Little League World Series 2010: 10 Things You Don't Know
The home of the Little League World Series is the stuff dreams are made of for baseball players between the ages of 11 and 13.
Williamsport, Pennsylvania is the coup de grâce for a Little Leaguer's season and the pinnacle of achievement for Little League teams around the United States and in many other countries.
Here is a list of several unknown facts about the town and the event.
10. Original Uniforms for the First Three Teams Cost $30
In 1939, the first three teams were given uniforms after a $30 donation from the teams' sponsors. Lycoming Dairy, Lundy Lumber, and Jumbo Pretzels provided the funds for the outfits, and in appreciation of their donations, the uniforms had the companies' names on them, starting a tradition that is still carried in many leagues today.
9. LLWS Stadium Not Named After Little League Founder
While Carl Stotz is credited with creating Little League Baseball, the Little League World Series' main-stage is named after the founder of Grit Magazine's (originally a newspaper) son, Howard J. Lamade. The stadium was name after him in 1968. Howard served as the Vice President of the newspaper created in Williamsport and also helped turn Little League into a national craze as a top executive of the league.
8. Undergound Railroad Has Roots in Williamsport.
From approx. 1830-65, the Underground Railroad, a system used by anti-slavery sympathizers to guide slaves to freedom, was organized in Lycoming County where Williamsport is located.
7. Fences Not Added Until 1943
As the league grew, so did its fans. In 1943, as the field in Pennsylvania ran out of room to hold friends, family members and other spectators, a fence was added as a practical solution, providing a boundary for the field and more area for fans to view the game. It also increased the tempo of the game so that each ball hit behind the outfielders didn't take long to retrieve.
6. The Oldest Brass Band in America Founded in Williamsport
5. Jackie Robinson Visited The Little League World Series
4. First Little League Played in Vacant Lot
The original Little League didn't have the funds to build a stadium, so a vacant lot in Wiliamsport was used as a make-shift park, complete with dirt, grass and bases, but no fence.
3. Williamsport is the Second Safest City in Pennsylvania
Williamsport is a fine place for kids to play ball. The city is ranked by CQ Press as the second safest city in the state, making it easy for parents to have confidence letting their kids go to the fields for a game of "catch." Mayor Campana has enacted a "zero tolerance" plan for the city, and it seems to be paying off.
2. Girls are Allowed to Play
Girls may be more prevalent in Boys & Girls Clubs of America, but they have their rightful place in the LLWS as well. Over 35 years ago (1974), the rules of Little League were changed to allow girls to play. Many championship teams have had girls on the roster, and girls have provided plenty of memorable moments.
1. "Little League World Series" is Not the Original Name
If you were born in the 1950's or later, you've probably never known the series by any other name than "Little League World Series." However, the original name of the tournament was "National Little League Tournament" because there were only three teams, all in Pennsylvania.