Sat. Sep 24th, 2022

On this day in history, August 23, 1947, Williamsport team in Pa. wins first Little League World Series

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The Little League World Series, a youth sports spectacle in summertime America, crowned its first champion on this day in history, August 23, 1947. 

The Maynard Midgets, a team from Williamsport, Penn., the host city for each Little League World Series, beat Lock Haven, Penn., before an estimated 2,500 fans to capture the first crown.

“It took temerity to call this first event a World Series, since all but one of the teams were from Pennsylvania,” Sports Illustrated reported on the 50th anniversary fo the Maynard title in 1997.

The lone outlier among the 12 teams in the first Little League World Series was a club from Atlantic City, N.J. 

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“But within 15 years teams from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia would come to Williamsport to vie for baseball glory,” according to the same story. 

Little League baseball was founded in Williamsport by Carl Stotz, an oil company clerk, in 1939, according to LittleLeague.org. 

A general view of the stadium before the Little League Classic at Little League Headquarters Complex on Sunday, August 21, 2022, in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. 

A general view of the stadium before the Little League Classic at Little League Headquarters Complex on Sunday, August 21, 2022, in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. 
(Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

The program exploded in popularity in the aftermath of World War II.

“Within a few years, word spread about Carl Stotz’s program, and Little League was being played in all 48 states,” according to the Little League website. 

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The championship tournament proved a marketing bonanza for youth baseball.  

“It took temerity to call this first event a World Series, since all but one of the teams were from Pennsylvania.”

“Results were printed in newspapers around the country,” the organization notes. 

“The publicity helped spread Little League nationwide, and within a few years, Little League programs were in every state.”

It also points out, “The first Little Leagues outside the 48 states were in Panama, Canada and Hawaii, in 1950.”

Little League World Series, East (Trumbull CT): Chris Drury is carried on the shoulders of his team after the winning game vs. Kaohsiung Taiwan in Williamsport, Penn., in August 1989. Drury is a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame and now general manager of the New York Rangers.

Little League World Series, East (Trumbull CT): Chris Drury is carried on the shoulders of his team after the winning game vs. Kaohsiung Taiwan in Williamsport, Penn., in August 1989. Drury is a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame and now general manager of the New York Rangers.
(Ronald C. Modra/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images )

The first Little League World Series champion Maynard featured star outfielder Jack Losch, “who became a standout halfback at the University of Miami,” reports History.com. 

“Losch was the eighth overall selection in the 1956 NFL draft and played a season for the pre-Vince Lombardi Green Bay Packers before joining the U.S. Air Force.”

Team Michigan players celebrate winning the 2021 Little League World Series championship game against Team Ohio at Howard J. Lamade Stadium on August 29, 2021, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. 

Team Michigan players celebrate winning the 2021 Little League World Series championship game against Team Ohio at Howard J. Lamade Stadium on August 29, 2021, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. 
(Joshua Bessex/Getty Images)

“After Losch died in 2004, Little League Baseball named the World Series Team Sportsmanship Award in his honor.”

The United States and global teams have split the previous 74 Little League titles, with 37 championships each, according to Little League. 

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California was won seven titles, the most of any American state. Chinese TaipeI (Taiwan) boasts the most international titles, with 17. 

The United States and global teams have split the previous 74 Little League titles, with 37 championships each.

Forty-two states and 28 different counties have sent teams to the Little League World Series. In addition to the U.S. and Taipei, championship teams have come from Curacao, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and Venezuela. 

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Notable World Series participants include three-time Major League Baseball World Series champ Dwight Gooden (Florida, 1979), two-time Boston Red Sox World Series champion Jason Varitek (Florida, 1984) and former NHL star and current New York Rangers executive Chris Drury, who led Trumbull, Conn., to the Little League World Series championship in 1989. 

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The 75th Little League World Series threw out its first pitch on August 17 of this year. The series ends on August 28. 



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