Dr. Creighton J. Hale To Retire At End Of Year
Dr. Creighton J. Hale
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Dec. 20, 2001) – Dr. Creighton J. Hale, inventor, scientist, and Little League pioneer, will retire on Dec. 31, ending nearly a half-century of employment with the youth baseball and softball organization.
On Jan. 1, 1955, Dr. Hale was granted a leave of absence from Springfield (Mass.) College, where he was associate professor of physiology, to join the Little League Headquarters staff as director of research. He eventually became the president and chief executive officer of the world’s largest sports organization, and now holds the title of senior advisor. He never returned to his post at Springfield College.
“Little League was still a relatively new organization in those days, and I was deeply interested in how it affected children,” the Hardy, Neb., native said. “Once I became a member of the staff, I decided this was where I needed to be. My tenure with Little League has been an enriching, rewarding experience.”
Dr. Hale experimented with
various types and compositions of helmets, resulting in the radial-ribbed,
double-ear flap batting belmets used today. This photo was taken in
the late 1950s.
“My father (Walter O’Malley) served as a trustee of the Little League Foundation during its early years, and became good friends with Dr. Hale,” Peter O’Malley, president of the Little League Foundation and former president of the Los Angeles Dodgers, said. “I have been privileged to serve as the president of the foundation, and Dr. Hale is my good friend. Our family has admired Dr. Hale through these many years, not only for the contributions he has made to Little League, but for those he has made to the promotion of international baseball and the sport in general. He has been great for the game of baseball.”
Dr. Hale has been recognized for his work by dozens of organizations, including the American Orthopaedic Society, the American Society for Testing Materials, and the U.S. Air Force. He also received appointments from Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan for various volunteer posts. Because of his notoriety in the field of head protection, Dr. Hale was one of those who helped to develop the Kevlar helmet used by the U.S. military today. In that capacity, he was Chairman of Technical Advisors of the National Academy of Science Committee on Military Helmets.
During Dr. Hale’s tenure as president, Little League also began the Little League Urban Initiative, designed to bring Little League to disadvantaged families.
Dr. Hale speaks at a White
House South Lawn ceremony in 1989, honoring the 50th anniversary of the
founding of Little League. President George H. W. Bush and First
Lady Barbara Bush are at left.
Following graduation from Colgate University, Dr. Hale earned a Master’s Degree from Springfield. He specialized in the physiology of muscular activity at New York University, earning his Doctorate Degree.
Dr. Hale lives in Williamsport with his wife Beverly. He plans to remain active with Little League issues on the Little League Baseball International Board of Directors, a volunteer board.