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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2011 > May-August > Pro Football Hall of Fame Memorabilia Makes Up New Exhibit at Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum

Pro Football Hall of Fame Memorabilia Makes Up New Exhibit at Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum

Pro Football Hall of Fame Memorabilia Makes Up New Exhibit at Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum

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Professional Football Hall of Fame Autographed ball

A small part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame has made its way to the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum in South Williamsport, Pa.

More than 50 pieces of professional football history make up “Diamonds to Gridirons: Little Leaguers in the NFL.” The exhibition will be unveiled June 18 as part of the museum’s open house on the same day. As part of the open house, admission to the museum will be free all day. The Little League Museum annually holds its open house in recognition of National Little League Week.

“The Pro Football Hall of Fame is happy to work with the Little League Museum which has a long-standing tradition of being a great historical organization which services not only its community but the Little League tradition in the United States,” Jason Aikens, Collections Curator for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, said. “Our former late Executive Director John Bankert was a Little League Museum Board of Trustees member, and we are happy to follow in his footsteps in honoring the history of Little League in America. The Pro Football Hall of Fame has long been interested in not only promoting the positive values of football but other sports in America.”

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Joe Montana autographed football from Super Bowl XXIV.

Two of the exhibition items, a jersey and a color drawing, represent 1999 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Ozzie Newsome. Mr. Newsome, who played all 13 seasons of his career with the Cleveland Browns, and is presently the General Manager and Executive Vice President of the Baltimore Ravens, played Little League Baseball in Muscle Shoals, Ala. In 2008, Mr. Newsome was inducted into the Little League Museum Hall of Excellence, which honors Little League graduates who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in their chosen profession.

Some of the items in the exhibit feature memorabilia of NFL players who are Pennsylvania natives and all are former Little Leaguers.

Joe Montana, a 2000 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee who played his youth baseball in the Monongahela (Pa.) Optimist Little League, has several items in the exhibit including a jersey, from his playing days with the Kansas City Chiefs, and autographed footballs from both Super Bowl XVI and XXIV in which Mr. Montana was named the MVP. Mr. Montana played 16 years in the NFL for the San Francisco 49ers, in addition to Kansas City.

East Brady (Pa.) Little League product Jim Kelly, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002, has his jersey from his 1994 season with the Buffalo Bills included in the exhibition. Mr. Kelly’s game ball from Super Bowl XXVIII is also one of the pieces that can be viewed as part of the exhibit.

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Jersey of Little League Hall of Excellence member Ozzie Newsome.

Other Pennsylvania natives with memorabilia in the exhibit include 1988 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Mike Ditka and 2005 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Dan Marino.

Two NFL players with local ties, Gary Brown, now the running backs coach for the Cleveland Browns after an eight-year NFL career as a player, and Jack Losch, who played for the Green Bay Packers, will also be featured in the exhibition. Both grew up in Williamsport, Pa., and played football at Williamsport High School. Mr. Losch played in the first Little League Baseball World Series in 1947 for the Maynard Midgets, the champions of the inaugural World Series.

Some of the other items in the exhibit include the jersey of former Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Sipe, who played in the Little League Baseball World Series in 1961 for the championship team from El Cajon, Calif. Mr. Sipe was inducted into the Little League Museum Hall of Excellence in 1999.

A trading card of 12-year NFL quarterback Joe Theismann, who played youth baseball in the South River (N.J.) Little League, a color drawing of 2006 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Troy Aikman, a graduate of Frontier Little League in Cerritos, Calif., and a few items from Super Bowl XLIV in which Western Hills Little League, in Austin Texas, graduate Drew Brees led the New Orleans Saints to victory while earning MVP honors, are also part of the exhibit.

Other former NFL players and Little League graduates who have items in the exhibit are Doug Flutie, Drew Bledsoe, Adam Vinatieri and Tom Brady.

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Jersey of Little League Hall of Excellence member and 1961 Little League Baseball World Series participant Brian Sipe.

The exhibition will be at the Little League Museum through May of 2012.

“The museum is pleased to showcase items from the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Janice L. Ogurcak, museum director, said. “This exhibition enforces that Little League helps provide the foundation for the opportunity for its players to succeed in life.”

In addition to the items on loan from the Pro Football Hall of Fame, there are pieces from the Little League Museum’s archives, The Hall at Patriot Place by Raytheon, the Denver Broncos and private collections.

The Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum, located at 525 Route 15 Highway, is currently open Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Effective July 1, the museum will be open seven days a week until Labor Day. The hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

For more information on the museum’s programming, contact Mrs. Janice Ogurcak, the museum director, at (570) 326-3607. Admission to the museum is $5 for anyone 14 and older; $1.50 for children ages 5-13; and $3 for senior citizens (62 and over). Children age 4 and younger are admitted free of charge. Group rates and tours are available. The museum also offers birthday parties and after hour facility rentals.