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A Piece of the Past - January 2007
The Mayor Richard J. Daley Trophy is just one of the many items in the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum that tells the story of how Little League can bring all levels of a community together.
When a team excels in Little League, it accomplishes something for itself and its community.
In 1967 a team from Chicago made its community very proud. Members of the North Roseland Little League from the city’s South Side returned on a plane from Williamsport, Pa., to find the city’s mayor waiting to kick off a celebration for the team.
Mayor Daley was there to recognize the team which placed second in the 1967 Little League World Series and was the United States championship team. The celebration included a trophy that is on display in the World Series Room at the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum in South Williamsport.
The North Roseland team had a remarkable run in the World Series that year. It was only the second time in Little League history that a team from Illinois was represented. The team had great hitting; great defensive play, and even had a no-hitter by star pitcher Bob Stratta, who is now a transplant surgeon at the University of Tennessee, and enshrined in the Little League Museum Hall of Excellence.
The North Roseland team lost in the championship game to West Tokyo, Japan, 4-1. The victory for Japan was the first time a team from the Far East won the Little League World Series title. But back home in Chicago, team members were celebrities.
The team and community kept the trophy for sixteen years before it was donated in 1983 to the Little League Museum by the league president, Richard Attreau. It is now a part of the World Series room where the championship teams throughout the years are recognized.
Standing about four feet tall, the trophy, constructed of wood and gold plating, includes small gold figurines of baseball players and baseball gloves. Its inscription reads, “Mayor Richard J. Daley Trophy presented to North Roseland Little League team for the honor they have brought Chicago as they won the acclaim of the nation in finishing second in the Little League World Series in 1967.”
The city was so proud of the feat that they wanted to give the team members something to commemorate their accomplishments, according to an article in the South End Reporter. In addition to the trophy, team members were given certificates of achievement. The trophy lists the names of the players and coaches.
Along with the trophy in the museum, there is a proclamation from the City of Chicago that was presented to the team before departing to Williamsport. The document has several seals from the city, and is signed by Mayor Daley and city clerk John Morrison. The proclamation recognizes the team for its accomplishments and also wishes the team good luck in Williamsport. It honors the team as being the first Chicago team to capture an Illinois state title.
The museum is at 525 Route 15 Highway about two miles south of Williamsport. It is open for its winter hours 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. Summer hours are from Memorial Day through Labor Day and are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 7 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. Group rates, tours, birthday parties and building rentals are available. For more information, call the museum at 570-326-3607, or click here for more information.