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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2005 > Little League Challenger Division Teams from Texas, Pennsylvania to Play Tee Ball on White House South Lawn

Little League Challenger Division Teams from Texas, Pennsylvania to Play Tee Ball on White House South Lawn

WILLIAMSPORT (July 15, 2005) – A team from Houston’s West University Little League and a Little League team from the Williamsport (Pa.)/Lycoming County area will square off on July 24 in a Tee Ball game on the South Lawn of the White House, it was announced today by White House Deputy Press Secretary Trent Duffy. Both teams are part of the Little League Challenger Division for children who are mentally or physically disabled.

In keeping with the tradition of Tee Ball on the South Lawn games, no score will be kept between the West University Little League Challengers, and the District 12 Little League Challengers of Williamsport. Every player on both teams will play on defense and bat once in the one-inning game, to be followed by a picnic on the South Lawn for players and families. A baseball autographed by President Bush will be presented – by the President himself – to each player, manager, and coach. The time of the game will be announced a few days before the event.

“President Bush has had a fondness for Little League Baseball since his playing days in Midland, Texas, and he continues to be a staunch supporter of Little League through his initiative to promote baseball to America’s youth,” Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said. “Today, I am proud to announce that the Little League Challenger Division will once again be in the spotlight, as a team from the President’s home state of Texas, and one from the birthplace of Little League Baseball will share the memories of playing Tee Ball on the South Lawn of the White House.”

This will be the fifth Tee Ball on the South Lawn game to feature Little League’s Challenger Division, and the first for a Texas team or a team from Williamsport, the birthplace of Little League Baseball. Since it was founded in 1989, about 200,000 children have played in the Little League Challenger Division, with more than 27,000 playing today. Players in the Challenger Division are accompanied by “buddies,” often players from the other divisions of the local Little League program, who offer any assistance needed on the field.

The Houston team, parents and guests will fly to Washington on July 23, and will return home on July 25. The Williamsport/Lycoming county area team will make the four-hour bus ride to Washington on the morning of July 24 and return that night.

Choice Hotels, KPMG L.L.P (the audit, tax and risk advisory firm with offices in Houston), Continental Airlines, Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. (an international law firm), the Houston Astros, and the Washington Nationals and are together covering the costs of transit, lodging, food and entertainment for the Houston team.

Several in Little League International’s family of sponsors are helping to defray the costs associated with all Tee Ball on the South Lawn games this year. Some of the costs associated with the Tee Ball on the South Lawn games include food for a post-game picnic, rental of bleachers, banners, fencing, and personnel costs. Little League reimburses the U.S. Government for its costs.

The sponsors are: Ace Hardware, AIG Companies, Masterfoods, Inc. (Snickers Brand), Musco Sports Lighting, and New Era Cap Company.

“We are grateful to these sponsors, our friends, for stepping forward to help with this important program,” Mr. Keener said. “Without their assistance, Little League would not be able to provide these wonderful events.”

The game is the second this year on the South Lawn of the White House. The first Tee Ball on the South Lawn game was played May 6, 2001, when President Bush began the initiative as a way to boost interest in baseball among children and parents. 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.

Little League Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest youth sports organization, with more than 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.

More information on the Little League Challenger Division can be found here: www.littleleague.org.
 

Members of the District 12 Little League Challengers of Williamsport pose for a photo following a press conference held in the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum in Williamsport, Pa.  Appearing in photo are (back row, L-R) Austin Orelli, Daniel Temons, Jacob Hamilton, Kyle Regopolous, Devon D'Orazio, Steve Moff (Manager), and (front row, L-R) Max Moore, David Dougherty, Samuel Hagan, Sydney Moff, Lindsay Klinger.

Members of the West University Little League Challengers, along
with their "buddies," pose for a photo with the banner that will be on their dugout in the next Tee Ball on the South Lawn game at the White House.