1938: Williamsport, Pa., resident Carl E. Stotz gathers neighborhood children during
the summer and devises the first rules and field dimensions for his planned boys
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, named after their sponsors: Lycoming Dairy, Lundy Lumber, and
Jumbo Pretzel. … The first season is played in a vacant lot near the outfield
fence of Bowman Field.
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 limiting the area from which the leagues can draw players, a process
that continues today.
1941: The need for workers and war materiel 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.
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.
1943: A home run fence is added to Original Little League Field. Until that time,
all home runs were “inside-the-park.”
1944: Carl Stotz receives a draft notice, but the draft regulations are soon revised,
and he remains in Williamsport.
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.
1946: Little League Baseball expands to 12 leagues, all in Pennsylvania.
1947: The Hammonton, N.J., boasts having the first Little League outside Pennsylvania.
... The first Little League World Series (known then 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.
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.
1949: Little League expands to 307 leagues in the U.S. ... A feature 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 my millions more, and Carl
Stotz is deluged by requests for information on starting a program in hundreds
of communities. … Little League moves to protect its name by incorporating, in
the state of New York.
1950: The shortest World Series game ever, 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.
1951: The first permanent Little League outside the United States is formed in British
Columbia, Canada. ... Little League grows to 776 programs.
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.
1953: The Little League World Series is televised for the first time, by CBS, with
rookie announcer Jim McKay behind the mike. 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 (Milwaukee Braves).
1954: Boog Powell, who would later play for the Baltimore Orioles, participates for
Lakeland, Fla., in the 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
1955: Baseball great Cy Young makes his last visit 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). ... A player
for the New Jersey team is Billy Hunter, who would go on to play football for
the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins, and executive director of the NBA
Players Association. ... Little League is now played in all forty-eight states.
… Nine-year-old George W. Bush plays his first of four years at Central Little
League of Midland, Texas, where he is a catcher on the Cubs. He later becomes
the first Little League graduate to be elected President of the United States.
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
1957: Monterrey, Mexico, 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
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.
1959: The modern protective 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.
1960: The first European entry in the Little League World Series is Berlin, Germany.
... The Little League Baseball International administration building is completed.
… The World Series final is broadcast live on television – ABC’s first. ... More
than 27,400 teams participate in more than 5,500 Little Leagues.
1961: Senior League Baseball is created for players thirteen to fifteen years old.
... Brian Sipe, who would later play quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, plays
for the World Series champions from El Cajon, Calif. ... More than 5,500 teams
participate in Little Leagues.
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.
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.
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., against Monterrey, Mexico, 4-0,
for the Series title.
1965: Venezuela and Spain are represented in the Little League World Series for the
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.
1967: West Tokyo, Japan, becomes the first Far East team to win the Little League
World Series title. … Baseball great Ted Williams is an announcer for ABC.
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
sixteen to eighteen years old is started. ... Turk Schonert, future NFL quarterback,
is a member of the Garden Grove, Calif., team in the Series.
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.
... Taiwan wins the first of its seventeen Little League World Series.
1970: The Canadian Headquarters of Little League Baseball opens in Ottawa, Ontario.
1971: Lloyd McClendon, who would become a Major League 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 fifty-one minutes as Gary and Tainan, Taiwan battle for nine
innings. ... A Little League State Center opens in Waco, Texas. ... Howard J.
Lamade Stadium is expanded to increase seating capacity to 10,000. ... The aluminum
bat, developed in cooperation with Little League, is first used.
1972: Taiwan wins a second consecutive World Series championship for the Far East
Region. ... Title IX, giving women and girls greater opportunities at higher levels
of athletics, is signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon.
1973: Dr. Creighton J. Hale is elected president of Little League Baseball, only the
second full-time president in thirty-five 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 only 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).
1974: Little League rules are revised to allow participation by girls. ... Little
League Softball and Senior League Softball programs are created.
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.
1976: Baseball Hall of Famers Joe DiMaggio, Ernie Banks and Bob Gibson are Series
guests as Chofu, Japan, wins that country's third championship, led by Kiyoshi
Tsumura, who pitches a perfect game in the semifinal against Europe.
1977: Future Major Leaguer Charlie Hayes plays in the 1977 Series for Hattiesburg,
1978: Little League grows to include more than 6,500 Little Leagues for nine-to-twelve-year-olds,
2,850 Senior Leagues for thirteen-to-fifteen-year-olds, and 1,300 Big League programs
for sixteen-to-eighteen-year-olds. ... Little League and Senior League Softball
teams total more than 7,400.
1979: Junior League Baseball is created for thirteen-year-olds. ... Future Major Leaguers
Dwight Gooden, Floyd Youmans and Vance Lovelace play for the Belmont Heights (Tampa,
Fla.) team in the Senior League Baseball World Series in Gary, Indiana.
1980: George 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 sixteen to eighteen years old.
... Belmont Heights reaches the finals of the Little League Baseball World Series,
falling 4-3 to Taiwan. Gary Sheffield and Derek Bell, future Major Leaguers, play
for Belmont Heights.
1981: Dan Wilson, later a Major Leaguer, plays for Barrington (Ill.) Little League
in the Little League World Series. ... Derek Bell returns with Belmont Heights,
but his team falls to Taiwan again. Bell becomes the first Major League player
to have played in two Little League World Series.
1982: The Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum opens at the Little League International
Headquarters complex. ... Future Major Leaguer Wilson Alvarez plays for the Maracaibo,
Venezuela, team in the Series. ... Kirkland, Wash., defeats Taiwan, 6-0, before
a then-World Series record crowd of 40,000 as Cody Webster tosses a two-hitter
in the final game, ending Taiwan’s 31-game winning streak in Williamsport.
1983: Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn throws the ceremonial first pitch at the Little
League 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.
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 thirty years, dies June 30.
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.
1986: Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth makes his first visit to the Little League
World Series for the championship. ... Bill Shea, president of the Little League
Foundation and the namesake of New York's Shea Stadium, throws the ceremonial
1987: The 1947 Little League World Series champions, the Maynard Midgets of Williamsport,
are reunited on the field before the championship game.
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.
1989: Little League Baseball celebrates its fiftieth anniversary. ... Poland receives
four certificates of charter for the first Little League programs in a former
Eastern-Bloc country, delivered in person by President George Bush. ... Trumbull
(Conn.) National Little League becomes the first U.S. team to win the World Series
since 1983 before a crowd of 45,000. Future NHL star Chris Drury is on the mound
1990: Little League Baseball launches the first full season of the Challenger Division
for mentally and physically disabled children. ... Little League in now enjoyed
by children in thirty-nine countries. ... Taiwan regains the championship of the
Little League World Series with a 9-0 victory over Shippensburg, Pa.
1991: Taiwan defeats Danville, Calif., 11-0 in the final game of the Little League
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 meaningful games in World Series play; A state-of-the-art
Musco Sports Lighting System is installed at Howard J. Lamade Stadium, and the
first Little League World Series night game is played. ... Long Beach (Calif.)
Little League is named World Series Champion following the disqualification of
Zamboanga (Philippines) City Little League. ... Guests at the Series include former
Little Leaguers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, George Will, Tom Selleck and Vice President
1993: Long Beach becomes the first U.S. league in history 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, and later would later play in the
1994: After a record three hour, six minute 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.
1995: Hall of Famer Stan Musial throws the ceremonial first pitch for the Little League
World Series. ... After a three-year drought, Taiwan defeats Spring, Texas, 17-3,
for the world title.
1996: Little League celebrates the fiftieth 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
Baseball International. ... Taiwan wins a seventeenth series title.
1997: Little League and Major League Baseball enter an agreement for the first time,
co-producing a magazine that is mailed free of charge directly to nearly 2 million
Little Leaguers. ... An all-time record 2,993,760 Little Leaguers participate.
... Sharon Robinson (daughter of the late Jackie Robinson) is a guest at the Little
League World Series. ... For the first time, U.S. Regional championship games
in Little League Baseball are televised nationally on ESPN2. ... Linda Vista Little
League of Guadalupe, Mexico, wins the Little League World Series with a 4-run
rally in the last inning. … The Chinese Taipei Baseball Association decides leagues
in Taiwan will not charter with Little League.
1998: Little League expands to include ninety-five 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 eleven home
runs and 41,200 fans. ... It is announced that the Little League World Series
will expand from eight teams to 16 in 2001, and a second stadium will be built.
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.
2000: Construction begins on Little League Volunteer Stadium, just north of Lamade
Stadium, in preparation for expansion of the Little League World Series from eight
to sixteen teams in 2001. ... Fraser Valley of British Columbia wins Canada's
first World Series, taking the Big League Baseball title in Tucson, Ariz. ...
Sierra Maestra Little League of Maracaibo, Venezuela, defeats a team from Bellaire,
Texas, 3-2, in the Little League Baseball World Series final. ... Little League
graduate George W. Bush, son of former President George Bush, is elected to the
highest U.S. office.
2001: Construction is completed on Volunteer Stadium in time for the expansion of
the 55th Little League Baseball World Series. … George W. Bush becomes the first
U.S. President to visit the Little League Baseball World Series, watching as Japan
defeats a Florida team 2-1 in the final game. … A special field is constructed
by Little League Baseball International personnel as President Bush invites Little
League Tee Ball teams to the White House for three historic baseball games on
the South Lawn. A fourth game, scheduled for Sept. 16, is postponed because of
the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.
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. … In one of only three 1-0 final games in Little League Baseball World
Series history, Valley Sports American Little League wins the championship against
Sendai (Japan) Higashi Little League.