Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum Celebrates 25th Anniversary, National Little League Week at Annual Open House
In June 1959, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the proclamation designating National Little League Week, as the week of Flag Day, which is June 14. Flag Day was formally established by President Harry S Truman to commemorate the date of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States in 1777.
The Little League Museum was dedicated in 1982 in honor of Peter J. McGovern, the first president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball, Incorporated. Mr. McGovern, a noted history buff, was a driving force behind the establishment of the museum. In recognition of the museum’s birthday, a commemorative pin has been created, and is available for purchase in the gift shop.
The open house offered Little League fans a chance to get an inside look at the Little League experience. A guided tour and walking tours of the Little League Museum and the Little League International complex included a trip through the Dr. Creighton J. Hale International Grove, home to the players during their time at the annual Little League Baseball World Series, and Howard J. Lamade and Volunteer Stadiums, game sites for the World Series.
Dugout, Little League’s official mascot, was on hand for photographs, autographs and cut the anniversary cake as guests enjoyed the festivities.
Lou Hunsinger, Jr., a baseball historian from Williamsport, Pa., gave a presentation entitled “Jackie Robinson: Breaking the Color Barrier,” a discussion of the first African-American to play Major League Baseball in the modern era.
Sarah Jane “Salty” Ferguson, a former women’s professional baseball player, presented “Bat Girl to Pro,” a talk about her playing days in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Both presentations were held in the Museum’s Mary McGovern Theatre.
A display of artifacts highlighting the 60th anniversary of Mr. Robinson’s entrance into the Major Leagues belonging to Tony Richardson, the Little League state director for New Jersey, and his personal collection of Negro League baseball memorabilia remain in the museum for public viewing.
|Dugout, Little League’s mascot (pictured above on left), signs autographs for fans outside of the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum during Little League International’s recent open house. Dugout, pictured below with museum director Janice Ogurcak, cuts the anniversary cake for visitors attending the annual open house event.|
|Sarah Jane “Salty” Ferguson, seated, was Little League’s guest at the annual Little League International open house. Mrs. Ferguson presented, “Bat Girl to Pro,” an account of her days as a player on the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.|
|Visitors to the annual open house at the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum had an opportunity to view several unique displays including artifacts collected by Tony Richardson, Little League’s New Jersey state director, in remembrance of the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson playing Major League Baseball.|
The Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum opened in the summer of 1982. This year, Little League Baseball and Softball is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the museum named in honor of the first president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball, Incorporated.