a Big Hit at
Little Leaguers get autographs from the
Baylor University softball team at a recent Little League
Softball Day event at the Waco, Texas, university.
Children of all ages and sports at
one point in their athletic careers dream of what it would be like to
be a professional athlete.
Basketball players have the NBA and the WNBA. Football players have
the NFL. Baseball players have MLB.
On the other hand, youth softball players have limited access to what
it really means to participate in the game of softball at an elite
level. While there are professional leagues and Olympic-level play,
the exposure of these events is extremely season-oriented, and it
cannot possibly compare to the exposure of other sports.
For most players, the idea of softball being played at an elite level
is at the collegiate level. As a result, to promote Little League
Softball as well as the college softball experience, Little League
International has created “Little League Softball Day.”
Participating colleges have included: Baylor University in Waco,
Texas; St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas; the University of
Washington in Seattle, Wash.; Cleveland State University in Cleveland,
Ohio; and the University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla.
Young athletes of all ages had the chance to experience the game of
softball at its finest from warm up to game end. The days helped
promote what participating in Little League Softball could potentially
lead to. Moreover, it provided a generous amount of exposure to the
participating universities or colleges.
Prior to game day, Little League International sent email
notices to the surrounding area Little Leagues and media. These emails
included information about the Little League Softball Day, in addition
to a link to each participating university’s athletic websites.
On game day, Little League players and their parents attended the
games either at no charge or at a discounted rate. After the games,
the Little League players were permitted onto the field so that they
could interact with the collegiate players. The Little League players
were able to ask questions and receive autographs.
“These events are creating on-going relationships between the local
collegiate programs and their surrounding Little Leagues,” Laurie
Williams, league development manager at Little League International,
said. “Overall, Little League Softball participation continues to
expand, so we are anxious to continue to grow this program for next
season and in the future.”
Baylor University welcomed Little
Leaguers from all over Texas to Little League Softball