A Piece of the Past: Little League Softball Uniforms
The first uniforms for Little League Softball players were reminiscent of an outfit The Rockettes of Radio City Music Hall fame would wear.
The short shorts, shirts with a “vest,” and poufy hats made up the uniform for Little League Softball in 1975, the second year of championship play.
Examples of those uniforms and how they have evolved throughout the years are on display in the World of Little League Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum and Official Store in South Williamsport, Pa., part of the Little League International complex.
The museum, dedicated to promoting and preserving the history of Little League Baseball and Softball, has a uniform on display that was worn when National Little League, Medford, Ore., won the 1975 championship. That game was played at Howard J. Lamade Stadium, the same arena where the annual Little League Baseball World Series championship game is annually played.
The Little League Softball program began in 1974. Although a division for girls had been under consideration by the Little League International Board of Directors, Little League and Senior League Softball began amid the turmoil of lawsuits to permit girls to play on Little League Baseball teams.
Nearly 30,000 girls throughout the United States signed up that first year. At the onset, the rules for Little League Softball (girls ages 8 to 12) called for a slow-pitch style of play in which stealing and sliding were outlawed. Since then, the softball rules have evolved to become more competitive.
A Big League Softball Division for 16- to 18-year-old players began in 1978. Today there are more than two million Little Leaguers, and about 400,000 are playing softball.
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