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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2003 > Ninth Tee Ball on the South Lawn Game is a Hit

Ninth Tee Ball on the South Lawn Game is a Hit

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photos of this game.

WASHINGTON (Sept. 7, 2003) – A Little League Tee Ball team from Kalamazoo, Mich., traveled more than 700 miles to play a game today on the South Lawn of the White House. The Milwood Little League TelecomAttorney.com team traveled farther than any other team in President George W. Bush’s Tee Ball on the South Lawn program since it began in 2001.

The team, parents, league officials and all guests (about 100 people) traveled by bus from Kalamazoo to Williamsport, Pa., on Saturday, where they were housed over two nights in the Dr. Creighton J. Hale International Grove, which is part of Little League International’s 66-acre complex. Meals at International Grove (where Little League Baseball World Series teams are lodged) also were provided by Little League Baseball. Housing the team and guests meant the local Little League program did not have to pay any hotel costs during the trip.

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.
Little League Baseball administers most aspects of the Tee Ball on the South Lawn program, including choosing the teams, providing and setting up the fencing and bases, coordinating the game itself, and paying for most of the costs associated with the games. Through the generous support of CNA Insurance, Snickers Brand, New Era Cap Company, and the Smiles for Life Foundation, Little League has been able to help save taxpayers thousands of dollars, while helping to provide Little League Tee Ball players and their families with the thrill of a lifetime.

Several companies have donated supplies or services to Little League Baseball so that all the equipment necessary (except gloves, which are those belonging to the players) is available, including fencing, bases, bats, baseballs, catcher’s equipment, player benches and the batting tee. Other companies providing support are: Wilson Sporting Goods, Russell Athletic, SportFence, Easton, Larson Design Group and TurnKey Construction.

No score is kept in the Tee Ball on the South Lawn program, and players are limited to ages 5-8, although most players should be ages 5-6. In today’s game, as usual, neither team lost. Instead, both teams won.

Following the game against the team from Hamilton, N.J., players, coaches and managers were called out to the field to receive a baseball from President Bush, autographed by the president himself. They also received signed certificates, then all the families enjoyed a picnic on the South Lawn – again, provided by Little League Baseball with support from CNA Insurance, Snickers Brand, New Era Cap Company, and the Smiles for Life Foundation.

In Tee Ball on the South Lawn, one team normally wears red and white, and the other wears blue and white, as part of a patriotic theme. Both teams have “South Lawn Sluggers” emblazoned on the front of the uniform shirt. The numbered shirts and baseball cap are kept by the players as souvenirs.

Paying homage to women’s sports pioneers, President Bush invited former players in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), as well as Olympic medallists, to the game.

From the AAGPBL were: Delores “Dolly” Brumfield White, Ed.D. from Arkadelphia, Ark., president of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Players Association and former player with the Fort Wayne Daisies and the Kenosha Comets; Gloria Cordes Elliott of Staten Island, N.Y. (Racine Belles and Kalamazoo Lassies, 1950-1954); Jean Fantry of Rock Hill, S.C. (South Bend Blue Sox, 1946-1953); Karen Violetta Kunkel of Cadillac, Mich., (Grand Rapids Chicks, 1953); Ruth “Ritchie” Richard of Sellersville, Pa. (Grand Rapids Chicks and Rockford Peaches, 1947-1954); “Lou” Stone Richards of Holbrook, Mass. (Racine Belles and South Bend Blue Sox, 1945); Helen “Gig” Smith of Richmond, Va. (Kenosha Comets and Grand Rapids Chicks, 1947-1948).

Also attending were: The Honorable Mel Martinez, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; Dot Richardson, M.D., of Clermont, Fla., two-time Olympic Softball gold medallist, orthopedic surgeon, and vice chair, President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports; Kerri Strug, U.S. Olympic Gymnastics gold medallist; “Raven” of Disney Channel's That's So Raven; Cal Ripken Jr., former Baltimore Orioles shortstop; Linda Cohn, ESPN's SportsCenter; Jennie Finch, Major League Baseball's This Week in Baseball, and USA Softball Women's National Team; and Darrell Green, former Washington Redskins star and chairman of the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation.