It’s all about the kids

Posted: August 23, 2022 by chrisharper in baseball
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By Christopher Harper

The Little League World Series, just a few miles up the road from my home in central Pennsylvania, provides a wonderful sense of sanity amid the chaos and controversy throughout the country. 

For two weeks in Williamsport, once a thriving lumber town, the focus is on the crack of the baseball bat until the end of the month, offering a celebration of Americana that is difficult to surpass.

The players between 10 and 12 years old come from some of the smallest towns in the United States, including Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania; Bonney Lake, Washington; Hagerstown, Indiana; Pearland, Texas; Santa Clara, Utah.

The 20 teams also include groups from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico; Aguadulce, Panama; and Bologna, Italy. 

Whatever their language or background, the games are all about the kids, the parents, and the city of Williamsport. 

As ESPN put it: “Williamsport is the happiest town in America for nearly two weeks starting in the middle of August. It opens with The Grand Slam Parade the night before the games begin, the kids riding down the street with their team, next to other teams that have come from thousands of miles away. They don’t all understand the same language, but they know a party and a parade when they see one.”

In 1939, Carl Stolz started Little League baseball in Williamsport because he enjoyed playing baseball with his two young nephews and ultimately decided that he wanted to create an organized league for them to play in. There were just three original teams in the league: Lundy Lumber, Lycoming Dairy, and Jumbo Pretzel. See

Little League baseball eventually expanded to 12 leagues in Pennsylvania in 1946. Today, there are an estimated 180,000 teams throughout the world. 

The first official Little League World Series occurred in August 1947 in Williamsport. This year’s event, which can be seen on ESPN, will continue until August 28, when a champion is declared. Or, you can drop by to see a game for free. 

According to the Little League website, the World Series has featured some participants who had notable sports careers in the MLB, the NFL, and the NHL, including Yankee third baseman Todd Frazier, Stanley Cup winner Chris Drury, and Tennessee Titans quarterback Matt Cassel. 

This year brought Yankee Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera, former President George Bush, and Rachel Robinson, the widow of Jackie Robinson. 

It just doesn’t get much better than that. 

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