Park near S 288th and Military Road and over the years at Steel Lake Little League he had the previledge to coach hometown baseball stars such as Travis Ishikawa, the hero of the World Series champion SF Giants in 2014, who hit a game-ending home run against the St Louis Cardinals in Game 5 of the NLCS.

Cliff's father Billy Standfill was also involved in the old fields over the 25 years. And in this article published back in 1995, the league felt there was no help in sight for the 750 families with second- and third-generation connections to their Kent field…

"If they close these fields, we'll be in the same boat as we were 25 years ago," Billy Standfill said.

The Standfills and others still hope Seattle might change its mind. But they also talk of finding another piece of property to buy and starting over. They are certain the league won't dissolve and hope the community will help come up with alternatives.

"It's a shame," said Billy Standfill. "Kids have worked their hearts out for this field."

 
1976 STEEL LAKE LITTLE LEAGUE FORMED

In 1976, Steel Lake Little League is officially chartered with Little League. In the same year the Seattle Seahawks join the NFL, the Kingdome officially opens to the public and Starbucks moves into their current Pike Place Market location.

 
1999 SOUTH COUNTY BALLFIELDS DEDICATION

Cliff' Standfill's wife Mary was president of Steel Lake Little League during the time span from the league losing the ballpark in Kent to gaining the present day ballfields at South County. And in the mid-90's, the lease was expiring and while the league was able to negotiate a last minute deal to continue to use the Kent field through the month of July, a more permanant home needed to be found so the league embarked on an ambitious campaign to either save the exiting fields or obtain another site to build a new ballfield. This included picketing the office of then Seattle Mayor Norm Rice as the city was looking to sell off the Kent property out from under the league. "Armed with "Norm Rice have a heart" signs and baseball caps, about 25 Steel Lake Little League parents and players gathered in the 12th-floor lobby of the Municipal Building."

King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer helped secure important funding for the new future ballpark. But if it wasn't for Mary Standfill's effort and drive in the late 1990's, the fields at South County would have never existed. On September 29, 2000, not long after South County Ballfields were up and running and her son was using the new ballpark, Mary passed away. Her name adorns the bottom of the flagpole and on the back of Field 5 at South County Ballfields. Some of the dirt from Field 5 lays at her gravesite.

Standfil was in the middle of all of it.

"That's what Little League is all about in its best form. That's what amateur sports is all about in its best style - people giving up their free time to make things happen, " von Reichbauer said. "Mary was not afraid to handle the books or handle hot-dogs for her league."

Cliff Standfill said Mary was smiling and strong willed in the days leading up to her death.

"She cared about a few things. Baseball was one. Whether I was eating well and her children and grandson were the others," he said. "She didn't think about her herself at times. That's what made it hard."

The morning after her death, her son Cody played in his baseball game and Cliff, an assistant coach, was in the dugout. "We thought about this a lot and we thought what would Mary want?" Cliff said.

Cody went 4-4 with a double. "We felt that she was there with us," Cliff said. "He had a great game."

Standfill was survived by her husband, sons and parents, and as Cliff puts it, "hundreds of Little Leaguers."

Thanks to growth and progress in the region, the old site that was the league's ballfields for 25 years from 1970 (located at South 216th St and 42nd Ave South in Kent), no longer remains and is currently a housing development. But thanks to Mary Standfill, South County Ballfields represents an enduring legacy, not for just for Steel Lake Little League, but for all baseball players in the surrounding area for future generations to come.

 
2002 DISTRICT 10 BIG LEAGUE ALL-STAR TEAM IN WORLD SERIES

Seven players from the Federal Way area were part of the Washington State Big League division team that made it to the Little League World Series in Easley, S.C. The team consisted of 16- to 18-year-old players from Steel Lake, Federal Way American Federal Way National, Kent, Auburn and Renton little leagues. Coaches included Harvey Williams, Jr. from Steel Lake.

 
2003 STEEL LAKE LITTLE LEAGUE JUNIORS WIN DISTRICT TITLE

The Steel Lake Little League Juniors team won their first ever district 10 junior league tournament and head into the state juniors tournament.

 
2004 STEEL LAKE LITTLE LEAGUE 11-12 ALL-STARS MAKE FIRST TRIP TO STATE TOURNAMENT

In 2004, Steel Lake Little League's 11-12 all-star team goes to the state tournament for the first time in history after going 4-0 in the district tournament. The team rolled through the state championship undefeated before losing the double header to Redmond North. The final championship game went to 8 innings but it was a 6-3 loss for Steel Lake. And ultimately, it would be Redmond North that would move through regionals and became at the time only the sixth Washington league ever to reach the Little League World Series.

 
2006 STEEL LAKE LITTLE LEAGUE 9/10 GIRLS SOFTBALL ALL-STAR TEAM WINS DISTRICT 10

Steel Lake Little League 9/10 softball all-star team won the district 10 title and went on to the state tournament collecting three wins and a 4th place finish in the state.

 
2007 STEEL LAKE LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL SENIORS AND 10/11 GIRLS SOFTBALL TEAMS BOTH FINISH 2ND IN STATE

The Steel Lake Little League Seniors team won district 10 and finished 2nd in Washington State after a 4-2 loss in the state championship.

The Steel Lake Little League 10/11 softball team won district 10 and went all the way to the Washington State Championship game where they lost to Bainbridge Island 12-10.

 
2008 STEEL LAKE LITTLE LEAGUE SENIORS ROLL TO STATE TITLE AND OTHER TEAMS IN STATE TOURNAMENTS

The 2008 Steel Lake Little League majors all-star team wins district 10 as Steel Lake returns to the state 11-12 tournament after going 4-1 in the tournament and winning the final if necessary game against Kent. Steel Lake was eliminated in the state tournament.

The Steel Lake Little League Senior all-star team rolled to the state title and into Little League's Seniors regional tournament in California.

The Steel Lake Little League 11/12 softball all-star team also made it into the state tournament and won the first two games 15-0 and 10-0 but lost their next two to finish 3rd in the state.

 
2010 AUBURN LITTLE LEAGUE REACHES LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES SEMI-FINAL

It was a TOC win for Steel Lake Little League in 2010 but the talented 11/12 all-star team would lose twice to Auburn Little League in the district 10 tournament including a final 8-3 loss in the district championship. And it would be Auburn that would win the state tournament, power through regionals with double-digit wins and go all the way to the Little League World Series U.S. semi-final game in Williamsport.

 
2011 RIVAL LEAGUES FEDERAL WAY NATIONAL AND FEDERAL WAY AMERICAN MERGE

In 2011, Steel Lake's crosstown rivals Federal Way National and Federal Way American Little Leagues merged to become one "Federal Way National Little League" (FWNLL), using the Federal Way Complex on SW Campus Drive as their home field. The Federal Way Americans had leased two fields at Sacajawea Middle School up until their merger. The Federal Way American all-star team had won the Washington State Majors Little League tournament in 1990 and their Junior all-star team placed 4th in the state the year before merging with Federal Way National.

 
2013 STEEL LAKE LITTLE LEAGUE / FEDERAL WAY NATIONAL COMBINED JUNIORS GO TO STATE

Steel Lake Little League Juniors combined with Federal Way National to capture the district 10 title and head to the state tournament.

 
2015 STEEL LAKE LITTLE LEAGUE BRAVES WIN DISTRICT TOC

The Steel Lake Little League Braves powered through district's Tournament of Champions to grab the title for the first time since 2010.

 
2015 STEEL LAKE LITTLE LEAGUE COMBINED FEDERAL WAY NATIONAL SOFTBALL 2ND IN STATE

The combined Steel Lake / Federal Way National Little League Softball Majors all-star team won the District 10 tournament as they went all the way to the WA State Championship game where they finished second in the state. The only losses in the state came against a powerful South Snohomish team and that team eventually finished in the Little League Softball World Series, just one tiebreaker away from the semifinals.

 
2016 STEEL LAKE LITTLE LEAGUE SOFTBALL RETURNS

Girl's Fastpitch Softball returned to Steel Lake Little League for the 2016 season. The league fielded Girl's T-Ball, Minors B, Minors A and Majors Softball and jointly a Juniors Softball team with Auburn Little League.

Steel Lake 9/10 Softball All-Stars combined with Kent and won the District 10 Championship.

Steel Lake Junior Softball All-Stars combined with Auburn and SoundView and won the District 10 Championship.

Great success in our return to offering fastpitch softball.

KENT-STEEL LAKE 9/10 SOFTBALL ALL-STARS

AUBURN-STEEL LAKE-SOUNDVIEW JUNIOR ALL-STARS

 
2016 STEEL LAKE LITTLE LEAGUE JUNIOR LEAGUE ALL-STARS

The 2016 Steel Lake Junior League regular season team went undefeated with an 18-0 record.

The combine Steel Lake / Kent All-Star team won the District 10 Championship and finished 4th in the State of Washington.

STEEL LAKE / KENT JUNIORS ALL-STARS

STEEL LAKE REGULAR SEASON JUNIORS TEAM