Each summer during Championship Saturday of the Little League Baseball® World Series, two local Little League Challenger Division® programs are given the unique opportunity to play in a once-in-a-lifetime game on Volunteer Stadium in the Little League Challenger Division Exhibition Game. Featured in this year’s game will be Massachusetts District 12 Challenger Little League and Peterborough (Ontario) Challenger Baseball League.
“One of the unique aspects of the Little League Baseball World Series is the opportunity for players from around the world to interact with each other and experience each other’s culture both on and off the field,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “Already one of the most uplifting and inspiring aspects of our event, we are delighted to welcome these two teams from Massachusetts and Ontario to enjoy those experiences and create lifelong memories in this year’s Challenger Division Exhibition Game.”
The 2019 Little League Challenger Division Exhibition Game will take place on Saturday, August 24, at 10:30 a.m. and showcase the opportunities that the Little League Challenger Division provides to more than 30,000 children with physical and intellectual challenges at more than 900 leagues worldwide.
The Little League Challenger Division Exhibition Game has been a part of the Little League Baseball World Series schedule since 2001. Little League® International supports the participating leagues with a $15,000 grant to help offset the costs for the teams to participate in the Exhibition Game.
For the eighth year in a row, the game will be broadcast live on northeastern Pennsylvania’s and the Central Susquehanna Valley’s PBS Station, WVIA.
Meet the teams playing in the 2019 Little League Challenger Division Exhibition Game:
Massachusetts District 12 Challenger Little League (Malden, Mass.)
Launched in 2007 by Marie Shea, Challenger Division President, as the Malden West Little League Challenger Program, the league decided to make the switch to the Massachusetts District 12 Challenger Little League to provide more opportunities to children with physical and intellectual challenges throughout the entire district. This year, the program chartered two Challenger Division programs and two Senior Challenger Division programs to provide opportunities for children ages 4-40 to play in the league. Most importantly, with the help of the league’s sponsors, District 12 Challenger Little League is completely free for all participants to play. District 12 Challenger Program has also benefited from the generous support of the Boston Red Sox through the work of the Red Sox Foundation, reinforcing the opportunity for every child to have the experience of playing baseball on the field with their teammates.
“All of our players look forward to the start of the Little League season because it is a time for them to participate in an organized sport like all the players in our local leagues,” said Ms. Shea. “Having the opportunity to bring this group to Williamsport is truly incredible and shows all of our players that everyone deserves the opportunity to play in a World Series.”
Peterborough Challenger Baseball League (Ontario, Canada)
Established in May 2016, the Peterborough Challenger Baseball League provides opportunities to more than 100 players in two divisions of play throughout the city of Peterborough. In addition to the support the league provides, Peterborough Challenger Baseball League works with the Toronto Blue Jays through the Jays Care Foundation to provide a welcoming space for children to grow, learn, and build relationships throughout the community. Thanks to the help of local sponsors, the league provided jerseys and pants to each of its players participating in the program.
“We are honored to earn this selection to be able to provide lifelong memories for all of our participants and to raise awareness for the value that the Little League Challenger Division brings to communities around the world,” said Bernie Daynes, Peterborough Challenger Baseball League President. “The response from our community has been evident in our growing attendance at our games, and it is exciting to see that the Challenger Division program has created its niche in local sports communities all around the world.”