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Little League® Transcends Generations

Volume 2 | Issue 9 | September 2014 | Archive
Little League® Transcends Generations
By Stephen D. Keener
Little League President and CEO

For those parents and players who just watched the Little League International Tournament, it’s interesting to note that the Little League experience at any of our World Series events is essentially the same as the ones at the local level. Sure, there’s more attention at our signature events, especially the Little League Baseball World Series in South Williamsport, but the kids still want to be with their friends, meet new ones, and play ball. And, no matter where Little League is played, whether it’s on its grandest stage or in small-town communities, it’s all but guaranteed that a half-hour after the last out is made, players from both competing teams can be found laughing, and having fun with each other.

That is what makes Little League different. We are not a win-at-all-costs organization. As a matter of fact, we feel it’s important for children to lose from time to time because learning to deal with disappointment is necessary to succeed in life. A child can learn valuable lessons from a loss in a game that really is unimportant in the long run.

For 75 years, Little League has served as the first few pages of lifelong scrapbooks for millions of people around the world, where fields serve as extended classrooms with children building friendships, and learning valuable lessons that last a lifetime.

Little League was relevant more than seven decades ago, and as we begin to wrap up our Diamond Anniversary, I’m confident we will be relevant 75 years from now because bringing communities together and developing children into upstanding adults will ALWAYS be relevant. We continue to expand internationally, launch new programs, and improve existing ones, so boys and girls ages 4-18 can play and have fun with their friends during the years when they need to be having fun and playing with their friends.

Today, there are many sports and activities available to children, and we’re very thankful that parents continue to support and choose Little League. We work hard at earning parents’ trust by keeping them informed and educated through newsletters like The Parent Connection, and developing important safety measures like pitch count regulations so boys and girls can stay healthy while playing the sport they love.

We’ll continue to take a leadership role in promoting the many benefits of children being involved in a fun, safe, physical activity, and are committed to working with parents to ensure that generations of youngsters are given the opportunity to benefit from the Little League experience.

Almost every day, I receive a note, email, or call from a parent, sharing how Little League helped shape their lives and how those same experiences are now greatly impacting their own children. As a proud father of two Little League graduates, I share their recollections and stories. Recently, I asked my youngest son, who currently pitches in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, what his favorite Little League memories are. He didn’t list the wins or the homeruns. Instead, he talked about the friendships he made and the fun games he played at practice. I’m confident that when he has a Little Leaguer® of his own, his son or daughter will have similar fond memories because I had them, too. It’s quite clear, Little League transcends generations. While the game, equipment, and style may change over the years, the heartfelt Little League experience of community, friends, and fun, all the elements that make us feel welcomed and that we belong to something bigger than us, will remain the same.

On behalf of Little League International, I’d like to thank everyone in the Little League family, from our current players and alumni to the millions of volunteers around the world, for a successful season. Here’s to 75 more years of bringing communities together and developing major league people.
© 2014 Little League Baseball, Incorporated. All rights reserved.
The Parent Connection - September 2014 - Archive