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On the Cover
New Pin Commemorates
Late Sportscaster
Bill Byham
By Lou Hunsinger Jr.
Bill’s radio friends recently presented Buck’s wife, Nellie, with her own commemorative pin. Pictured are (from left) Tom Speicher, Lou Hunsinger Jr., Scott Lowery, Nellie Byham, Ken Sawyer, Rob Thomas, Mike Fogarty and Bill and Nellie’s grandson, Ben Byham.

Each year during the annual Little League Baseball World Series, pin trading is one of the most avid and popular pastimes during this time. This year, one of the rarest — and most highly sought after — pins will be one that honors and commemorates the late, legendary sportscaster, Bill Byham, who broadcast more than 50 Little League World Series.
The pins were made up by his radio colleagues, Ken Sawyer, Mike Fogarty, Scott Lowery, Gary Chrisman and Tom Speicher, as well as Rob Thomas, who is the public address announcer at many of the LLWS games, and myself, who is the press box announcer at Volunteer Stadium.
“We were looking for a way to honor and commemorate Bill’s memory and all that he meant to the Little League World Series,” Ken Sawyer told Webb Weekly. “So we decided, let’s do a pin. The seven of us got together to design a pin and to order it. There was only a small, limited amount of them made. It seemed to us to be the right thing to do. Perhaps no one in recent years has been more associated with the Little League World Series than ‘Buck’ was. They even named the press section at Volunteer Stadium for him. The pins are kind of a treasure that celebrates Bill’s memory. Bill himself was a treasure.”
Byham’s widow, Nellie, and the rest of his family are very pleased that the pins were made and also with how they turned out. The pins bear the unmistakable image of Bill on them.
“It is unbelievable, the generosity and kindness that has been shown by the making of this pin,” Nellie said. “My family and I am are very excited by this and it is a wonderful symbol of the friendship and love that his broadcasting colleagues felt for him. In a way, this makes up for all the time he spent away from me doing the games and made it seem worthwhile, although I was around for quite a few of the games. Bill loved Little League and he loved his family.”
Pins are available by speaking with any of the Buck’s radio friends listed above. Each gentleman has a limited number of pins. But please wait until they are out of the broadcast booth, or in between games!


The 71st Annual Little League Baseball World Series Begins This Week
By Lou Hunsinger Jr.

A major league baseball game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates, a solar eclipse, as well as just some great youth baseball, are all in the mix, as the world comes to Williamsport from August 17 to 27, for the 71st Annual Little League Baseball World Series.
“The 2017 Little League Baseball World Series is set to be an exciting time as we welcome 16 Regional Champions to Williamsport, thousands of fans from around the world, and new to this year, members of the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals for the MLB Little League Classic on August 20,” Kevin Fountain, Director of Media Relations for Little League International Inc., told Webb Weekly. “This special event will spotlight Little League International’s commitment to working with MLB to celebrate youth baseball and softball through its PLAY BALL Initiative and will provide all of the Little League Baseball World Series participants a unique opportunity to interact with Major League Baseball players throughout the Little League International Complex before heading to Bowman Field later that night to enjoy the game between the two clubs.”
Another unique event happening during the 2017 LLBWS is the a partial solar eclipse that is expected to pass over Williamsport on August 21. Because solar eclipses are not safe to view without specialized eyewear meant for viewing solar eclipses, Little League is working with its official Eyewear and Eye Care retailer, Visionworks, to be able to provide approximately 30,000 AAO-certified Solar Eclipse safe-viewing glasses, designed specifically for viewing this event. While the solar eclipse will be an exciting event, Little League strongly encourages all those in attendance not to look directly at the sun during this time and not to view the eclipse without the certified viewing glasses.
One other exciting note for the 2017 LLBWS, according to Fountain, is that Little League International will be enshrining three new members into the Little League Hall of Excellence: Champ Pederson, Sydney Leroux, and Angel Macias. Influential members in their community and excellent role models to the youth around the world, each of these three Little League graduates have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in their chosen profession and exemplify the values learned as children in Little League Baseball or Softball.
As far as changes around the facilities, Fountain reports, the biggest change this year is the addition of new directional signage to help fans navigate their way throughout the complex, as well as new, updated banners that hang behind each of the two stadiums.
“In terms of security, as always, we work closely with local law enforcement agencies to ensure that the Little League Baseball World Series is a safe, secure, fun event for all. Little League encourages all visitors to check out LLBWS.org, our official World Series website, to review all the information on our free admittance, free parking, and what is and is not permitted onto the Little League International Complex,” Fountain said. “Also, visitors should keep in mind that they will need to go through a metal detector, so they should give themselves plenty of time to get to the stadiums.”
The 71st Annual Little League Baseball World Series begins on Thursday, August 17 at 1 p.m. at Volunteer Stadium with Latin America taking on Mexico.

 

 

 
 
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