Little League® International mourns the passing of Bill Bair, a player on the 1939 Lycoming Dairy team during the first season of Little League® in Williamsport, Pa. He was 92.
Mr. Bair was born and raised in Williamsport, Pa., and was a Little Leaguer® during the first year of the program chartered by Little League Founder Carl E. Stotz. He played in the first Little League Baseball® game on June 6, 1939; and was the league’s first batting champion hitting for a .462 average.
In 1941, Mr. Bair was the assistant manager of the Lycoming Dairy team under Mr. Stotz. He became the first former player to manage a Little League team when he took over the Lycoming Dairy team in 1943, after Mr. Stotz’s had to step away due to a change in his work schedule.
A graduate of Williamsport Area High School and Penn State University, Mr. Bair was also a U.S. Army veteran, serving in both World War II and the Korean conflict. Following his military service, he worked for Bethlehem Steel, later Williamsport Wire Rope.
Mr. Bair was a fabulous storyteller and tireless supporter of the Little League program. He participated in countless Little League events throughout the decades, including Little League International’s celebration of the 75th anniversary of the program’s founding, which was held in Williamsport during the summer of 2014.
Mr. Bair was preceded in death by his loving wife, Shirley. He is survived by two sons, Keith and Craig; daughter, Sue; sister Lois; six grandchildren; and one great grandson.