In 2014, Little League® Baseball and Softball celebrated its 75th Anniversary, and established the Carl E. Stotz Little League Community Award, to honor the organization’s founder and the lasting impact that local Little League programs have in communities around the world. This year, Little League is proud to recognize Boardman Community Little League from Boardman, Ohio, with the second annual Stotz Community Award and a grant of $5,000.
Celebrating its 60th Anniversary this year, Boardman Community Little League has been part of the fabric of society in the township since 1955. From its beginning, the organization was an early adopter of Little League International’s various programs – establishing their Little League Softball® program in 1975, the year after it was introduced. In 1989, the league became the home the Ohio District 2 Challenger Program, the year Little League launched that division for children with physical and intellectual challenges. A team from Boardman Community Little League also won the first-ever Junior League Baseball World Series in 1981.
“Like so many local Little League programs, Boardman Community Little League has been where families have come together, and where boys and girls have learned the valuable life lessons of teamwork, dedication, and sportsmanship,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “As the league celebrates its 60th Anniversary, we thought it was more than appropriate to honor them with this year’s Stotz Community Award for their continued success and current efforts to further celebrate their role in their community through their anniversary celebrations.”
Nina Johnson-Pitt, Little League Central Region Director, presented Boardman Community Little League with the Stotz Community Award at their 60th Anniversary Celebration Day on Saturday, June 6. Boardman Community Little League’s celebrations also included a team parade, recognition of past championship teams, and honoring other special guests and individuals involved with the league throughout its history. In 1955, Boardman Community Little League started with six teams approximately 85 players. The league has grown to field 90 teams with nearly 1,000 participants.
“Receiving the Carl E. Stotz Award validates the great local support Boardman Community Little League receives from our community, business sponsors, service organizations and leaders,” said Greg Krieger, Boardman Community Little League Secretary. “As a community and league, being associated with an award named after Little League founder Carl E Stotz is quite an honor.”
The Carl E. Stotz Little League Community Award is presented annually to a local Little League program that has worked with their community to create a lasting impact and positive environment for the families and children in their hometown.