Little League Mourns the Passing of John W. “Jack” Lundy
“Mr. Lundy left a great legacy for Little Leaguers in the Williamsport area and around the world,” said Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball and Softball. “Nobody else in the world could say they gave more than six decades of service to Little League.”
Mr. Lundy retired in November 2000 from the Little League Baseball International Board of Directors, a position he held since 1981.
“It’s been an honor for me to be a part of the Little League International Board,” Mr. Lundy said after his retirement. “But that doesn’t mean the end of it. Even though I am retiring from the board, I will always support Little League.”
As owner of Lundy Lumber (now Lundy Construction), Mr. Lundy sponsored one of the first three Little League teams in 1939. The family business has sponsored Little League teams in the Williamsport area for an unbroken and unmatched string of 65 years. He was honored for his service to Little League in 1989 by President George H.W. Bush at a White House ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the founding of Little League.
“I know I am speaking for the entire board when I say that Jack Lundy will be missed,” Dwight Raiford, chairman of the Little League Baseball International Board of Directors, said. “We have always depended on his advice and counsel. Quite simply, there is nobody like John Lundy in the world. He is the only one who has been with Little League since the very beginning. He has always been there for the children of Little League, and we all owe him a debt we can never hope to repay. Little League has benefited immeasurably from its relationship with the Lundy family.”
John Lundy’s relationship with Little League began in the spring of 1939 when Little League’s late founder, Carl E. Stotz, scoured the Williamsport area for team sponsors. But the Depression-era economy made it difficult for most businesses to commit to funding the fledgling organization.
After securing the first two sponsors (Lycoming Dairy and Jumbo Pretzel), Mr. Stotz asked his employer – John Lundy – for help.
“He didn’t want to ask his employer – which was me,” Mr. Lundy said in an interview in 2000. “Finally he ran out of steam, and economically he needed three sponsors. So he asked us and we went along with him. He needed money because he promised the kids that he would buy them uniforms like the big league players.
“I saw the first game ever played, when Lundy beat Lycoming Dairy (June 6, 1939). It wasn’t a very big crowd because most people there were just families of the players. But it got very popular after that.”
Little League Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with nearly 2.7 million children and more than 1 million volunteers in every U.S. state and scores of other countries.