Pieces of Our Past: November Week 3
Big Boys’ Game: Pennsylvania’s Central League was Precursor to Little League Teenage Divisions
Little League fever hit Williamsport, Pa., hard in the early years, and the players graduating from the program were eager to continue playing the sport even as they outgrew the Little League fields.
Many of the children who played in the formative years of Little League, which was founded in 1939 by Carl E. Stotz and a band of volunteers, went on to play in the Central Leagues, an organization for high school-aged boys.
Information about the advancement of boys to the league in 1944 is recorded on four postcards on display in the Founder’s Room of the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum in South Williamsport, Pa.
Signed by C.G. (Clement George) Ladd, the cards include requests to add names to the rosters of teams sponsored by Steinbacher’s, Neyhart’s and Mosser’s.
Three of the cards sent from Mr. Ladd ask for players to be added to the team rosters and the fourth is a request to all managers of the Central League to meet to develop a schedule for games that summer.
Mr. Ladd worked with the league while he was the Boys Director at Williamsport’s Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). He was General Secretary of the Sunbury (Pa.) YMCA until he retired and entered the United Methodist ministry in 1963. He served in parishes in Pennsylvania towns Montandon, Picture Rocks, Laurelton, Hendrickson and Mooresville before retiring in 1973.
This research was made possible through a General Operating Support Grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
The Museum is at 525 Route 15 Highway, just south of Williamsport, and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and by group appointment from Labor Day through Memorial Day. Its hours are extended during the summer season. 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 and tours are available. The Museum also offers birthday parties and after-hours facility rentals.
The Museum is closed on Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Days.
For more information, call the museum at (570) 326-3607; or visit http://www.LittleLeague.org/Learn_More/museum.htm.