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Headquarters Building at LL Southern Region to be Named for Jim Whittington

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (July 31, 2003) – Jim Whittington, one of the most dedicated volunteers in Little League Baseball’s 65-year history, will be memorialized here on Sunday at the Southern Region Headquarters of Little League Baseball when a new administration building is named in his honor.

Mr. Whittington, the late chairman of the Little League Baseball International Board of Directors, passed away in 2001 in Charlotte, N.C., at the age of 77, but he left a legacy that will benefit Little Leaguers for years to come. He had been involved in Little League Baseball since 1951 at the local league level where he founded the Dilworth Little League in Charlotte. He served faithfully for decades as Little League district administrator for North Carolina District 3.

“Little League Baseball was fortunate to have such distinguished volunteer leadership from Mr. Whittington for nearly 50 years,” said Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball. “He truly embodied the finest qualities of the Little League volunteer, and we miss his devotion to the ideals and principles of our program.”

The dedication ceremony will take place on Sunday at 9 a.m. at the front of the complex, at 658 58th Street South. The public is invited, and there is no admission charged. Among those in attendance will be Mr. Keener, Dwight Raiford of New York City (the current chairman of the Little League Baseball International Board of Directors) and Phil Winters of Mountain City, Tenn., (a district administrator who is the Southern Region Representative on the International Board of Directors).

The event precedes the annual Little League Baseball Southeast Region Tournament that begins with opening ceremonies at 10 that morning and ends on Aug. 9 at 6 p.m. The final game on Aug. 9 will be televised live on ESPN2, with the winner advancing to the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

In 1997, Mr. Whittington succeeded Dr. Luke LaPorta of Liverpool, N.Y., as the fifth chairman of the Little League Baseball International Board of Directors. He was president emeritus of Hankins and Whittington Funeral Service in Charlotte.

Mr. Whittington’s volunteer service began early in his life. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and, after leaving the Army, dedicated his life to national and local civic causes. In 1963, for instance, it was Mr. Whittington who was credited for helping Charlotte avoid race riots that were plaguing other cities during that time, when he took two African-American leaders to lunch at a segregated hotel. He served on the Charlotte City Council for 18 years, and was one of the most highly respected civic leaders in Charlotte in the latter half of the century.