Little League® Celebrates and Recognizes #GirlDads

As part of the ongoing Girls with Game 50 Celebration, Little League® recognizes the importance of fathers in a young female athlete’s life. Whether they are putting on their coach’s hat in the dugout or leading the cheers in the stands after a well-hit line drive to right field, Little League celebrates the continued efforts of fathers who are helping their Little Leaguers grow so they can one day grow into big league members of their communities.

To celebrate the fathers around the world, below are words of wisdom from notable #GirlDad: 

Robert Iamurri, Father of WCWS Champion Ryan Iamurri and a 14-time Little League Softball® World Series Champion Coach

“Be blessed if you played and loved sports and your daughter takes an interest in sports. My best advice is to be supportive without being over protective. Treat your journey as a spiraling staircase to the top of the building. Let your daughter take one step at a time and every step you climb will always be an accomplishment. Some steps may take two or three attempts, but keep encouraging her to keep trying.”

Robert Iamurri at the mound with a five-year-old Ryan during a Little League Tee Ball game in Florida

Stephen Curry, Professional Basketball Player for the NBA

“Being a girl dad is just leaning into being present, being available, being a vision of how a man should treat a woman. I think, for us we have to be that model.”

Derek Jeter, Former New York Yankees Shortstop – Kalamazoo (Mich.) Little League

“My girls are the absolute best. You know, you hear it before you have kids, people will tell you, ‘Oh, wait until you have your own,’ but it really is true… Every day there’s something new, and they learn something new every single day,” the proud father added. “It’s been wonderful. It’s been more than I ever could’ve imagined.”

Colin Sandercock, Father of Athletes Unlimited Player Kathryn Sandercock 2023 George and Barbara Bush Little League® Parents of the Year Recipient 

“Something I tell Kathryn still to this day, is to just have fun. It has to be fun, or else, why do it? You don’t want it to be a job for them and I think the important thing is [for parents] to be supportive but not pushy. If you are supportive and make it a fun experience, they will want to do it and they will want to play more and work on improving their skills.”

Colin Sandercock stands with is wife, Trish, and daughter, Kathryn, after a McLean (Va.) Little League softball game.

Kobe Bryant, Former Professional Basketball Player and NBA Hall of Fame Inductee

“Be thankful that you’ve been given that gift because girls are amazing. I would have five more girls if I could. I’m a girl dad.”

Stuart Scott, Former ESPN Sportscaster and Little League Hall of Excellence Inductee – Northwest Forsyth (N.C.) Little League

“The best thing I’ve ever done, the best thing I will ever do is be a dad to Taelor and Sydni. I can’t ever give up because I can’t leave my daughters. I love you girls more than I will ever be able to express. You are my heartbeat. I am standing on this stage tonight because of you.”

Stuart Scott’s daughters, Taelor and Sydni, accepting the Hall of Excellence award on Mr. Scott’s behalf at the 2023 Little League Baseball World Series, Presented by T-Mobile.

Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball Hall of Fame Inductee

“Isabella came into my life when I was just 18 years old. I cannot imagine my life without her. She has taught me so much about acceptance, patience, tolerance and seeing past first impressions.”

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback – Rose Capital East Little League (Tyler, Texas)

“I’ve had to learn a lot there, probably more than I’ve learned in my entire life until now. How to take care of a baby and raise a little baby girl and try to make, give her the best opportunity and the best life possible.”

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In addition to all the words of wisdom from the fathers above, check out what some of the Girls with Game themselves had to say about the impact of their fathers:

Riley Ludlam, 2024 Women’s College World Series Champion

Paytn Monticelli, 2024 Women’s College World Series Champion (Tyler, Texas)

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Note: The #GWG50 Celebration is proudly supported by DICK’S Sporting Goods, a long-time Little League partner that is committed to creating opportunities for girls and women in sports and will be activating around key events and milestones this year.