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Pieces of the Past

First No-Hitter in Little League


This ball, used in the first no-hitter in Little League history, is signed by the pitcher, Edward Younken, and his manager, John Lindemuth. The ball is on display in the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum in South Williamsport, Pa. Mr. Younken, who became a minister and a champion of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, passed away recently.

Among the autographed baseballs included in the collection at the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum is one that was used in the first no-hit, no-run game in Little League history.

The August 6, 1942, game, pitched by Edward Younken, a member of the Lundy Lumber team, resulted in that team's bid for the league championship that season. The game against Stein's Service Station was played on the "new field fashioned from an old playground near (Max M. Brown) Memorial Park," museum records report. Games during Little League's early years were played on a city playground on a specially constructed field with dimensions scaled to two-thirds of a regular-sized baseball diamond by Little League founder Carl E. Stotz.

"The odd thing about it, I did not know what was happening," Mr. Younken said. "When it got to the final out, my dad came running down from the stands to the pitcher's mound. He asked me 'Do you know what you just did?' And then he told me. I don't remember much else about it. The last out was a fly ball catch by 'Goody' (Lyman Good). My dad was uncertain he was going to catch it but then he did."

Now named Carl E. Stotz Memorial Field, Original League Field was used in 1947 for the first National Championship series (later renamed the Little League Baseball World Series). The last Little League Baseball World Series game at that site was played in 1958. Since then, Series games have been played at the current facility in the Borough of South Williamsport.

Stein's had won the first half of the 1942 season and the no-hitter allowed Lundy's to tie with Stein's during the second half of the season. Lundy Lumber proceeded to win the second half in a one-game playoff and then won the league's championship title in five games, breaking the string of three consecutive championships by the Lycoming Dairy team. The Lundy team was managed by George Bebble.

James McKinney, president of Original League, said records show that Ed Younken had a batting average of .392 in 1942. His pitching records were not available.

Ed Younken lived in the Newberry section of Williamsport when he was a member of the Lundy Lumber team. He graduated from Williamsport High School in 1947.

According to a recently published Williamsport Area High School Alumni Directory, Younken graduated from Pennsylvania State University and received his master's of divinity degree from United Theology Seminary. Dr. Younken retired as minister of First Presbyterian Church, Rutherford, N.J. He and his wife, Doris, live in Edison, N.J.

The ball was donated to the museum in July 1982 by John Lindemuth, who had managed the Stein's Service Station team. Mr. Lindemuth maintained the ball in his possession until he retired as commissioner of Little League. He also was the fourth team manager of Original Little League in the 1940s.

Signed by Ed Younken and Mr. Lindemuth, the baseball is on display in the museum's Founder's Room.

The World of Little League Peter J. McGovern Museum and Official Store, 525 Route 15 Highway, just south of Williamsport, is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The facility is accessible to the disabled.

Rates are $5 for adults; $3 for those 62 and older; $2 for children between the ages of 5 and 13. There is no fee for children 4 or younger. Group rates and tours are available.

For more information, call the World of Little League museum at (570) 326-3607; or visit www.LittleLeague.org/learn/museum.htm. Friend the Museum on Facebook, at: www.facebook.com/LittleLeagueMuseum or follow on Twitter, at: www.Twitter.com/LittleLeagueMuseum.