Little League® International mourns the passing of Jim Gehron, the nephew of Little League Fonder Carl E. Stotz, and a player on the 1939 Lycoming Dairy team during the first season of Little League® in Williamsport, Pa. He was 89.
Mr. Gehron was born and raised in Williamsport. He was a Little Leaguer® during the first year of the program developed by his uncle, who credited his nephews (Jimmy and Harold “Major” Gehron) with inspiring the idea that became Little League.
A resident of Plantation, Fla., at the time of his passing, Mr. Gehron was just six (6) years old when his “Uncle Tuck” (Mr. Stotz) first suggested the idea to he and brother, who was eight (8) at the time.
Mr. Gehron is quoted as saying, “Little League Baseball isn’t the World Series at Williamsport. Little League Baseball is (my sons and you) playing baseball. That’s what my uncle intended.”
Along with Mr. Stotz, the Gehron brothers rounded up 30 kids, 12 years and under. They formed three teams, found sponsors, and on June 6, 1939, played the first Little League game in history. Mr. Gehron played second base, and Major was the left fielder for Lycoming Dairy, which lost 23-8 that day to Lundy Lumber.
Mr. Gehron is survived by four sons, James, Michael, Daniel, and Matthew; three grandchildren, Laura, Carolyn, and Cheryl; and three great-grandchildren.