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Fifty-Seventh Little League Baseball World Series Comes to an End

New attendance record established (but paid attendance was zero)

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Aug. 24, 2003) – A team from Japan won the 57th Little League Baseball World Series tonight, defeating a team from Florida 10-1 at Howard J. Lamade Stadium before a crowd of 41,000.

Millions around the world watched the game on ABC Sports, the 41st consecutive year ABC has televised the final game. The Little League Baseball World Series is the longest-running sporting event on a single network. Twenty-five other World Series games were televised on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.

The Little League Baseball World Series is the culmination of the world’s largest tournament in any sport. Musashi-Fuchu Little League and East Boynton Beach remained from among more than 7,000 Little League all-star teams that began play around July 1.

More than 16,000 games were played worldwide in reaching the World Series in a 40-day period. That’s more games than played in six full seasons of Major League Baseball.  

Yuutaro Tanaka pitching for the Musashi-Fuchu Little League.

Yuutaro Tanaka earned the complete-game victory for Musashi-Fuchu Little League of Tokyo, his second win of the tournament. He gave up only three hits and struck out 14. Tanaka hit a home run and was helped by Hokuto Nakahara’s grand slam, and by a home run by Hirofumi Yamazaki.

East Boynton Beach Little League is the 20th Florida league to reach the Little League Baseball World Series in the past 56 years, and the eighth to make it to the final game. No Florida team has won a World Series title, however.

It is Japan’s sixth title in 14 trips to the World Series since 1962.

All teams were required to play through rigorous tournaments in order to reach the World Series. No teams are ever “invited.”

All expenses (including travel, meals and lodging) for the World Series teams are paid by Little League Baseball. Neither the teams nor the leagues they come from are asked for any sort of entry fee to play in the World Series. This year, the 16 World Series teams that earned their way to Williamsport came from Russia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles, Canada, Guam, Venezuela, and the United States.

The only fee required for Little League tournament play is a one-time entry fee of $75 per team, which is paid by the league before the team plays its first district game at the local level. All the money in this fund is returned to the leagues, which are reimbursed $1 per mile for one round-trip to each tournament site beyond district play.

Total attendance for the 10-day, 32-game Little League Baseball World Series was a record 331,285. But the “paid attendance,” as always, was zero. No admission is ever charged for a Little League game, including the Little League Baseball World Series.

Even the concession prices are in line with a local Little League program. A family of four can buy a hot dog, soda and French fries for each person in their party for $16 at the Little League Baseball World Series. Parking is free, too.

Fans can read stories, see photos and check out the box scores of all the games on the Little League web site at: http://www.littleleague.org/series/2003divisions/llbb/series.htm.
The site features stories that help make the Little League Baseball World Series such a fun event for everyone.

More than 2.7 million children in all 50 U.S. states and 104 other countries play Little League baseball and softball. That makes Little League the largest organized youth sports program on Earth.

The Little League Baseball World Series is just one of eight annual World Series tournaments. You can see the results of all the tournaments at: http://www.littleleague.org/series/index.htm.