Continuing to celebrate the wins and experiences of Little League® graduates, the World of Little League® Museum has officially opened two new exhibits: the Athletes Unlimited Pro Games Exhibit and the Tom Seaver Little League Legacy Exhibit.
The Athletes Unlimited Pro Games Exhibit
Highlighting the impact of the Athletes Unlimited (AU) and Little League partnership, this exhibit features multiple artifacts from the first-ever Athletes Unlimited Pro Games, played during the 2023 Little League Softball® World Series in Greenville, North Carolina.
The exhibit features tickets from the games, a softball that was used in the first game of the doubleheader, and Team Alexander’s dugout lineup card from the second game, signed by captain Odicci Alexander.
“Our goal is to update the museum frequently to highlight memorable events within the program. The Athletes Unlimited Pro Games held during this year’s Little League Softball World Series were undoubtedly special for the players and fans in Greenville,” said Adam Thompson, Director of the World of Little League Museum. “We are excited to showcase the artifacts from those games, continue highlighting our softball program, and ensure it is represented in our museum.”
Also in the case, in celebration of a former Little Leaguer now playing professionally with AU, the exhibit also features a signed Kathryn Sandercock jersey. A graduate of McLean (Va.) Little League, Ms. Sandercock played in the 2013 Little League Softball World Series (LLSWS) and continued her career playing at the collegiate level as a Florida State Seminole before being the fourth overall pick in the 2023 AU Softball College Draft. In the 2023 AU Pro Games, Ms. Sandercock played for Team Alexander and wore the purple jersey now showcased in the exhibit.
The Athletes Unlimited Pro Games Exhibit was added to the World of Little League Museum just in time for Little League’s launch of the “Girls with Game 50” Campaign, celebrating 50 years of female inclusion and the 50th anniversary of the first-ever Little League Softball World Series in 2024. The exhibit can be found between the Second and Third Innings of the Museum’s six-inning structure.
The Tom Seaver Little League Legacy Exhibit
In 1988, Little League selected 12-time MLB All-Star Tom Seaver as the first inductee into the Little League Hall of Excellence, the greatest honor Little League can bestow. Now, 35 years later, Little League continues to honor the charter member with a new legacy exhibit.
Mr. Seaver was one of Major League Baseball’s most accomplished pitchers, earning him the nicknames of “Tom Terrific” and “The Franchise,” after he helped the New York Mets win their first World Series title in 1969. Highlighting this accomplishment, the exhibit features a patch sold by the Mets in 2021, with the proceeds going to the World of Little League Museum. The exhibit also displays a hat Mr. Seaver wore during his days on the fields of the Spartan Little League in Fresno, California.
In 2021, due to the impacts of COVID-19, the Little League Baseball World Series featured only U.S. Teams. The 16 teams were split into two brackets, both named after Hall of Famers who embodied the mission of the Little League program during their careers, Hank Aaron and Mr. Seaver. Mr. Aaron passed away in January 2021 and Mr. Seaver passed in August 2020.
“Tom Seaver was a long-time friend and supporter of the museum. The exhibit will continue to honor his legacy and celebrate professional athletes who got their start on the Little League diamond.” said Mr. Thompson.
Like other exhibits in the museum, the new exhibit will also have an interactive feature. Guests will be able to operate a touch screen mounted onto the exhibit to learn more about notable athletes from all professional sports, including Patrick Mahomes, NFL quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, and Sydney Leroux, soccer player with Angel City FC and Olympic Gold Medalist for the U.S. Women’s National Team.
The exhibit was made possible through the generous support of the Seaver Family, New York Mets, and Baseball Hall of Fame members, Hank Aaron, Ted Simmons, Tony La Russa, Tom Glavine, Willie Mays, the Doug Harvey estate, and the chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Jane Forbes Clark.
The World of Little League Museum is open Thursday through Monday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET. While it is closed to the public on Tuesday and Wednesday, groups are welcome to schedule private tours during that time period by emailing [email protected]. For more information including prices, directions, and more, visit LittleLeagueMuseum.org.
The Little League Main Gift Shop, located on the main concourse behind Howard J. Lamade Stadium, is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET and fans can always buy their favorite merchandise at ShopLittleLeague.org.