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Team Hosts Play Major Role in Players’ Experience

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (June 12, 2003) – Team hosts, or “uncles” as they are commonly called, play a major role in every player’s Little League World Series experience.

These dedicated individuals volunteer their time to be ambassadors of good will for Little League Baseball. Each team is assigned two uncles who take on various responsibilities, from arranging uniform fittings to helping in the coordination of the many media activities involving the teams. These volunteers spend every day of World Series week with their assigned team from breakfast well into the night, providing guidance and assistance to the players, coaches and managers.

Many of the team hosts are so well remembered by their charges that they maintain contact for many years after the players have gone back home. The 57th Little League Baseball World Series is set for Aug. 15-24.

Little League was saddened by the loss of Peter Lupacchino, who passed away late last year after more than 50 years as a Little League volunteer. “Uncle Pete” was assigned to the New England team last year, his 45th as a World Series team host.

The host chairman once again is John Shaible (18 years of service), with assistant Jim Loftus (four years of service. Craig Weaver, with five years of service, will be used on a rotating basis. Host emeritus is Ed Claudius, with 51 years.

The 2003 team hosts, announced today during the annual World Series Luncheon at Little League Baseball International, are below. Years of service are in parentheses.

Marlin Cromley (five) and Carol Zysset (three) – Asia 
Joe Girio (six) and Lee Miller (three) – Mexico 
Nick Cioffi (37) and Mick Cioffi (27) – Midwest 
George Girio (16) and Larry Missigman (12) – Caribbean 
Fred Plankenhorn (38) and Paul Weaver (34) – Mid Atlantic
Edward Weinhoffer (18) and Thomas Rachael (five) – Great Lakes 
Hess Wertz (five) and Charles Snyder (five) – Southeast 
Walter Zegarski (30) and William Castle (15) – Southwest 
Paul Fullmer (28) and Jack Peters (15) – Trans-Atlantic
Dennis Kelley (21) and Dick Reitz (20) – Canada 
Ron Frick (first year) and Peter M. Lupacchino (12) – Europe 
Ray Warner (21) and Mike Knight (first year) – West 
Jim Kriner (first year) and Bob Massetti (18) – Northwest 
Dennis Loner (five) and Lynn Datres (three) – Pacific 
Gary Weaver (five) and Daniel Ayers (three) – New England 
John Eastlake (five) and Ron Wagner (three) – Latin America