The Class of 2000 team was the original Longshots team. In 1995, a group of coaches started the West Suburban Longshots team with a collection of 13 year-old players from Downers Grove. Over the following 6 years, the team went on to be among the most successful Longshots teams ever, finishing in the top 10 nationally each year in the AAU National Championships (the premier national association at the time) and winning an AAU National Title in 1998. The team was widely recognized as one of the most successful community-based travel programs in the country during its time.
The 2000 team had five players drafted out of high school and a 6th player drafted out of college. Additionally, approximately a dozen players went on to play NCAA Division I baseball and another won a junior college National Championship.
The Class of 2000 team served as a model for the Longshots Baseball program, which was developed as the travel baseball division of Downers Grove Youth Baseball in 2000.
As a result of the 2000 team’s experience and success, the Longshots name became known throughout the Midwest and nationally, and the program developed relationships and contacts in the travel, college, and professional baseball world that have grown and strengthened over the last 10-15 years and still benefit current Longshots today.
A number of Class of 2000 team members have come back over time to work in the Longshots program in varying capacities. Many of the players are spread throughout the Chicago area these days, and they all love running into one of our current players in Longshots gear. A lot of the group still gets together each August for our annual Alumni Game, and a few have even welcomed potential future Longshots to their families!