As the Little League World Series returns to Williamsport, let’s take a look at some ‘Fact Facts’ about Little League and the Little League World Series, courtesy of Little League Baseball.
Little League® was founded in 1939 by Carl E. Stotz in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Little League is currently headquartered in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, on the 75-acre Little League International Complex, with five regional offices in the United States and four internationally.
There are approximately two million boys and girls play Little League, worldwide.
Little Leaguers® ages range from 4 to 16.
Little League is played in more than 80 countries and in all 50 states.
Little League Softball® was officially launched in 1974 with the first Little League Softball World Series also being held that year.
The Little League Challenger Division® was created in 1989.
The Little League® Urban Initiative was established in 1999.
The first leagues outside the United States were formed in 1950 on either side of the Panama Canal, the Pacific and Atlantic Little Leagues of Balboa.
The first Little League Baseball® World Series night game was Aug. 24, 1992.
Little League organizes seven World Series. The oldest is the Little League Baseball World Series, held in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, which was first played in 1947. The newest is the Little League Intermediate (50/70) Baseball Division, held in Livermore, California, which was first played in 2013.
The Little League Baseball World Series moved to South Williamsport in 1959 when Howard J. Lamade Stadium was opened. Prior to that, World Series games were held at “Original Field” on 4th street in Williamsport, which is still in use today.
The first remote-controlled scoreboard was developed for Original Little League field by Mac McCloskey.
The World of Little League®: Peter J. McGovern Museum and Official Store officially re-opened in 2013 after a $4.3 million renovation. The original Peter J. McGovern Little League museum opened in 1982.
The museum houses an extremely rare, complete uniform worn by Babe Ruth. It’s the only one on display in the world.
Former Little League President and CEO and Little League International Board of Directors Member, Dr. Creighton J. Hale, helped develop the double-ear flap batter’s helmet, catcher’s helmet, chest protector with throat guard, and the non-wood baseball bat.
Current Little League President and CEO, Stephen D. Keener, is the first leader of the organization to play Little League. He played for Woolrich and Loyalsock (Pa.) Little Leagues. He is also the father of two Little League graduates and his father worked at Little League Baseball Camp.
In 1953, Joey Jay became the first Little League graduate to play Major League Baseball.
More than 50 confirmed Little League Baseball World Series Graduates have since gone on to play Major League Baseball. Boog Powell (1954 LLBWS) is the first to play in the MLB World Series in 1966; Ed Vosberg (1973 LLBWS), Jason Varitek (1984 LLBWS), and Michael Conforto (2004 LLBWS) are the only three to also play in the MLB and College World Series; Yusmeiro Petit (1994 LLBWS) is the only to be on teams that have won both Little League Baseball and MLB World Series (2014 with the San Francisco Giants). In 2015, Lloyd McClendon (1971 LLBWS) and Kevin Cash (1989 LLBWS) became the first two LLBWS graduates to manage against each other in an MLB game, and Todd Frazier (1998 LLBWS) became the first to win the MLB Home Run Derby (2015).
There are more than 30 confirmed members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame who have played Little League Baseball.
The first official Little League commemorative pin was created in 1983 and was in the form of a hot air balloon, a staple attraction of the World Series during that time.
In 1948, U.S. Rubber, the maker of Keds, became Little League’s first national sponsor. That sponsorship led to the development of rubber-molded cleats, now used worldwide for many outdoor sports.
Little League mascot, Dugout, was created by Disney “Imagineers” and debuted at the 1985 Little League World Series.
Mo’ne Davis became the first female Little League Baseball World Series participant to win a game as a pitcher in 2014. In total there have been 20 girls to play in the Little League Baseball World Series.
In 2015, the Little League Baseball World Series total attendance record was broken at 469,964 fans.
The 2016 Great Lakes Region Championship was the first ever Little League Baseball Regional game to be played at Howard J. Lamade Stadium.
All seven Little League World Series, and their respective region tournaments, were canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 2021 Little League Baseball and Softball World Series events included teams solely from the United States due to the coronavirus pandemic.