Why is the Little League World Series played in Williamsport, Pennsylvania? What year did they start playing? How old are the players?
If you've ever tuned in or heard about the Little League Baseball World Series, you have probably asked some variation of the above questions. And, with the World Series starting, JustBats wanted to help with the history behind one of the best and most nostaglic events every year.
In 1938, Carl Edwin Stotz agreed to play a game of catch with his young nephews. Based on a promise he made to his nephews to deliver an opportunity for young players to play baseball like their Major League counterparts, Stotz created a three-team league that would play on a smaller field than the standard baseball field.
Originally, Stotz had a tough time finding companies to sponsor the tournament (56 local Pennsylavania companies said 'no'). But, after convincing a few, the tournament started on June 6, 1939 and was played in Park Point in, yep, Williamsport. At the time, it went by the name of National Little League Tournament.
Concerns over injuries actually led to players from the same school or neighborhoods being allowed to play on the same team. And, in the 1940s, the tournament expanded to teams outside of Pennsylvania due to interest in recreational and family activities after World War II. The first official Little League World Series was formally held in 1947.
Now, the Little League Baseball World Series is nationally televised and hosts teams from around the globe. The 2015 Champion was from Tokyo and Taiwan has won the most titles (17).
Currently, players must be between 11 to 13 years old, but starting in 2018 no 13 year olds will be able to play. Most of the players will be using Youth baseball bats or Senior League / Youth Big Barrel baseball bats during play. If you have any questions about the baseball bats you see while watching, give the Pros at JustBats a call at (866) 321-2287.
There are some talented teams this year. Who do you think will win the LLWS?