Little League Baseball Unites The World

Carl StotzEvery year for two weeks children unite the world with a game called “Little League Baseball”.

It all started in 1938, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania when a young man by the name of Carl Stotz organized the first Little League Baseball League. In 1947 the first National Little League Tournament was held. The Maynard Midgets of Stotz’ hometown of Williamsport defeated a team from Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, to become the first Little League Tournament Champions. From there the series would change from a regional baseball league to include teams from all 50 American States, and eventually be televised on national TV. “By 1950, the first international Little Leagues had been established at either end of the Panama Canal and in Canada, prompting the National Tournament to be renamed the Little League Baseball® World Series.” 1 And in 1957 “Monterrey, Mexico, becomes the first non-U.S. team to win the Little League World Series”2.

LLBaseball

For two weeks out of the year we see cultural differences, hear foreign languages, and see the children of our future play together in a sport called Baseball. Year after year I watch the teams come together forming friendships and sharing an experience of a lifetime. I see firsthand the people of Williamsport and the surrounding communities welcoming the teams and their families.

We complain about the traffic, joke about not eating out at the local restaurants for 2 weeks and claim we will stay away from South Side (South Williamsport) where the games are now held. However by the end of July the town comes alive as the city plans for the teams arrival.

Before we know it, chairs start to line up on the parade route the night before as The Little League Grand Slam Parade begins and Williamsport welcomes the 16 teams.

Since 1975 when I moved to this area with my family, I have watched teams come from all over the world to participate in the Little League games. And during that time political and cultural differences are set aside as young boys and girls come together from as far away as Australia connecting the world by playing baseball.

Through the years teams from Canada, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Mexico, South America, Africa and Russia to name a few, arrive in our little city. Those of us in the stands cheer and applaud the teams from abroad as if they were from our own hometowns. We do not see Asian, Mexican or Russians, we see young children coming together having fun and determined to do their best to win the championship title.

1408043155008-phxdc5-6gln00seb5k1k164ycsw-originalAs the world around us burns with unrest, these teams and their families show the world sportsmanship and team work. They show the world that people from different nationalities can indeed get along. So often I see the crowds stand up and applaud, supporting all the competing teams.

For two weeks in August the ball players, their families and the local community all come together as one.

There is a lesson to be learned from these two weeks– if those young ball players can bring the world together for two weeks out of the year why can’t world leaders find a common bond and come together the rest of the year? Can it be as simple as a baseball game?
Note: To find out which team will hold the 2014 Championship Title, you can watch the final game on Sunday August 24, 2014 on ESPN.

 

1http://www.littleleaguebiglegacy.com/Little_League_World_Series/About_the_Little_League_Baseball__World_Series.htm
2 http://www.littleleague.org/learn/about/historyandmission/chronology.htm
For more information: http://www.littleleague.org/learn/about/worldserieshistory.htm http://www.northcentralpa.com/article/origin-little-league-baseball
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About Patty B

My life centers around my faith in God and my family. www.specialmomentsinphotos.wordpress.com www.thoughtsfromanamericanwoman.wordpress.com
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28 Responses to Little League Baseball Unites The World

  1. “Would that it could be that way” …. I don’t think I will ever understand ‘war’… Diane

    • Patty B says:

      The older I get the less I understand…I have gained so much from knowing people from different countries and backgrounds, and learned how the help those in need.

  2. I never knew that something like this happens. I love this idea!

    I wish peace was easy as playing a baseball game Patty. Love this post, thanks for sharing it. I would love to be there during those 2 weeks!

    Diana xo

    • Patty B says:

      We live in a little burg (little by my standards) but the city sure does come alive in August. Neighbors with their small children are loading up the car with snacks and heading for the final game. It is at this time we all start to go out and eat again!! lol Just teasing – nothing stops us Williamsporters from eating out! ;D

  3. Mother Hen says:

    This is such a great reminder the we all can get along. My husband and I enjoyed the few games we went to in San Bernardino, when we lived in California..

  4. Sheryl says:

    In general my friends and neighbors have difficulty picturing the area where I grew up. But if I tell them that I grew up near the place where the Little League World Series is held,they’ll often say that they can picture the area from watching the World Series on TV.

    • Patty B says:

      When we were in the army people normally ask where our home state is and where we call “home”. We would say Northcentral PA – then Williamsport…people would then ask where is that, which as soon as we say “home to Little League Baseball” then they would know. Tom had it easier when he would add originally he is from the Pittsburgh area – everyone know where Pittsburgh is!! lol

  5. What a lovely way for the commu ity to come together and to celebrate world teams playing. If only events such as the Olympics and Little League could really have the pebble in the pond effect. All the best to you, Patty 🙂

  6. gpcox says:

    I always watch a few of the games, the children are terrific! They play hard and show such sportsman-like conduct throughout the series.

    • Patty B says:

      We always hate it at the end with the team that loses starts to cry..I know they are heartbroken to come this far only to lost the championship, and I pray that one day they realize just what a great job they did to make it here. We are so impressed with all the teams. They are truly remarkable and our future leaders.

  7. Sorry Patty I didn’t receive this Post, I was wondering why you hadn’t Posted when you said you would be, so I came looking, I think this happened before or it may have been with another Blogger.

    Thanks Patty, I know more now about the Little League games and their origin.

    This is very True …. There is a lesson to be learned from these two weeks– if those young ball players can bring the world together for two weeks out of the year why can’t world leaders find a common bond and come together the rest of the year? Can it be as simple as a baseball game?

    The reason that it does not happen in our World Patty, is the same reason that the Church is divided, they have different heart focuses, they are not United in the same bond of Love, which can only come when Jesus indwells us. When we Love God we obey Him, following His guidelines brings Unity, watering them down brings Division.

    Philippians 2:1-6 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of Love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same Love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

    1 Corinthians 1: 10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

    1John 4 :20 -21 If a man say, I Love God, and hateth his brother/sister, he is a liar: for he that Loveth not his brother/sister whom he hath seen, how can he Love God whom he/she hath not seen? And this Commandment have we from Him, That he who Loveth God Love his brother/sister also.

    Philippians 3:14-16 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, where to we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

    1 John 4:11-13 Beloved, if God so Loved us we ought also to Love one another. No man hath seen God at any time if we Love one another God dwelleth in us and His Love is Perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in Him and He in us because He hath given us of His Spirit.(KJV)

    1 John 4:6-8 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the Spirit of Truth, and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us Love one another for Love is of God and every one that Loveth is Born of God, and knoweth God. He that Loveth not knoweth not God; for God is Love.(KJV)

    2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in Peace; and the God of Love and Peace shall be with you.

    Christian Love Always – Anne.

    • Patty B says:

      What you say is true but we need that opportunity of a common interest that will open the door to communication and that communication will then allow us minister to those who have either not heard Gods’ Word or who have rejected it.
      I agree the church is divided and too many churches water down the word in fear of offending someone, that will definitely bring division not only within the church but within the non believers. Everyone is quick to hate, quick to condemn and judge. From my experiences I feel In order for the world to find that love again we need to have something to unite us together and once together the Holy Spirit will once again move and join us all together in God’s perfect love. God will use this opportunity to reveal His glory and to unite His people. The Little Leagues games are put a tiny mustard seed – we have seen it take root.

      • I do agree and believe Patty that it is good to make opportunities to share God’s Truth and as Children it is good to learn to relate with a team spirit, working together, playing together builds Unity but if anything including Sport becomes our main focus instead of Jesus than we will eventually find our lives are empty and meaningless and the Unity with others we hoped for won’t happen, He must come first in our lives.

        Blessings – Anne

      • Patty B says:

        You are right, too many people create sports, actors, singers, even books to be their main focus instead of God. Most of them have hurts so deep. I know God calls us each to minister to those who look elsewhere for fulfillment. It is my prayer that as all of us display the love of Jesus, His Love will spill over all of humanity. Great comment – I appreciate you and your love and knowledge for our Lord.

  8. LadyPinkRose says:

    I couldn’t help but see the last comment, and I have something to say to Anne. LOVE IS LOVE. It has NO-thing to do with religion. Please understand the LESSON learned from these small kids, who came from all over the world to play ball. Regardless of what religion they know, they LOVED each other to play something they LOVE. I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but I speak truth. God has shown me, in order to LOVE ALL, to leave MY religious thoughts behind, and to embrace ALL and I mean ALL, for who that person is. Even my sister who is a fundamental Christian, finally acknowledges that what I do with my Life, works, and I really am reaching others through LOVE. Just as Jesus did. (smile) Jesus never once professed any religion … He just LOVED ALL.

    And Patty, I totally agree with you on your question. I believe that the more of us who practice LOVE and PEACE in our daily lives, speak it, do it, BE IT, the faster this world’s differences will be put aside, and world Peace will be attained. Thank you for this post!!! We all need to learn from these kids, putting our differences aside, and to just accept one another as is. (((HUGS))) Amy

    • Patty B says:

      Amy, God gives us each a gift and at the root of that gift is indeed love. We all show our love in different ways. The bottom line is we love as Christ has loved. Paul had at times had to become like those he was teaching to reach out to them. His ultimate goal was to reach out to them in Gods love – not his own, paving the road to eternal life. Once people start loving each other I know God will take care of the rest and His Holy Spirit will then indwell in each of us.
      I did say in my earlier comment that “we need that opportunity of a common interest that will open the door to communication and that communication will then allow us minister to those who have either not heard Gods’ Word or who have rejected it”. What that common bond would be; would be different for each of us. Again, God equips each of us differently, but for me I could never leave my faith and believe behind. I accept people for who they are and I expect the same for my faith. My faith is so much more than a “religion” – my faith is who I am – a Disciple of Christ.
      And yes, I had to smile too, Jesus did not profess any one religion – He taught us the way to God is through Him and that to love others is to proclaim our love to God. Peoples hearts are so hardened in anger, bitterness and jealousy that I personally feel that we need to practice God’s love and peace and pray without ceasing for the salvation of Gods people – which is everyone and pray that it is not too late. “The Little Leagues games are put a tiny mustard seed – we have seen take root”. Your comment and Anne’s has shown how God blesses us with unique gifts. You, your sister and Anne are using your gifts wisely reaching out to people in love. We are each on a different road going in the same direction reaching out to others at the many different crossroads that lead to our Christian faith. Thank you Amy –

  9. Patty,
    I’m not usually into sports, but this year my husband and I really enjoyed watching the little league World Series. That field is amazing! Yes, too bad the comradely shared by the different teams isn’t replicated in the nations of our world. Guess we must wait for our Prince of peace to restore and reconcile the world as one. Blessings

  10. sf says:

    Was so thrilled to see on the news that the South Korean kids did so great.

    • Patty B says:

      So were we! We have a Korean church in our Presbytery which they volunteered to assist the team while they were here. We were all rooting for them. What about that gal from Philadelphia? They had to give tickets out for the game so the stadium would not get over crowded.

  11. Patty – If only our leaders of the world had the innocence of the children playing on the field. Unfortunately, they all gave up on sportsmanship long ago.

  12. Mustang.Koji says:

    I find it most bewildering that even with all of our interracial marriages that we still war…

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