Little League Chronology
Williamsport, PA, resident Carl E. Stotz gathers neighborhood children during the summer and devises the first rules and field dimensions for his planned boys baseball program.
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.
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.
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.
A home run fence is added to Original Little League Field. Until that time, all home runs were “inside-the-park.”
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.
Little League Baseball expands to 12 leagues, all in Pennsylvania.
The Hammonton, NJ, boasts having the first Little League outside of 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.
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.
The first permanent Little League outside of the United States is formed in British Columbia, Canada.
Peter J. McGovern becomes the first full-time President of Little League Baseball.
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, AL., defeats Schenectady, NY, 1-0, in one of only two 1-0 finals in World Series history. ... Joey Jay, who played Little League in Middletown, CT, becomes the first former Little Leaguer to reach the Major Leagues (Milwaukee Braves).
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.
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, NJ. ... Little League grows to more than 4,000 leagues. ... The first Little League Congress takes place in Chicago.
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 final.
Monterrey, Mexico, becomes the first Little League to win consecutive World Series championships.
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.
The first European entry in the Little League World Series is Berlin, Germany. The World Series final is broadcast live on television – ABC’s first.
Senior League Baseball is created for players thirteen to fifteen years old.
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.
Lloyd McClendon, who would become a Major League player and later the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, hits five home runs in five at bats during the World Series for Gary, IN ... 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.
Little League rules are revised to allow participation by girls. ... Little League Softball and Senior League Softball programs are created.
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.
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, FL) team in the Senior League Baseball World Series in Gary, Indiana.
Gary Sheffield and Derek Bell, future Major Leaguers, play for Belmont Heights.
Little League Baseball launches the first full season of the Challenger Division for mentally and physically disabled children.
Carl E. Stotz, founder of Little League, dies. 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.
Construction is completed on Volunteer Stadium in time for the expansion of the 55th Little League Baseball World Series.
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.
Jack Losch, center fielder for the Maynard Midgets league team that won the first Little League Baseball World Series title in 1947, passes away. Mr. Losch became an All-America sports star at the University of Miami, was a running back for the Green Bay Packers, was an Air Force jet fighter pilot, and retired as a senior executive at General Motors.