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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2006 > Sixth Year of Tee Ball on the South Lawn Begins With Game Between Teams Representing the Air Force and Navy

Sixth Year of Tee Ball on the South Lawn Begins With Game Between Teams Representing the Air Force and Navy

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (June 26, 2006) – President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush sat in the stands amongst families and local league officials and enjoyed a Little League Tee Ball game between a team composed of children of McGuire Air Force Base (N.J.) personnel and a team from a U.S. Navy submarine base in Groton, Conn.

The 14th “Tee Ball on the South Lawn” game, played at the White House on June 23, was the first to have a team representing the Air Force play against a team from a Naval base.

In keeping with the tradition of Tee Ball on the South Lawn games, no score was kept between the McGuire Air Force Base Little League Yankees and the Dolcom Little League Indians of Naval Submarine Base New London. Every player on both teams played on defense and bat once in the one-inning game that was followed by a picnic on the South Lawn for players and families. President Bush presented each player, manager, and coach with a baseball he autographed.
 

U.S. President George W. Bush and U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Peter Pace render honors during the National Anthem at the 14th Tee Ball on the South Lawn game, June 23, 2006, along with the teams. President Bush has hosted each of the 14 games as a way to boost interest in baseball among young families. Gen. Pace was named the honorary commissioner for this Tee Ball on the South Lawn game, as both teams came from military bases.

This game marked the start of the sixth year since President Bush began the initiative as a way to boost interest in baseball among children and parents. The first game played on the South Lawn of the White House was held on May 6, 2001.

President Bush, the first former Little Leaguer to be elected to the nation’s highest office, played Little League Baseball at Central Little League in Midland, Texas, in the mid-1950s. He was on the Cubs, and was a catcher. In 2001, President Bush was enshrined in the Little League Museum Hall of Excellence when he visited the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

The honorary commissioner for the game was U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Marine Gen. Peter Pace. Gen. Pace also is a Little League graduate, having played in Teaneck, N.J. He also was enshrined in the Little League Museum Hall of Excellence when he visited the Little League Baseball World Series in 2003.

The honorary base coaches were the two military installation commanders: Air Force Col. Rick Martin and Navy Capt. Sean Sullivan. The public address announcer was ABC Sports personality Tim Brant, also a former Little Leaguer.

Providing support for a portion of the expenses were Little League corporate partner SUBWAY® restaurants, which covered the transportation needs for the Little League Tee Ball team from Naval Submarine Base New London. Other Little League’s sponsors helping to support the 2006 Tee Ball on the South Lawn games are: Ace Hardware, AIG Insurance, Musco Sports Lighting, and New Era.

This was the third game to feature teams composed largely of dependents of military personnel. On June 22, 2003, teams from Fort Belvoir (Va.) Little League and Naval Station Norfolk (Va.) played in the first Army-Navy Tee Ball on the South Lawn game. On June 13, 2004, teams from Bolling Air Force Base (Washington, D.C.) and Cherry Point (N.C.) Marine Corps Air Station played at the White House.

Little League Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest youth sports organization, with nearly 2.7 million children participating in every U.S. state and dozens of other countries on six continents. Little League is the only youth sports organization to be chartered by the U.S. Congress.

 

The McGuire (N.J.) Air Force Base Yankees line up and prepare for the National Anthem. All players on both teams are dependents of U.S. military personnel, and wore the military unit patch worn by one or both parents.
U.S. Air Force Col. Rick Martin, the honorary third base coach, shares a laugh with the Dolcom Little League Indians third baseman from Naval Submarine Base New London, Groton, Conn. Col. Martin is commanding officer at McGuire Air Force Base.
A batter-runner for the Dolcom Little League Indians is out at first, as Navy Capt. Sean Sullivan, the honorary first base coach, looks on. Capt. Sullivan is the commanding officer at Naval Submarine Base New London, in Groton, Conn.
A runner for the McGuire Air Force Base Yankees sprints home as fielders for the Dolcom Little League Indians decide where to throw the ball.
 A typical Tee Ball scene, as the runner takes a long route to first base.
The teams meet at home plate for the traditional handshake at the end of the game.
President Bush, Gen. Pace, and Little League mascot Dugout pose for a post-game photo with a player from Dolcom Little League. Each player on both teams receives a baseball bearing President Bush’s autograph, and the Presidential Seal.

President Bush, Gen. Pace, and Dugout prepare to greet a player from McGuire Air Force Base Little League.

The McGuire Air Force Base (N.J.) Yankees (top photo) will take on the Dolcom Little League Indians of Naval Submarine Base New London of Groton, Conn., on Friday, June 23, in the 14th Tee Ball on the South Lawn game, at the White House in Washington, D.C.