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Professional Golfer to be Enshrined In Little League Hall of Excellence

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Aug. 18, 2004) – To describe Cathy Gerring as a courageous competitor would not do her justice in light of her lifelong resiliency away from the world of professional golf.

With three LPGA victories to her credit, Mrs. Gerring was an established player on the tour before a 1992 accident left her hands, arms and face severely burned, and a fall in 2002 caused a serious brain injury. She has overcome her misfortune in recent years, and returned to playing competitive golf this season with hopes to once again qualify for the LPGA tour.

This August, at the 58th Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Mrs. Gerring’s courage, spirit and conviction will be recognized as she is enshrined in the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum Hall of Excellence.

The enshrinement ceremony will take place before the world championship game, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 29. Mrs. Gerring will join police detective Nancy dosReis, and college hockey champion and Olympic silver medalist Krissy Wendell as the first women to be so honored.

Mrs. Gerring, 43, whose maiden name is Kratzert, was born in Fort Wayne, Ind., and graduated from Elmhurst High School in 1979. In 1976, as a 15-year-old, she played Senior Little League Baseball in Fort Wayne’s Times Corners Little League.

“My dream as a kid was to be the first female major leaguer,” said Mrs. Gerring. “Baseball will always be my first love, and Little League taught me about courage, and discipline, and showed me that the game was always bigger than any single player. Many of those lessons I have carried over into my golf.”

Leaving Ohio State University in 1983 to turn pro, Mrs. Gerring played on the LPGA tour for six years, capturing all three of her tournament victories in 1990. The burns she sustained occurred at a dinner following a tournament in Nashville and left doctors with the opinion that she would not play competitive golf again. She was off the LPGA tour for five years.

After two skin graft surgeries, she worked her way back, both mentally and physically, and was playing tournament golf again, until suffering a traumatic blow to the head as result of a fall down a flight of steps.

“Cathy is a testament to intestinal fortitude and self-confidence,” said Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball and Softball. “Throughout her life she has dealt with setbacks as just another challenge, and her spirit along with an unwavering will to succeed is a credit to her character. It is with great pride that we will enshrine her in the Hall of Excellence.”

“I look at what Little League is bestowing on me – it’s incredible,” said Mrs. Gerring. “I got chills when I found out, because baseball has always been such a big part of my life. Golf is an individual sport, where you don’t have people backing you up, but playing Little League taught me so much about friendship and teamwork.”

Established in 1988, enshrinement in the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum Hall of Excellence is conducted annually for a Little League graduate (or graduates) who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in their chosen profession and exemplify the values learned as children in Little League Baseball or Softball. Enshrinees are selected through a defined voting system by the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum Advisory Board.

Mr. McGovern saw the need for a physical structure to tell the story of Little League. To that end, he spearheaded the development of the Little League Museum. Opened during the 1982 Little League World Series, the museum is located on the Little League International complex. It was renamed in Mr. McGovern’s honor upon his retirement in 1983.

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.