Pieces of Our Past: February Week 1
Return to Glory: Documentary Remembers Shippensburg Little League’s 1990 United States Championship Season
The story of the glorious march by the Shippensburg (Pa.) Little League All-Stars to the 1990 Little League Baseball World Series is now a documentary and part of the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum video archive collection.
“Little League Glory: The Story of the 1990 Shippensburg All-Stars,” was created by Andrew Malnoske for a project at Shippensburg University, where he was working toward his master’s degree in Communication Studies.
The Shippensburg team made a valiant run to the World Series, earning the title of United States champions. In its bid for the World Championship, however, the team was defeated, 9-0, by San-Hua Little League from Chinese Taipei.
Research for the 64-minute documentary began at the Little League Museum in Williamsport, Pa., and includes information from coaches, teammates and others who experienced the 1990 run. It features interviews with some of the players, a coach, news clippings, items from the Museum and home video footage.
Among the featured memories are how Justin Martin, who suffered from diabetes, filled in for Heath Ocker after he broke his arm; how Andrew Ernakovich blew a huge bubble to win the Bubblicious bubble contest; the day Major League catcher Johnny Bench visited; the parades and, of course – the games.
Players sharing their personal highlights included Bobby Shannon and David Orndorff, the pitcher-catcher duo who later were drafted by Major League Baseball, and Mike Ocker, third baseman. Other members of the team were: Gregg Mellott II, Rodney Halter, Keith Culbertson, Matt Reath, Robert Knox, Randy Clendening, Donald Miller, Scott Thrush and James Smith. Team manager was Glen Orndorff Jr. and Gregg Mellott was coach.
At the public screening for the documentary, Don Beckenbaugh, a long-time Little League supporter, surprised everyone by unfurling the 1990 National Championship Banner.
“That was quite a privilege for me,” Mr. Malnoske, now a sports reporter and news editor for WENY-TV in Horseheads, N.Y., said. “I was told that it was the first time that the banner had left the Shippensburg Little League board room,”
Mr. Malnoske said the documentary also is giving back to the Little League program in that all proceeds from its sale are for Shippensburg Little League. More than $600 has been raised to date.
“Giving back to Shippensburg Little League means so much to me, and I am pleased that the league has given me its full support,” Mr. Malnoske said. “I’m hoping to preserve the legacy of the 1990 team for future generations as this story is one that is truly memorable.”
In addition, the producer said the documentary has helped spearhead the 20th anniversary celebration that the team intends to have in Williamsport in 2010.
The Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum is on the Little League complex adjacent to the Peter J. Lamade Stadium where the championship series games are played.
The Museum, 525 Route 15 Highway, just south of Williamsport, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and by group appointment from Labor Day through Memorial Day. Its summer season begins after Memorial Day and the Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday through June 31. From July 1 through Labor Day, the Museum is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and noon to 5 p.m. on 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 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.