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George Brett presents World Series Participation Medal to Al Griffith, manager of the European team.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – George Brett, whose 20-year career with the Kansas City Royals landed him in the baseball Hall of Fame, received Little League Baseball’s William A. "Bill" Shea Distinguished Little League Graduate Award for 2000 recently during the 54th annual Little League Baseball World Series.

The award, established in 1987, annually goes to a former Little Leaguer in the Major Leagues who best exemplifies the spirit of Little League Baseball. Consideration includes the individual’s ability, accomplishments and status as a positive role model for aspiring Little Leaguers. A graduate of the El Segundo, Calif., American Little League, Mr. Brett remembers his Little League experience as a time of fun and as the first time he was part of a team.

"When I played Little League, it wasn’t something you did because your parents wanted you to do it or because it was your job: It was fun," he said recently. "It’s the first time you’re out there with eight other guys. That teaches you the value of winning and losing graciously. I don’t even remember where I hit in the line-up, but when I played it was fun."

In 1999, Mr. Brett was voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, N.Y., with the fourth highest vote total in history. While Mr. Brett’s baseball achievements are the stuff of legends, his commitment to the community of Kansas City has been equally impressive. He has used his high profile to raise millions of dollars for research into a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease). He also became known for generously offering items for charity events and frequently signing autographs.

Mr. Brett is the 13th recipient of the Distinguished Graduate award. A plaque in his honor is now in the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum on Route 15 in South Williamsport, Pa. Mr. Brett attended ceremonies recognizing him Saturday, Aug. 26, at noon at the museum and later before the final game of the World Series.

Past recipients of the award include: 1999 – Robin Yount, Woodland Hills (Calif.) Sunrise Little League; 1998 – Don Sutton, Cantonement (Fla.) Little League; 1997 – Ken Griffey, Sr., Donora (Pa.) Little League; 1996 – No award; 1995 – Rick Monday, Sunset Little League, Santa Monica, Calif.; 1994 – Len Coleman, Montclair (N.J.) Little League; 1993 – Gary Carter, West Fullerton (Calif.) Little League; 1992 – Steve Palermo, Oxford (Mass.) Little League; 1991 – Dave Dravecky, South Youngstown Optimist Little League, Boardman, Ohio; 1990 – Jim Palmer, Beverly Hills (Calif.) Little League; 1989 – Tom Seaver, Spartan Little League, Fresno, Calif.; 1988—Steve Garvey, Drew Park Little League, Tampa, Fla.; 1987 – Bobby Valentine, Mickey Lione Little League, Stamford, Conn.

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Little League Baseball International Headquarters 
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