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 > Little League Online > Learn More > Start/Find a League > Reasons to Affiliate > Reason 8: History and Mission of Little League

Reason 8: History and Mission of Little League

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8.History and Mission

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Founded in 1939 by Carl Stotz, Little League was organized to give pre-teen boys in Williamsport a league of their own. In its first year, Little League had three teams all sponsored by local businesses. The first game was played on June 6, 1939, and the first Little League Baseball World Series was played in 1947.

The concept of Little League spread rapidly, and by the start of the 1950s there were more than 150,000 Little League players nationwide. Little League expanded internationally in 1951 to include programs in Canada and Panama. In 1957, Monterrey, Mexico, became the first country outside of the United States to win a Little League World Series. In 1974, Little League expanded to include girls and created the Little League softball program.

Today, Little League is the world’s largest and most respected youth sports organization with more than 2.6 million participants playing Little League in all 50 states and in more than 75 countries across the world.

Little League Baseball, Incorporated is a non-profit organization whose mission is to “promote, develop, supervise, and voluntarily assist in all lawful ways, the interest of those who will participate in Little League Baseball and Softball.” Through proper guidance and exemplary leadership, the Little League program assists youth in developing the qualities of citizenship, discipline, teamwork and physical well-being. By espousing the virtues of character, courage and loyalty, the Little League Baseball and Softball program is designed to develop superior citizens rather than stellar athletes.

Little League is the only sports organization to be chartered by the U.S. Congress. This legal designation from the Government of the United States places Little League in the same “league” as the American Red Cross, and the Boy Scouts of America.

For more information on how to become a part of Little League and gain access to these benefits and more, please complete the Affiliation Information Request Form.