Volunteers Play Big Role at the Little League Baseball® World Series
From the grounds crew, to the umpires, to the team hosts, to the ushers and concession stand workers, the Little League Baseball® World Series runs and relies on its volunteers.
Little League® Baseball and Softball programs are all about creating a strong foundation for leadership and preparing today’s youth to be tomorrow’s leaders with the help of countless parents, coaches and other volunteers. Without them, Little League programs across the country simply would be non-existent.
While making it to the World Series is an exciting experience and achievement for all of the kids who come to play, it is also a big honor for the volunteers who travel to work at the tournament.
Many volunteers come back year after year to be a part of the behind-the-scenes crew that makes the two-week, 32-game tournament -- plus the players’ activities between games -- run with ease. A prime example is Don Goodman, who has been a part of the Little League organization for 42 years. He started in his hometown of Cloverdale, Calif., as a coach for his son’s team and he still is helping out today, as the California District 35 Administrator.
Mr. Goodman’s first trip to the Little League Baseball World Series was in 1985 as a spectator. The following year, he returned as a volunteer and has been doing so ever since.
“I keep coming back to Williamsport every year for the atmosphere, and I really enjoy the kids,” Mr. Goodman explained. “The comradery that you experience here is indescribable; I feel that Little League is like a big family.”
Mr. Goodman doesn't have one solid job description. He started out stuffing programs in 1986 and today he attends to some of the fine details of the series.
Don Goodman, California District 35 Administrator, a Little League volunteer for 42 years and World Series volunteer since 1986, taking care of the game balls during at the 2013 Little League Baseball World Series.
He primarily takes care of the dugouts, making sure that they are stocked and properly maintained, but he also lends a hand whenever he can to any job that needs attention. Whether he is helping the team hosts fit their players for uniforms, checking the equipment or keeping an eye on the practices to see that they are running smoothly, Mr. Goodman is there for Little League every step of the way.
The friendships that are made between the staff, volunteers, spectators and teams who come to the World Series every year are truly priceless.
Mr. Goodman met some of his best family friends volunteering at the Little League Baseball World Series over the years, including John Grove.
Mr. Grove and his family make volunteering at the tournament a family affair and tradition. His father, brother and sons have all volunteered at the tournament throughout the years.
“We all fell in love with meeting and interacting with all of the different teams who come, it’s always a new experience every year,” said Mr. Grove.
Originally from West Virginia, Mr. Grove and his wife now live in Williamsport. He got involved in helping out at the World Series because his late brother, Scott Grove, was a director of the league’s summer camps. Twenty-six years later, he and his family are still finding time to volunteer.
“I started out doing equipment, and now I do pretty much anything anybody needs, including running the scoreboards,” explained Mr. Grove. “Volunteering at the Little League World Series has been a rewarding experience.”
Veryl Simmons has been volunteering at the tournament for over 20 years as an usher, and she loves her job more and more every single year.
“I come back for the atmosphere, the kids, and all of the friends I have made at the Little League World Series throughout the years. It’s just a great place to be,” beamed Ms. Simmons, summing up the spirit of the volunteer experience.
Thank you to the wonderful volunteer staff that works countless hours throughout the year for their local youth programs, and to the volunteers who travel to Williamsport, Pa., to donate their time and efforts to making the Little League Baseball World Series a success.
Becoming a Little League volunteer is easy. Volunteer forms can be found at http://www.littleleague.org/learn/forms.htm and be submitted at your local Little League’s registration location.