The World of Little League® Museum was recently named the recipient of a 2021 ISHY Award, as presented by the International Sports Heritage Association (ISHA), for its feature video spotlighting Anderson Little League from Gary, Indiana, the first team comprised entirely of Black children to reach the Little League Baseball® World Series.
“To once again be recognized by the International Sports Heritage Association is a great honor for the Little League program and our venue,” said Adam Thompson, World of Little League Museum Director and Curator. “The story of the first all-Black Little League Baseball World Series team expounds on the values and ideals of the Little League experience. Every child should have the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and the journey of this team show us how important team goals are. Now, more than 50 years after their memorable season, we remain grateful for the bravery and confidence that team showed and hope it will continue to serve as an inspiration for Little Leaguers and communities for years to come. Together, we are all One Team. One Little League.”
The enlightening video helps chronicle the remarkable road traveled by this team and shows the unique response that people had when seeing them simply as Little Leaguers®. Only 15 years removed from the summer of 1955, when the Cannon Street Little League team from Charleston, South Carolina, was denied the opportunity to play in the World Series, the team from Anderson Little League became the beacon of hope for Little League fans who had watched as teams from Chinese Taipei dominated the Little League World Series in recent years.
Through this presentation, viewers learn the history of this iconic team from Gary, Indiana, and are introduced to “Legendary Lloyd” McClendon, whose on-field performances are still talked about each summer as the Little League International Tournament is played. Mr. McClendon and his teammates helped break barriers for children and adults in predominantly Black communities and created a broader consciousness that Little League is be place where everyone is welcome. When posted on Little League’s official Facebook account on February 11, 2021, the video reached more than 22,000 users, earned more than 700 engagements, was shared 49 times, received nearly 300 reactions, and was viewed more than 6,000 times.
The ISHY Awards program was established to provide recognition for excellence in publications and exhibits by all member sports museums, hall of fame, or sports heritage organizations, regardless of size or budget, based upon a competition evaluated by ISHA members and communications professionals. With award categories covering books; non-book publications; marketing materials; education programming; and Hall of Fame inductions and/or annual event support materials, the ISHY Awards recognize outstanding achievements by the members of ISHA each year.
This marks the fourth straight year that the Museum has earned an ISHY Award with its 2020 feature remembering the 1955 Cannon Street All-Stars; 2019 feature spotlighting the iconic Story of the Little League Patch; and its 2018 feature, “It All Started Here,” produced for Little League International by 20/20 Visual Media. The award was presented to the Museum during the ISHA Virtual Conference on October 28, 2021.