With the Little League World Series in full swing, now's a good time to go over a few things you might not know about Little League.
Little League was formed with the express purpose of being cost-free to players.
Little League is a non-profit organization that was founded in Pennsylvania by Carl Stotz in 1939 with the specific provision that "at no time should payment of any fee be a prerequisite for participation in any level of the Little League program." This is largely attributed to Stotz's experience with poverty in during the Great Depression, and the belief that even when times are hard and everyone is poor, we should all be able to play a little ball. And to this day, to the relief of parents, children continue to be supported by sometimes-unfortunately-named sponsors.
The first no-hitter was pitched in 1942.
13-year old Edward Younken, of the Lundy Lumber team, allowed no hits in a game against Stein's Service Station (this is different from pitching a perfect game, as players can still be walked or can reach base on errors). The win resulted in the team's entrance to, and eventual win of, the league championship that season. Apparently the young Younken had no idea what he'd done until his father came running up after the game to congratulate him. For reference, in the recorded history of Major League Baseball, there have been only 263 no-hitters.
The Little League's Hall of Excellence has some pretty big names.
The Hall of Excellence, where the Little League pays tribute to former players who have gone on to be successful in life, is home to quite a few recognizables. Members of the Hall of Excellence include Rudy Giuliani, George W. Bush, Kevin Costner, Dave Barry, Cal Ripken, Nolan Ryan, Tom Selleck, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
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Did you play, coach or ump Little League? Any war stories you'd like to share?