A Piece of the Past - July 2006
One of the 10 rings designed by Little League Baseball founder Carl E. Stotz, honoring the men who were instrumental in the early development of what has become the largest organized youth sports program in the world, is among the artifacts on display at the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum.
The ring in the first case in the Founder’s Room was once worn by John Lindemuth.
The commemorative ring recognizes important contributions Mr. Lindemuth made during Little League’s infancy. He had a long tenure with the organization and was instrumental in its international growth.
Displayed in a small felt jewelry box, the gold ring features a multi-faceted red jewel in its center. The words “Original Little League 1939” encircle the jewel, and the official Little League emblem graces both sides of the ring. An accompanying letter from Mr. Stotz (then Commissioner), dated June 30, 1954, explains that the ring was presented to Mr. Lindemuth in recognition of his efforts during the first fifteen years of the fledgling organization.
Mr. Stotz designed and purchased a total of ten rings crafted by Balfour. He kept one and presented the others to nine men who were instrumental during Little League’s formative years. In addition to Mr. Lindemuth, the rings were presented to George and Bert Bebble, Clyde Clark, Oliver Fawcett, Vance and Howard Gair, William “Mac” McCloskey, and Martin Miller. Each received a letter from Mr. Stotz giving recognition and thanks for their personal contributions, even though some were no longer involved in Little League by the time the rings were presented.
While Mr. Lindemuth did not participate in Little League’s inaugural season in 1939, he joined Mr. Stotz and his collaborators for the 1940 season, and, with his wife Peggy, sat on the very first Little League Board of Directors. Mr. Lindemuth also began his long and productive tenure with Little League Baseball by serving as a team manager.
Later becoming a full-time Little League employee, Mr. Lindemuth was named Commissioner of Little League, and served as an assistant to Little League President Peter J. McGovern. Mr. Lindemuth played a vital role in the history of Little League, an achievement documented with one of 10 so-called “Founders” rings.
The museum, 525 Route 15 Highway, just south of Williamsport, is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The hours change from Labor Day through Memorial Day to 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 facility is accessible to the disabled.
Rates are $5 for adults; $3 for those 62 and older; $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.