Little League Time Capsule Project Underway
To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of Little League, participants from around the world are invited to send a message to Little Leaguers and Little League volunteers of the future.
It was June 6, 1939, when Carl Stotz’s idea from the previous year finally made its way onto a Williamsport ball field. Mr. Stotz was an oil company clerk who had the notion to provide a field, equipment and uniforms designed for pre-teen boys in the Williamsport area. Up to that point, younger boys mostly played sandlot games with adult-sized equipment.
But it was not just about baseball. Mr. Stotz saw his fledgling program as a way to instill the values of teamwork, sportsmanship and fair play into children. He also saw the opportunity for dedicated adults to volunteer their time to a community project that would pay dividends long after the children were too old to play on the small field – no matter what walk of life they chose later on.
Now, 70 years after Lundy Lumber defeated Lycoming Dairy 23-8 in that first Little League game, the goals established by Carl Stotz, and the small group of volunteers he assembled, remain the same.
To celebrate that milestone, and in conjunction with the opening of the expanded Little League International Administration Building, a time capsule will be placed in the cornerstone this spring. The time capsule will contain digital messages from Little League players, volunteers and supporters who submit an essay.
All are invited to click on the link below, or paste the URL into the browser, and submit an essay before May 1, 2009. Each essay will be reviewed, and those found to be appropriate will be added to a digital medium that will be placed in the time capsule.
The time capsule will be opened in 50 years, and the contents revealed to the leadership and participants of Little League in the year 2059.
It will be the second time capsule placed in the Administration Building at Little League International. Late last year, during construction, a severely rusted metal can was discovered inside the walls of the original building. Its contents provided insight into the direction of the organization that remains unchanged.
The can contained a message from the Little League Baseball Board of Directors from August 27, 1960, placed there at the dedication of the first headquarters building. The two pieces of paper that were inside, having been unprotected from temperature and humidity swings for nearly a half-century, are in poor shape and partially unreadable.
One paper contains a message from the Board, and its President and CEO, Peter J. McGovern, to the future.
In the text of the message, Mr. McGovern used “children” or “youth” instead of “boys,” possibly foreseeing that girls would be permitted to play at some point in the future. In most of Little League’s public communications at the time, the word “boys” was used, since the program was available only to boys until 1974.
“Little League has attempted to establish a goal of service to youth,” Mr. McGovern wrote. “It has flourished through the dedicated efforts of countless thousands of volunteers, men and women of good faith, devotion and perseverance.
“It is the hope of its present officers and leaders that Little League may continue to grow in order to further the welfare of children, families and communities and that it will bring wholesome constructive benefits for future generations in the expanding horizons of youth.”
The other piece of paper lists all members of the Little League Baseball corporate Board of Directors who had served to that point in the organization’s history.
Construction, which is on schedule, began on the Administration Building in 2008, to add 13,300 square feet of office space, and to refurbish existing areas of the structure. It is expected that Little League International personnel will begin moving back into permanent offices in May.