At the 2013 Little League Baseball® World Series, Little League® unofficially kicked off its 75th Anniversary celebrations. Now, a year later, the Little League International Tournament will serve as the exclamation point on the end of a year of Diamond Anniversary commemorations.
At Little League tournaments around the world, local leagues have been celebrating our Anniversary. With 75th Anniversary “rocker” patches being worn by All-Star teams and special 75th Anniversary banners, the Diamond Anniversary has made it to fields on six continents. In Serbia, the tournament teams celebrated with banners. While in Bayville, N.J., the Berkeley Little League marked the occasion at the Little League Baseball New Jersey State Tournament, paying tribute to the four teams from New Jersey to win the Little League Baseball World Series with former players and New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno in attendance at the tournament.
As teams advanced into the nine Little League World Series events, the Anniversary celebrations have amped up. Little League’s broadcast partner, ESPN has created multiple videos and graphics to honor the history of Little League during their game coverage, including their vignette series, which can be seen on LittleLeagueBigLegacy.com. At all the World Series tournaments this year, the teams will be wearing the 75th Anniversary “rocker” patches on their uniforms as they compete for their region. At the Little League Softball® World Series, Dudley, the Official Softball of the Little League World Series, is bringing softball great Jennie Finch to Alpenrose Stadium in Portland, Ore., to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Little League Softball in addition to the 75th Anniversary.
The 75th Anniversary Celebrated During the Little League International Tournament
Little League’s 75th Anniversary Celebrations will conclude at the 2014 Little League Baseball World Series. Some of the things visitors will experience in South Williamsport, Pa., and viewers will see on the ESPN family of networks and ABC include:
Russell Athletic, the Official Uniform of the Little League Baseball World Series, has unveiled new jerseys for the 16 regions competing, with the Little League tenants of Character, Courage, and Loyalty sublimated on the sleeves. Learn more about the jerseys.
In addition to ESPN’s recognition, the radio broadcast partner of Little League, WRAK, has also been sharing their favorite 75th Anniversary moments. Click here to listen to the Anniversary moments from WRAK personalities.
The 25th Anniversary of the Little League Challenger Division® will be marked at the annual Little League Baseball World Series Challenger Exhibition Game, as Little Mountain Little League from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, the first Little League program ever chartered in Canada, becomes the first International team to participate in the game. They will share the field at Volunteer Stadium with Clinton Valley Little League from Clinton Township, Mich., just north of Detroit on Saturday, August 23, at 10:30 a.m.
Each decade of Little League’s history will be recognized prior to the final game of the first eight days of World Series play with special videoboard messages and guests, including Angel Macias, who in 1957 became the only player to pitch a perfect game in the Little League Baseball World Series Championship for Monterrey, Mexico; Katheryn Massar, believed to be the first girl to play Little League Baseball; and more.
Prior to the Championship Game on Sunday, August 24, special Anniversary reunions with the original 1939 Little Leaguers, the 1947 first Little League World Series participants, the 1960 Berlin team that was the first from Europe to play in a World Series, the 1964 Staten Island team that received a New York City tickertape parade after winning the Championship, and the 2004 Curacao team with current Major League Baseball players Jurickson Profar (Texas Rangers) and Jonathan Schoop (Baltimore Orioles).
Little League is excited to cap off a year of wonderful celebrations at this year’s Little League Baseball World Series. For more information on the tournament, visit LLBWS.org.