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Pablo R. Burgos to Receive Little League Challenger Award

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Aug. 17, 2004) – The Little League Baseball Challenger Award recognizes the loyal support of volunteers who help children with disabilities enjoy the benefits of playing Little League. Pablo Burgos of Puerto Rico will be the first person from outside of the United States to receive the Little League Challenger Award when he is honored this August at the 2004 Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

Mr. Burgos has been the coordinator of the Challenger Division in Puerto Rico since 2001. During that time he has been instrumental in organizing nearly 50 leagues with more than 200 Challenger teams servicing 6,000 children across the island. His goal is to reach 10,000 children participating with 500 teams chartered.

“With the best interests of the children of Puerto Rico in mind, Mr. Burgos took up the cause for Little League, and he has continued to provide leadership in his years with the Challenger Division,” said Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball and Softball. “The growth of the Challenger Division in Puerto Rico is a tribute to Mr. Burgos, because through his willingness to give of himself fellow Little League volunteers, and the parents of the children there, now have a sense of what it is to have fun on a baseball field.”

Started in 1989, the Challenger division is the fastest growing division in the Little League program, servicing more than 25,000 children worldwide, ages five to 18. The Little League Challenger Award was established in 1998 and annually acknowledges the efforts of a certain individual who exemplifies the Little League ideal of providing all youngsters an opportunity to play baseball regardless of their ability.

Little League Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with nearly 2.7 million players and 1 million adult volunteers in every U.S. state and scores of other countries.