Little League turns 75
The world’s largest organized youth sports program is all grown up now. Little League Baseball, founded in 1939, is prepared to celebrate its seventy-fifth anniversary this year, and festivities have been planned accordingly.
Little League came into being when Carl Stotz, an ever youthful uncle, tripped over a lilac bush while playing catch with his nephews in the summer of 1938. That was when Stotz decided he wanted a field appropriately sized for his young teammates; the ideas for a full team for the kids to play with and a league for them to compete in naturally followed. Stotz fulfilled his promise to the boys, arranging to have a properly scaled field made, uniforms tailored, and all the needed equipment to go around.
Stotz died in 1992, but he lived to see the rapid and massive growth of his creation. Little League’s place in American and world culture is unshakeable—it even has expanded to include softball, and both boys and girls compete worldwide in the league. The league now boasts over two million players, over all fifty U.S. states and eighty countries.
The Little League’s seventy-fifth anniversary celebration is already underway. A documentary on the league, “Little League: a History,” is set to be released next month, and will air on PBS stations across the country over the coming summer. “Little League: a History” will be narrated by the legendary baseball announcer Vin Scully, and will feature film shot in eleven states and Japan, showcasing the league’s widespread appeal and diversity.
The town in which Stotz founded Little League, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, has some major plans to mark the league’s big year. Williamsport, where Little League’s operations are still based, ambitiously intends to turn an intersection into a giant baseball diamond. The larger than life diamond will feature painted ground and ten life-size bronze statues representing baseball participants at play—a pitcher, a batter, three basemen, three base runners, a catcher, an umpire, and a manager.
The festivities for the world’s most popular youth sports organization are only getting bigger with summer’s arrival. What better way to celebrate Little League baseball than with some quality batting practice? Now is the time, and enhance your experience with a Wheelhouse batting cage. A cage is the right fit, whether for your inner Little League player or an actual Little League player. Quit chasing the ball—take home a batting cage from Wheelhouse today!