History a vital part of Little League World Series tradition

(WTNH) — As you no doubt know by now, the Fairfield Little League team’s dream season rolls on after they blew out New Jersey on Wednesday 12-2.

The little leaguers are making history of their own and now they join the rich history of the Little League World Series.

Over the last few days, we’ve seen some great baseball in Williamsport, but if you want to know about the history of the Little League World Series, the best place to go is the Little League Museum.

“This is sort of the Holy Grail for Little League. It’s the very first home plate that was carved by the founder of the program, Carl Stotz. He carved this home plate from rubber that he found in his father’s basement. He actually used this knife to carve it with. The blade broke off in the process so he kept everything including the very first home plate and that’s how we start the museum,” said Lance Van Auken, the Executive Director of the World of Little League Museum in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

“So in this gallery, we have some of the tools of the game that kids would have had to of used before Little League came along. A wooden bat, that’s a Hack Wilson, one of the old masks, an old mitt that they used to use and actually one of the oldest baseballs in existence. It’s a ball from 1868. Safety has been a watch word for Little League since the beginning so this is actually a cannon. It was invented by Dr. Creighton Hale, he eventually became our President and CEO back in the 1950’s to test different helmet designs that he was coming up with. [It’s] one of those things we want people to ask questions about. It’s a piece of the Berlin Wall and the reason is that we actually have more leagues in eastern Europe, in Poland, in Czech Republic and places like that than we do in western Europe, where they’ve had access to Little League for so many years,” he said.

On a giant interactive screen, museum visitors can play a geography game that lists the teams that are there.

“These are items that, the regular book items for people who have or still do volunteer for us at the Little League World Series. The set of teeth that you see there is actually from Dr. Michael Lantiere, he’s a dentist in Bristol, Connecticut. He comes every year and he helps us out with our umpires and makes them feel welcome,” he said.

“The last gallery is our Hall of Excellence and it starts off with this mirror, where what we want is for kids especially to see themselves reflected in this mirror and to realize there’s really no difference between them and these guys,” he told News 8.


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