1938

Williamsport, Pa., resident Carl E. Stotz gathered neighborhood children during the summer and devised the first rules and field dimensions for his planned boys’ baseball program. Read More

1939
Little League Baseball is founded by Carl Stotz who enlists help from others in the community...Mr. Stotz, George Bebble and Bert Bebble are the first three managers...A $30 donation is sufficient to purchase uniforms for each of the first three teams... Read More
1930
1940
A new playing site is used near the original field...A second league is formed in Williamsport, modeled on Carl Stotz’s pilot program...Rosters are limited by guidelines outlining the area from which the leagues can draw players, a process that continues today. Read More
1941
The need for workers and war material slow the growth of Little League as the nation prepares for war...The field is taken over for war production and the operation of “Original Little League” moves to Max M. Brown Memorial Park. Read More
1942
The “keystone” logo of Little League is created by Carl Stotz and becomes the symbol for Little League Baseball...Ed Yonkin pitches the first no-hitter in Little League history, leading Lundy Lumber over Stein’s Service. Read More
1943
A home run fence is added to Original Little League field...Until that time; all home runs were “inside-the-park”. Read More
1944
Carl Stotz receives a draft notice but the draft regulations are soon revised and he remains in Williamsport. Read More
1945
Mac McCloskey builds the world’s first remote-controlled electronic scoreboard for Original Little League Field...A game at Original Little League in Williamsport is suspended, Aug. 14, 1945, after it is announced at the field that World War II has ended. Read More
1946
Little League Baseball expands to 12 leagues, all in Pennsylvania. Read More
1947
Hammonton, N.J. boasts having the first Little League outside of Pennsylvania...The first Little League World Series (known as the National Little League Tournament) is won by the Maynard Midgets of Williamsport...Allen “Sonny” Yearick, who played in the first Little League game for Lycoming Dairy in 1939, is the first Little League graduate to play professional ball in the Boston Braves organization. Read More
1948
Little League grows to ninety-four leagues...Lock Haven, Pa., wins the second Little League World Series, defeating a team from St. Petersburg, Fla. ...U.S. Rubber (now Uniroyal) becomes the first corporate sponsor of Little League. Read More
1949
Little League expands to 307 leagues in the U.S. ...A feature article about Little League in the Saturday Evening Post spreads the Little League story to more than 14 million people...Newsreels highlighting the 1948 National Tournament are seen by millions more and Carl Stotz, who had been named Little League’s president, is deluged by requests for information on starting a program in hundreds of communities. Read More
1940
1950
The shortest World Series game, lasting exactly one hour, is played between Hagerstown, Md., and Kankakee, Ill. ...The first leagues outside the U.S. are formed at each end of the Panama Canal. Read More
1951
The first Canadian Little League is formed in British Columbia...Little League grows to 776 programs. Read More
1952
Peter J. McGovern becomes the first full-time President of Little League Baseball... Baseball immortal Connie Mack is a visitor to the World Series...Little League expands to more than 1,500 programs...a team from Montreal, Canada is the first non-U.S. team to play in the World Series. Read More
1953
The Little League World Series is televised for the first time by CBS...Howard Cosell handles the play-by-play for ABC radio... Birmingham, Ala., defeats Schenectady, N.Y., 1 - 0, in one of only two 1-0 finals in World Series history...Joey Jay, who played Little League in Middletown, Conn., becomes the first former Little Leaguer to reach the Major Leagues when he plays his first game on July 21 for the Milwaukee Braves. Read More
1954
Boog Powell, who would later play for the Baltimore Orioles, participates for Lakeland, Fla., in the Little League World Series... Ken Hubbs, who would win the 1962 National League Rookie of the Year Award with the Chicago Cubs, plays in the Little League World Series for Colton, Calif... Little League Baseball expands to more than 3,300 leagues. Read More
1955
Baseball great Cy Young makes the last of his five annual visits to the Little League World Series before his death in September... Carl Stotz is a pallbearer at his funeral...Morrisville, Pa., defeats Delaware Township, N.J., 4-3, in seven innings - the first extra-inning Little League World Series championship game... Little League is now played in all 48 states. Read More
1956
An out-of-court settlement of a dispute with the Little League Board of Directors ends with Carl Stotz severing ties with the organization he founded...The Little League Foundation is created...The first Little League World Series perfect game is pitched by Fred Shapiro of Delaware Township, N.J. ...Little League grows to more than 4,000 leagues...The first Little League Congress takes place in Chicago. Read More
1957
Monterrey, Mexico, the first Latin American representative, becomes the first non-U.S. team to win the Little League World Series as Angel Macias pitches the first perfect game in a championship final. Read More
1958
Monterrey, Mexico, becomes the first Little League to win consecutive World Series championships...Hector Torres, who would later play in the Major Leagues, plays for Monterrey...Rick Wise, who would also play in the Major Leagues, plays for Portland, Ore., in the World Series. Read More
1959
The modern protective batter’s helmet is developed by Dr. Creighton J. Hale, then Director of Research for Little League Baseball... The World Series is played for the first time at its present site in the borough of South Williamsport...Little League Baseball now has more than 5,000 leagues...The second week of June is proclaimed National Little League Week by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Read More
1950
1960
The first European entry in the Little League World Series is Berlin, Germany...The Little League International administration building is completed and visited by Sen. Lyndon Johnson, a candidate for U.S. vice president...The World Series final is broadcast live on television for the first time by the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). Read More
1961
Senior League Baseball is created for players thirteen to fifteen years old...Brian Sipe, later a quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, plays for the World Series champions from El Cajon, Calif. ...More than 5,500 teams participate in Little Leagues. Read More
1962
Little League Summer Camp opens in Williamsport...Jackie Robinson is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and is a guest at the Little League World Series...National Little League Week is proclaimed by President John F. Kennedy...a representative from the Far East makes its first appearance in the World Series, a team from Tokyo, Japan. Read More
1963
ABC and its Wide World of Sports program televises the Little League World Series championship game for the first time, with Chris Schenkel calling the play-by-play...It becomes the longest-running sporting event on a single network. Read More
1964
Little League Baseball is granted a Charter of Federal Incorporation by the U.S. Congress...Danny Yacarino pitches a no-hitter and hits a home run to lead Mid Island Little League of Staten Island, N.Y. over Monterrey, Mexico, 4-0, for the Series title. Read More
1965
Venezuela and Spain are represented in the Little League World Series for the first time. Read More
1966
Little League Baseball’s first regional headquarters, the Southern Region Headquarters, opens in St. Petersburg, Fla. ...A rain delay during a World Series game holds up the contest for one hour and thirty-three minutes...The game is broadcast in color for the first time on ABC Wide World of Sports. Read More
1967
West Tokyo, Japan, becomes the first Asian team to win the Little League World Series...Baseball great Ted Williams is an announcer for ABC...Future Major Leaguer Bobby Mitchell plays in the Little League Baseball World Series for Northridge (Calif.) Little League. Read More
1968
The old wooden stands at Howard J. Lamade Memorial Field are replaced with concrete, and the venue is renamed Howard J. Lamade Stadium...Big League Baseball for players 16-18 years old is started...Turk Schonert, future NFL quarterback, is a member of the Garden Grove, Calif., team in the Series. Read More
1969
The Western Regional Headquarters of Little League Baseball in San Bernardino, Calif., is opened...Newberry Little League participates in the World Series, becoming the first Williamsport-area team to play in the World Series since 1948...Chinese Taipei wins the first of its 17 Little League World Series titles. Read More
1960
1970
The Canadian Headquarters of Little League Baseball opens in Ottawa, Ontario. Read More
1971
Lloyd McClendon, who would become a Major Leaguer and later the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, hits five home runs in five at-bats during the World Series for Gary, Ind. ...One of the longest games in World Series history is played over two hours and 51 minutes as Gary (Ind.) and Tainan, Chinese Taipei battle for nine innings...A Little League State Center opens in Waco, Texas. Read More
1972
Title IX, giving women and girls’ greater opportunities at high levels of athletics, is signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon...Little League resists the entry of girls into the program. Read More
1973
Dr. Creighton J. Hale is elected president of Little League Baseball, only the second full-time president in 35 years...Future Major Leaguer Ed Vosberg plays in the Little League World Series for the runner-up team from Tucson, Ariz., and goes on to become the first person to participate in the Little League World Series, College World Series (University of Arizona, champions, 1980) and Major League World Series (Florida Marlins, champions, 1997). Read More
1974
Little League Baseball rules are revised to allow participation by girls, following the New Jersey Supreme Court’s order to admit girls into Little Leagues in that state...Little League Softball programs are created. Read More
1975
Non-U.S. teams are barred from advancing beyond regional play because of an over-emphasis on tournament play...Lakewood, N.J., defeats Belmont Heights of Tampa, Fla., 4-3, in the final. Read More
1976
Baseball Hall of Famers Joe DiMaggio, Ernie Banks and Bob Gibson are Series guests as Chofu, Japan wins that country’s third championship...Japan’s Kiyoshi Tsumura pitches a perfect game in the semifinal against Europe. Read More
1977
Future Major Leaguer Charlie Hayes plays in the Series for Hattiesburg, Miss. Read More
1978
The Chinese Taipei team allows only one run in three games to win the Little League Baseball World Series...Future Major Leaguer Erik Johnson is a pitcher in the Little League Baseball World Series championship game for San Ramon Valley Little League of Danville, Calif. Read More
1979
Junior League Baseball is created for thirteen-year-olds...Future Major Leaguers Dwight Gooden, Floyd Youmans and Vance Lovelace play for Belmont Heights (Tampa, Fla.) team in the Senior League Baseball World Series in Gary, Ind. Read More
1970
1980
George H.W. Bush, a former Little League coach who is elected vice president three months later, throws out the first pitch for the World Series championship game... Big League Softball is started for players 16 to 18 years old. ...Belmont Heights reaches the finals of the Little League Baseball World Series, falling 4-3 to Chinese Taipei. Gary Sheffield and Derek Bell, future Major Leaguers, play for Belmont Heights. Read More
1981
Dan Wilson, later a Major Leaguer, plays for Barrington (Ill.) Little League in the Little League Baseball World Series...Derek Bell returns with Belmont Heights but his team falls to Chinese Taipei again...Bell becomes the first Major League player to have played in two Little League Baseball World Series. Read More
1982
The Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum opens at Little League International...Future Major Leaguer Wilson Alvarez plays for the Maracaibo, Venezuela team in the Series...Kirkland, Wash., defeats Chinese Taipei, 6-0, before a then World Series record crowd of 40,000 as Cody Webster tosses a two-hitter in the final game, ending Chinese Taipei’s 31-game winning streak in Williamsport. Read More
1983
Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn throws the ceremonial first pitch at the Little League Baseball World Series championship game and music star Chuck Mangione plays the Dominican Republic National Anthem... East Marietta (Ga.) National Little League wins the World Series with future Major Leaguer Marc Pisciotta on the mound. Read More
1984
Seoul, Korea, wins that country’s first Little League World Series championship defeating Altamonte Springs, Fla., 6-2...One Altamonte Springs player is future Major Leaguer Jason Varitek...Peter J. McGovern, Little League Board of Directors Chairman for more than 30 years, dies on June 30. Read More
1985
For the first time, ABC-TV carries the Little League World Series championship game live on Wide World of Sports...For the first time in baseball history; ABC mounts a micro-miniature camera on the mask of the home plate umpire Frank Rizzo. Read More
1986
Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth visits the Little League Baseball World Series...Bill Shea, president of the Little League Foundation and the namesake of New York’s Shea Stadium, throws the ceremonial first pitch. Read More
1987
The winners of the first Little League World Series in 1947, the Maynard Midgets of Williamsport, Pa., are reunited on the field before the championship game. Read More
1988
Tom Seaver, graduate of Spartan Little League in Fresno, Calif., is the first enshrinee of the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum Hall of Excellence. Read More
1989
Little League Baseball celebrates its 50th anniversary...Little League Baseball launches the first full season of the Challenger Division for mentally and physically disabled children...Poland received four certificates of charter for the first Little League programs in a former Eastern-Bloc country, delivered in person by President George Bush...Future NHL star and Olympian Chris Drury pitches for Trumbull (Conn.). Read More
1980
1990
Little League is now enjoyed by children in 39 countries...Chinese Taipei regains the championship of the Little League Baseball with a 9-0 victory over Shippensburg, Pa. ...Jason Bay, who plays for Trail, British Columbia, goes on to play in the Major Leagues. Read More
1991
Chinese Taipei defeats Danville, Calif., 11-0, in the final game of the Little League Baseball World Series. Read More
1992
Carl E. Stotz, founder of Little League, dies...The Little League World Series undergoes a series of changes: A “pool” format is adopted in which each team is assured a minimum of three games in World Series play; A state-of-the-art Musco Sports Lighting System is installed at the Howard J. Lamade Stadium and the first Little League Baseball World Series night game is played. Read More
1993
Long Beach becomes the first U.S. league to win consecutive Little League Baseball World Series championships with a thrilling 3-2 victory against a team from Panama... Long Beach is led for a second year by Sean Burroughs, who pitches two no-hitters in the World Series. Read More
1994
After a record 3:06 rain delay, Coquivacoa Little League of Maracaibo, Venezuela, becomes the first Latin American team to win the Little League World Series since 1958... Stephen D. Keener becomes the first Little League graduate to be named president of Little League Baseball, succeeding Dr. Creighton J. Hale. Read More
1995
Hall of Famer Stan Musial throws the “first pitch” for the Little League Baseball World Series. Read More
1996
Little League celebrates the 50th World Series...Little League’s first full-service Regional Headquarters outside the U.S. is opened in Kutno, Poland...The Little League Education Program for Managers and Coaches is launched...The John W. Lundy Little League Conference Center is dedicated at Little League International. Read More
1997
Little League debuts its Child Protection Program. This initiative is designed to expand and organize safety-based initiatives...Sharon Robinson (daughter of the late Jackie Robinson) is a guest at the Little League Baseball World Series...Future Major Leaguer Lastings Milledge plays in the Little League World Series for a team from Bradenton, Fla. ...For the first time, U.S. Regional championship games in Little League Baseball are televised nationally on ESPN2. Read More
1998
Little League expands to include 95 countries...Toms River (N.J.) East American Little League wins the Little League Baseball World Series defeating Kashima (Japan) Little League, 12-9, in a championship game featuring 11 home runs and 41,200 fans...It is announced that the Little League Baseball World Series will expand from eight teams to 16 in 2001, and a second stadium will be built. Read More
1999
The number of countries with Little League programs hits 100 for the first time as Burkina-Faso joins...Hirakata Little League of Osaka, Japan, wins that nation’s first World Series title since 1976, defeating Phenix City, Ala., 5-0...Little League begins the first capital campaign in the program’s history, to raise $20 million for a variety of projects. Read More
1990
2000
Construction begins on Little League Volunteer Stadium, just north of Lamade Stadium, in preparation for expansion of the Little League Baseball World Series from eight to 16 teams in 2001...Fraser Valley of British Columbia wins Canada’s first World Series, taking the Big League Baseball title from Tucson, Ariz. ...Sierra Maestra Little League of Maracaibo, Venezuela defeats a team from Bellaire, Texas, 3-2, in the Little League Baseball World Series. Read More
2001
Construction is completed on Volunteer Stadium in time for the expansion of the 55th Little League Baseball World Series to 16 teams...George W. Bush becomes the first U.S. President to visit the Little League Baseball World Series, watching as Japan defeats a team from Apopka, Fla., 2-1, in the final game...The third place team, Rolando Paulino Little League, is stripped of its wins for the use of an ineligible player. Read More
2002
Little League’s “Honoring Our Hometown Heroes” program is launched, paying homage to law enforcement personnel, firefighters, military personnel and local heroes in thousands of communities worldwide... The Little League Parent Orientation Program is debuted...In the Junior League Softball Division, Windmills Little League of Utrecht, Netherlands, becomes the first European team to win a World Series. Read More
2003
In the latest phase of the Little League Child Protection Program, leagues are now required to conduct background checks on certain volunteers...A team from Africa (Cape Town, South Africa) is the first from that continent to advance to a World Series, earning a berth in the Big League Baseball World Series in Easley, S.C. Read More
2004
The inaugural Little League Urban Initiative Jamboree is held at Little League International, as eight teams from several states spend a four-day weekend in Williamsport... Jack Losch, center fielder for Maynard Midgets, the first Little League Baseball World Series championship team in 1947, passes away...Mr. Losch became an All-American at the University of Miami, a running back for the Green Bay Packers, a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and a senior executive at General Motors. Read More
2005
Little League International creates a League Development department to aid in the chartering of new Little Leagues...Little League International replaces the printed version of the “Little Leaguer” newsletter with an electronic version, which reaches more than 400,000 Little League managers, coaches, league officials, parents and players on a monthly basis via e-mail. Read More
2006
The inaugural Little League World Challenger Jamboree is held in Norfolk, Va. ...World Series participants Chris Drury (1989) and Krissy Wendell (1994) compete for the U.S. men’s and women’s ice hockey teams in the winter Olympics for the second time...A new league age determination date goes into effect...Fences at the two World Series stadiums in Williamsport are moved from 205 feet to 225 feet. Read More
2007
Following a vote by the Little League International Board of Directors during the 2006 Little League Baseball World Series, the pitch count became a part of Little League Baseball for the 2007 regular season and tournament play...For the first time, Japan’s national champion receives an automatic berth to the Little League Baseball World Series... The Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum, opened in 1982, celebrates its 25th anniversary. Read More
2008
Little League International creates a free online coaching resource center that Little League managers and coaches can turn to for reference, education, or to stay current with the latest drills and coaching techniques... President George W. Bush welcomes Little Leaguers to the White House as part of the “Tee Ball on the South Lawn” program...Games 18- 20 in the series included the first international game with the invitation of a team from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Read More
2009
Little League International completed a renovation project on the Administration building in Williamsport, Pa., adding approximately 12,000 square-feet of additional office space to the building...Warner Robins, Ga., was selected as the site of the new Little League Southeastern Region Headquarters... Easton becomes the official equipment supplier of Little League Baseball and Softball. Read More
2000
2010
A pilot baseball program, the 50/70 Program, for 12- and 13-year-olds is introduced that features a 50-foot pitching distance and 70-foot base paths...The format for play in the first round of the Little League Baseball World Series was changed from pool play to double-elimination...Instead of having the annual Little League Urban Initiative Jamboree in South Williamsport, Pa., four highly-successful state Jamborees were held in Newark, N.J., Houston, Chicago and Atlanta. Read More
2011
The 50/70 Pilot program was expanded to include a second option for 11- and 12-year-olds...A moratorium was placed on composite bats in all four divisions of play for baseball...the Little League Urban Initiative expands its Jamboree program, holding seven regional events across the country to give opportunities to more of the program’s players to participate in a tournament setting. Read More
2012
The Little League Intermediate (50/70) Baseball Division was approved by the Little League International Board of Directors... The first Intermediate Division World Series will be held in 2013 in Livermore, Calif... Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour was elected Chairman of the Little League International Board of Directors; making her the first female to ever hold this position... Regions represented in the LLBWS were realigned for 2013, Australia to play in the Little League Baseball World Series. Read More
2013
Renovation of the former Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum is completed in June and renamed World of Little League: Peter J McGovern Museum and Official Store... Lance Van Auken, former Vice President of Communications assumes title of Senior Director of World of Little League... Little League International introduces new-look website for www.LittleLeague.org and creates new microsite for Little League Baseball World Series. Read More
2014
Little League International celebrates it 75th year, counting down to the official anniversary date on June 6, 2014... Little League International creates a celebration micro-site to exhibit the history of Little League Read More
2010
Overview of 1930s

Little League® Baseball began in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, in 1938, when Carl Edwin Stotz, an oil clerk, agreed to a game of catch with his nephews:– Jimmy and Harold “Major” Gehron – who were too young to play organized baseball. Acting on a promise to find a way for children to play baseball like the Major Leaguers of the day, Mr. Stotz created a three-team league that would play on a field that was two-thirds the size of a standard baseball field. After being turned down by 56 local businesses, Mr. Stotz convinced a lumber company, a dairy, and a pretzel maker to sponsor the teams for $30 each. On June 6, 1939, the first Little League game was played at Park Point in Williamsport.

Overview of 1940s

In Williamsport, Mr. Stotz received several inquiries about children playing. He believed the fairest system was one that allowed players from the same school or neighborhoods to be on the same team(s). The 1940s were rich with invention as opportunity to play inspired Little League adults and children alike. Word of mouth, and the end of World War II, motivated other communities to ask about forming Little Leagues. In only a decade, Little League had expanded into several states and the first postseason tournament, later to become known as the Little League World Series, was played.

Overview of 1950s

In only 10 years, the idea that sprang for a promise Carl Stotz had made to his nephews, had become an international phenomenon. The first leagues outside of the United States were organized, Little League Baseball was now a corporation, the Little League World Series was won by a team outside the United States, Little League moved its operations to South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and the President of the United States proclaimed the second week in June to be National Little League week.

Overview of 1960s

Little League is now a global program with more than 5,500 leagues worldwide. The call to play Little League at older ages is answered with the creation of divisions for teenage boys. Television expands the Little League revolution with coverage of the Little League Baseball World Series championship on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. During the decade, President Lyndon Johnson sign public law 88-378, granting Little League a Federal Charter of Incorporation, which allows it to operate in all 50 states.

Overview of 1970s

Technology and opportunity influence the direction of Little League with the election of a new corporation president, the introduction of alloy bats and improved batting helmets; the admittance of girls to the program and the creation of the Little League Softball program. During the decade, it also becomes important to re-focus on the mission of Little League and remind the world that Little League was founded as a community-based program designed to develop good citizens, not great players.

Overview of 1980s

In a decade where Little League celebrates its 50th anniversary, refining the program and expanding opportunity and availability includes the creation of Junior Baseball for teenagers and the Challenger Division for children with mental and developmental disabilities. Glasnost and the end of the Cold War opened up the former Soviet Union to Little League. President H.W. Bush, a former Little League volunteer delivered the first Little League charters to Poland.

Overview of 1990s

Little League Founder Carl. E Stotz passed away during the decade. He was 82. Stephen D. Keener is elected President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, becoming the first Little League graduate to hold the organization’s ranking position. The 50th Little League Baseball World Series is played and the decision to expand the tournament to 16 teams in confirmed along with an agreement with ABC and ESPN to expand the television coverage of the Little League International tournament. During the same 10 years, Little League continues to expand its reach, with team charting in more than 100 countries.

Overview of 2000s

Into a new millennium, Little League’s influences have reached the White House as George W. Bush becomes the first Little League graduate to be elected President of the United States. The relationship between President Bush and Little League creates the unique opportunity for Little Leaguers to play games at the White House through the Tee Ball on the South Lawn initiative. Also this decade, Little League introduced Pitch Count regulations designed to protect pitchers from overuse injuries, Dr. Davie Janie Gilmour is voted as Chairman-Elect, eventually placing here as the first female chairman of the Little League International Board of Directors.

Overview of 2010s

To date in the 2010s, Little League created its first new division in 14 years with the launch of the Little League (50/70) Intermediate Baseball Division for players 11-to-13 years of age; and re-envisioned its history with the renovation of the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum, now called the World of Little League. Also during the decade, ESPN introduced 3D technology to its game broadcasts; and Little League placed a moratorium on the use of composite barrel baseball bats.