Little League Tee Ball Teams Have a Ball on White House South Lawn
History was made on May 6, 2001, on the South Lawn of the White House as two Little League Tee Ball teams squared off in front of an audience that included President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. The President and First Lady are expected to attend Sunday's game between the Benning Park Pirates of the Ward 7 - 6th District Little League and the Lincoln Park Brewers of the Senators Little League. Both leagues draw their players from boundaries inside Washington, D.C.
Tee Ball is the introductory level for the sport of baseball. The teams in Sunday's game include players who are ages 5 though 8. As in the first game, it will be played according to Little League Tee Ball rules. Every player will bat once and play on defense and no score will be kept.
"What a wonderful place to play America's pastime," the President said in pre-game ceremonies for the first game earlier this month. "Baseball is a fabulous sport."
He went on to thank "coaches all across America who take time out from their busy schedules to teach young men and women the importance of teamwork and playing by the rules." He also cited "the moms and dads too, who understand how important it is to teach their children the rules of the game; who love their children every single day, and love them so much that they are willing to go out and watch them play Little League Baseball."
George W. Bush is the first Little League graduate to be elected President. He played catcher during his Little League days in the 1950s at Central Little League of Midland, Texas.
The games are part of President Bush's very apparent love for baseball, and his wish to see it grow in popularity, particularly among children. He plans to invite Little League Tee Ball teams to the White House South Lawn periodically throughout the spring and summer months.
Several companies 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. Little League also provides numbered shirts for each player and a baseball cap, both of which the players keep as souvenirs.
The companies donating the equipment to Little League are: Wilson Sporting Goods, Russell Athletic, New Era Cap, SportFence, Easton, Larson Design Group and TurnKey Construction.
Little League Baseball is the world's largest organized youth sports program, with approximately 2.9 million participants and more than a million adult volunteers in every U.S. state and 103 other countries. It is estimated that more than 30 million Americans have played Little League Baseball or Little League Softball in the program's 63-year existence.
The date and teams for the next game have not been decided.