Pieces of Our Past: Spring
Former Vice President Dan Quayle Fondly Remembers His Days on the Little League Field
Vice President Dan Quayle credits his time playing Little League Baseball in the 1950s as a major influence in his success as an adult.
He is quoted in 1992 as saying, “I come from Huntington, a small farming community in Indiana. I had an upbringing like many in my generation — a life built around family, public school, Little League, basketball and church on Sunday. My brother and I shared a room in our two-bedroom house.”
The 44th vice president of the United States, Mr. Quayle served under George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1993. When he was 33, he became the youngest person ever elected to the Senate from the State of Indiana.
Born as James Danforth “Dan” Quayle on Feb. 4, 1947, the vice president was enshrined in 1990 to the Little League Hall of Excellence in the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum, South Williamsport, Pa. He was the third person honored; joining former major league pitcher Tom Seaver and basketball star turned U.S. Senator Bill Bradley.
As a youngster, Mr. Quayle played second base for a team sponsored by the Herald-Press, a newspaper owned by his family. He was the first Little League graduate elected to the nation’s second highest office.
The vice president’s eligibility affidavit and original team roster also are at the museum. In 1955, Mr. Quayle was 8 and the youngest person on the 15-player team.
As an adult, he and his wife, Marilyn, volunteered as Little League Softball coaches and their children played in the American Little League of McLean, Va.
Mr. Quayle was unable to attend the 1990 Little League World Series to accept his award and a special ceremony was held that December in the Indian Treaty Room of the Old Executive Office Building (now the Eisenhower Executive Office Building) at the White House complex in Washington, D.C. A photograph of his acceptance of the Hall of Excellence award is on the cover of the 1991 Little League World Series program.
Mr. Quayle, however, did visit the Little League World Series and the Hall of Excellence in 1992. Also visiting that year were Tom Selleck, George Will and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Little League graduates who also are enshrined in the Hall of Excellence.
His Little League glove, donated at his enshrinement, is on display at the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum in South Williamsport. It is part of an exhibit commemorating the relationship Little League has with the Executive Branch of the United States government.
Additionally, Mr. Quayle’s Little League uniform is on display at his hometown, Huntington, Ind., in the Dan Quayle Center and United States Vice Presidential Museum.
The Peter J. McGovern Little League 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. From Memorial Day to June 30, the museum is open Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. From July1 to Labor Day, the museum hours are: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. 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 www.LittleLeague.org/learn/museum.htm. Friend the Museum on Facebook, at: www.facebook.com/LittleLeagueMuseum or follow on Twitter, at: www.Twitter.com/LittleLeagueMuseum