1. Who We Are
  2. Awards Program

Carl E. Stotz Little League® Community of the Year Award

When Carl E. Stotz organized the first Little League® season in 1938, he leaned on the Williamsport community for support. On June 6, 1939, the first Little League game was played, and the local businesses and residents played a significant role in the success of that first year. Today, Little League is the hallmark of more than 6,500 communities around the world. To recognize the importance of local Little League programs to the fabric of society in their hometowns, Little League established the Carl E. Stotz Little League Community Award.

The Carl E. Stotz Little League Community of the Year Award is focused on honoring a league that creates a player-centric culture and is aligned with the goals of the Little League International Strategic Plan. Eligible leagues will carry some, if not all, of the following traits: inclusive, diverse, softball/female participation, high-quality experience, meets the needs of underserved communities, removes barriers of entry, etc. The recipient league earning this award will also be presented with a $5,000 grant to support their efforts.

Previous Award Winners

  • 2023 - Snug Harbor Little League (Staten Island, N.Y.)

    Aaron Weber, Dennis Thomson, and Brian McClintock at Snug Harbor Little League Opening Ceremonies
    Aaron Weber (Little League East Region Director), Dennis Thomson (Snug Harbor Little League President), and Brian McClintock (Little League Senior Communications Executive)

    On April 14, 2023, the phrase “Friday Night Lights” took on a whole new meaning as Snug Harbor Little League in Staten Island lit up its ballfields for the first time ever thanks to the support of Musco Lighting and the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Fund (YDF).

    Installing the lights was no overnight project, however, but rather the culmination of a multi-year vision from Snug Harbor Little League’s former League President, Anthony Varvaro, who was tragically killed in a vehicle accident on September 11, 2022. A former MLB pitcher who also served as a Port Authority Police Officer when not volunteering for Little League, Mr. Varvaro was an iconic figure throughout his Staten Island community and was committed to creating the best possible Little League experience for all the players, volunteers, and families throughout his community.

    “Anthony’s dedication to the Snug Harbor community serves as an inspiration for our Little League volunteers all around the world, and we are pleased to present his league with the 2023 Carl E. Stotz Community of the Year Award,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “We are grateful for our dear friends at Musco Lighting, as well as the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, for contributing to this great league and for making these renovations that Anthony dreamed of years ago a reality this year.”


  • 2022 - Uvalde (Texas) Little League

    Congress Uvalde Award

    In the wake of the tragic events that occurred at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022, Little League® International has announced Uvalde (Texas) Little League as the recipient of the 2022 Carl E. Stotz Little League® Community Award.

    Of the 19 children and two adults that tragically lost their lives during the events on May 24, more than half of the children were confirmed to have been involved within the Uvalde Little League program, including six of whom were registered to play during the 2022 season.


  • 2021 - No Award

    There was no award presented in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 2020 - No Award

    There was no award presented in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 2018 - Northeast Los Angeles (Calif.) LL

    Northeast Los Angeles (Calif.) Little League

    Located in Elysian Park, Los Angeles, the Bishop Canyon fields have been home to Northeast Los Angeles Little League for more than 20 years. Unfortunately, over a 10-year period, the land underneath the Bishop Canyon fields has slowly deteriorated and eventually led to the league’s concession stand being shut down by the city, halting the flow of revenue that allows the league to operate each year. Unable to cover its necessary expenses, the league was forced to cancel its 2017 season.

    Fortunately, Northeast Los Angeles Little League League President Sergio Villasenor, who has been with the league since 2000 and served as League President since 2004, was able to fight for his league and work alongside the Mayor of Los Angeles, the Bureau of Engineering, the Department of Sanitation, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and a large group of volunteers to successfully revise the complex and bring the league back to its community in just one year. Based on Mr. Villasenor’s persistence and the dedication of his league to the entire Los Angeles community, Little League® is proud to present Northeast Los Angeles Little League with the 2018 Carl E. Stotz Little League Community Award.


  • 2017 - Rowan LL (Salisbury, N.C.)

    receiving award

    Located nearly halfway between Charlotte and Greensboro in North Carolina, the city of Salisbury has been the home of Rowan Little League since 1988. For more than three decades, the league has become part of the fabric of the Salisbury community, with outstanding volunteer service while also serving as the hosts of the Junior League and Senior League Softball Southeast Regional Tournaments. Recognizing the important role that Rowan Little League plays in the community, Little League has selected Rowan Little League as the recipients of the 2017 Carl E. Stotz Little League® Community Award.

    Read More

  • 2016 - Michael J. Buczek LL


    There’s an old saying in sports that you play for the name on the front of the jersey, not the one on the back. But in the Police Officer Michael J. Buczek Little League in New York City, it’s just the opposite, as the names on the back are that of fallen New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers.

    To recognize the league’s 28-year commitment to both the Washington Heights and greater NYPD communities, Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO, presented the Buczek Little League, with the third annual Carl E. Stotz Little League® Community Award, including a $5,000 grant, at a special ceremony in New York City at the Michael J. Buczek Ballfield.

    Read More

  • 2015 - Boardman (Ohio) Community LL

    Celebrating its 60th Anniversary in 2015, Boardman (Ohio) Community Little League has been part of the fabric of society in the township since 1955. From its beginning, the organization was an early adopter of Little League International’s various programs – establishing their Little League Softball® program in 1975, the year after it was introduced. In 1989, the league became the home the Ohio District 2 Challenger Program, the year Little League launched that division for children with physical and intellectual challenges. A team from Boardman Community Little League also won the first-ever Junior League Baseball World Series in 1981.

    Read More

  • 2014 - South LL

    South Little League Community Award

    To recognize the importance of local Little League® programs to the fabric of society in their hometowns, Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO, presented the inaugural Carl E. Stotz Little League Community Award to South Little League of South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

    Read More