Carl E. Stotz with little leaguers Harold “Major” Gehron and Jimmy Gehron.
1938 – Carl E. Stotz comes up with the idea of an organized baseball league for pre-teens. He spends the summer experimenting with equipment. No games are actually played.
1939 – Carl, his wife Grayce, his brothers George and Bert Bebble, their wives Annabelle and Eloise along with friends John and Peggy Lindenmuth, form three teams; Lycoming Dairy, Lundy Lumber and Jumbo Pretzel. These eight volunteers become the first Little League board of Directors
June 6, 1939 – The first organized Little League game ever is played in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Lundy Lumber defeats Lycoming Dairy 23-8.
1942 – Carl E. Stotz creates the Keystone Little League symbol, becoming the logo for Little League.
1947 – Hammonton, NJ boasts having first Little League outside Pennsylvania.
First “Little League World Series,” then known as “National Little League Tournament” is played in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The game was won by Maynard Midgets of Williamsport.
1951 – First Little league outside of the United States is formed in British Columbia, Canada.
1952 – Peter J. McGovern is named the first president of Little League.
1953 – The Little League World Series is televised for the first time.
1956 – A dispute with the Little League board of directors leads Carl E. Stotz to sever ties with the organization he created. The Little League Foundation is created.
1960 – First European Little League World Series entry is Berlin, Germany.
1974 – Little League rules are changed to allow participation from girls.
1982 – Peter J. McGovern museum, named after the first president of Little League, opens at Little League international Headquarters in South Williamsport, PA.
1992 – Carl E. Stotz, founder of little league, dies.
2001 – Construction of Volunteer stadium is complete. The Little League World Series expands from eight teams to sixteen.
2007 – Pitch counts go into effect.
2016 – The Little League World Series continues to attract spectators from all around the globe. The World Series game between Asia-Pacific and Mid-Atlantic on August 28, 2016 drew a crowd of 26,538. Those who chose not to bear the crowds in South Williamsport could have watched the games internationally on ESPN, or ABC. Baseball truly is America’s pastime, and is fun for all ages.
Today, the sixteen Little League World Series teams are divided into eight United States Teams, and eight International Teams. They are as follows:
United States International
1. Great Lakes 1. Asia Pacific
2. Mid-Atlantic 2. Australia
3. Midwest 3. Canada
4. New England 4. Caribbean
5. Northwest 5. Europe Africa
6. Southeast 6. Japan
7. Southwest 7. Latin America
8. West 8. Mexico
Although it may seem that the United States has an unfair advantage, when I looked into the past several years of champions, it seems our international friends may have taken the victory more times than the U.S. In 2016, Endwell, NY faced Seoul, South Korea for the championship, with the New York team taking the win at the end. However, since 2008, Japan has taken the gold four times; South Korea took it in 2014, leaving a United States team to win it just four times in the last nine years. Regardless of what team wins, I think it’s a perfect opportunity to welcome the world to Williamsport, and get a little taste of other cultures. Now if anyone asks, I can say with unrestricted certainty, I know the history of Little League!