Little League Mourns the Passing of Civil Rights Champion Edward Younken
Little League International mourns the passing on Monday of Edward Younken, the first Little Leaguer to pitch a no-hit, no-run game in the organization’s history.
Among the autographed baseballs included in the collection at the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum is one that was used in that game. He later became an All-America baseball player at Penn State University, and was courted by several Major League Baseball teams.
Far more important, however, than his exploits on a ball field, was the way Mr. Younken led his life after baseball. He became a beloved minister in his adopted home state of New Jersey, and was a champion of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.
The August 6, 1942, game, pitched by Edward Younken, a member of the Lundy Lumber team, resulted in that team’s bid for the league championship that season. The game against Stein’s Service Station was played on the “new field fashioned from an old playground near (Max M. Brown) Memorial Park,” museum records report. Games during Little League’s early years were played on a city playground on a specially constructed field with dimensions scaled to two-thirds of a regular-sized baseball diamond by Little League founder Carl E. Stotz.
“The odd thing about it, I did not know what was happening,” Mr. Younken said in an interview with Little League a few years ago. “When it got to the final out, my dad came running down from the stands to the pitcher’s mound. He asked me ‘Do you know what you just did?’ And then he told me. I don’t remember much else about it. The last out was a fly ball catch by ‘Goody’ (Lyman Good). My dad was uncertain he was going to catch it but then he did.”
Now named Carl E. Stotz Memorial Field, Original League Field was used in 1947 for the first National Championship series (later renamed the Little League Baseball World Series). The last Little League Baseball World Series game at that site was played in 1958. Since then, Series games have been played at the current facility in the Borough of South Williamsport.
Stein’s had won the first half of the 1942 season and the no-hitter allowed Lundy’s to tie with Stein’s during the second half of the season. Lundy Lumber proceeded to win the second half in a one-game playoff and then won the league’s championship title in five games, breaking the string of three consecutive championships by the Lycoming Dairy team. The Lundy team was managed by George Bebble.
Original League records show that Ed Younken had a batting average of .392 in 1942.
Ed Younken lived in the Newberry section of Williamsport when he was a member of the Lundy Lumber team. He graduated from Williamsport High School in 1947. He later graduated from Lycoming College in Williamsport, before attending the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, and the New York Theological Seminary in New York City.
Editor’s note: Certain information regarding Mr. Younken that was originally published in this story has been removed. The information had erroneously been provided by another media source. Little League International endeavors to provide factual information in all cases. We regret the error.