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A Piece of the Past - May 2006
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 Showcase Room of the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum 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 in which the annual Little League Baseball World Series championship game is 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 nearly 2.7 million Little Leaguers, and one in seven (about 380,000) is a girl playing softball.
The museum, 525 Route 15 Highway, South Williamsport, is open from Labor Day through Memorial Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Thursday and Friday; noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. The museum is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays by appointment only during winter hours.
Summer hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The facility is accessible to the disabled.
Rates are $5 for adults, $3 for those 62 and older, and $1.50 for children between the ages of 5 and 13. There is no fee for children 4 or younger. For more information, call the museum at 570-326-3607, or click here for more information.