Golden Anniversary of Little League’s "Perfect Game" Celebrated
In 1957, Little League was still in its infancy, but that year the backyard game born in Williamsport, Pa., piqued imaginations throughout North America with the success enjoyed by group of children from Monterrey, Mexico.
Monterrey Industrial Little League was not the first team from outside of the United States to play in the Little League Baseball World Series, but it was the first to win the World Series.
The Championship Game pitched by Monterrey’s Angel Macias has become legendary and remains unique in Little League lore. As the only perfect game ever thrown in the World Series final, the accomplishment remains special even 50 years after it happened.
Recently, the 1957 Little League Baseball United States Champions from Northern La Mesa (Calif.) Little League gathered with members of the Monterrey Industrial Little League team for a special reunion.
During the reunion, Joe McKirahan, Lew Riley and Dick Gowins were able to speak with Mr. Garcia by telephone.
“This was quite an emotional time as some on the team have remained in contact with Angel and Jose Maiz Garcia from Monterrey, Mexico,” Mr. Gowins said. “Lew and Angel were the opposing pitchers in the final game. They spoke at length not having seen or spoken to each other since the memorable championship game.”
While renewing old friendships, sharing memorabilia and reflecting on the historic final game, the group enjoyed meeting author William W. Winokur, who wrote a book called “The Perfect Game.” The story was recently produced into a feature film of the same name, which is expected to be released in the coming months.
Mr. Winokur autographed copies of his book and joined the distinguished guests for a screening of the movie.
The reunion was capped off with a visit to the San Diego Hall of Champions. The Northern Le Mesa’s team picture and one of the team’s uniforms are on display in the museum. Later, the group attended a San Diego Padres Major League Baseball game. During the game, the team was recognized and their team picture was displayed on the scoreboard.
“The applause made us feel like champions again,” Mr. Gowins said. “That moment reminded us of our special place in Little League World Series history.
In addition to a barbeque, the teams also watched old District, Sectional, Regional, State and World Series game films provided by Northern La Mesa Little League team member Jerry Wilson.
Jim Gerstenslager, Little League Baseball and Softball’s Western Region Director, spoke to those in attendance and presented each with a special crystal baseball figurine. Prior to the reunion the City of La Mesa presented the Northern Le Mesa team with a special commendation for bringing it national recognition.
Monterrey Industrial Little League defeated Northern Le Mesa Little League, 4-0, in 1957. Monterrey Industrial become the first Little League to repeat as World Series champions when the league returned to Williamsport in 1958 and defended its world championship with a 10-1 win over Jaycee Little League from Kankakee, Ill.
Members of the 1957 Northern La Mesa Little League from California recently held a reunion to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the team’s run to the Little League Baseball World Series Championship Game. The reunion included a phone conversation with Monterrey (Mexico) Industrial Little League pitcher Angel Macias, who threw the only perfect game in World Series history against the Northern Le Mesa Little League. The 1957 World Series was the first won by a team from outside of the United States.