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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2003 > Army vs. Navy – Tee Ball on the South Lawn!

Army vs. Navy – Tee Ball on the South Lawn!

Click here to see President George W. Bush's 1955 Little League Team Roster.

Click here to learn how Tee Ball teams are selected.
Click here to go to the White House Kids Page and read about baseball and the presidency.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 22, 2003) -- The Army vs. Navy game traditionally played in huge venues, moved to the South Lawn of the White House today at the invitation of President George W. Bush. The Army-Navy Tee Ball game, that is.

Little League Baseball began a third summer of Tee Ball on the South Lawn with a game featuring dependents of military personnel from two installations in Virginia. The Naval Base Little League Yankees from Norfolk, and the Fort Belvoir Little League Braves met in a game in which President Bush thanked the families of those who serve our country.

President George W. Bush leads the teams and fans in the Little League Pledge.

In keeping with the tradition of Tee Ball on the South Lawn games, no score was kept between the Braves and the Yankees. Every player on both teams played defense and batted once in the one-inning game, followed by a picnic on the South Lawn for players and families. A baseball autographed by President George W. Bush was presented – by the president himself – to each player, manager, and coach.

As always, the festivities began with the Star Spangled Banner, followed by President Bush leading both teams in the Little League Pledge.

"We have been practicing for weeks leading up to this," said Yankees manager Dale Janssen. "Not just baseball skills, but in how to say the Pledge, and how to stand tall when the National Anthem is sung."

The Fort Belvoir Little League Braves stand for the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.

Guests included Baseball Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson and Billy Williams, as well as Craig Counsel of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and former Major Leaguer Cal Ripken. The commanders of the two installations coached the bases: Capt. Jerry Becker of Naval Station Norfolk, and Col. Thomas Williams of Fort Belvoir. ESPN's Kenny Mayne provided play-by-play coverage and announcing. 

The game was the seventh on the South Lawn of the White House since May 6, 2001, when President Bush began the initiative as a way to boost interest in baseball among children and parents. He selected Little League Baseball to administer the event, and choose the teams. (Local league presidents may apply at www.littleleague.org.)

Anytime is snack time at a Tee Ball game!

President Bush, the first former Little Leaguer to be elected to the nation’s highest office, played Little League Baseball at Central Little League in Midland, Texas, in the mid-1950s. On Aug. 26, 2001, he was enshrined in the Little League Museum Hall of Excellence during a ceremony at the Little League Baseball World Series. 
Little League Baseball is the world’s largest youth sports organization, with more than 2.7 million children participating in every U.S. state and 104 other countries on six continents. Little League is the only youth sports organization to be chartered by the U.S. Congress. 

No date has been set for the next game, and teams have not been chosen.