1. Who We Are
  2. Awards Program

George and Barbara Bush Little League® Parents of the Year

The George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award, established in 1980, is presented annually to the parents of a Major League Baseball player who were actively involved in their son’s Little League experience. More than recognition of one set of parents annually, the Parents of the Year Award is designed to be a symbolic recognition of the millions of mothers and fathers who each year respond to the call of parental duty and help provide a wholesome healthy arena for leadership training for the children of their respective communities.

The award is named for former President Bush and his wife Barbara, who were volunteers during their children’s early years in Texas, and continue to support Little League today. The award is presented during the Little League Baseball World Series held in August in South Williamsport, PA.

Award Winners

  • 2017 - Laurie and John Rizzo

    Every parent wants to see their child succeed in life and accomplish their dreams. For a Little League® parent, that could be seeing their child make it to the major leagues, play in a World Series, or even better, win it.

    John and Laurie Rizzo got to see their son, Anthony Rizzo, achieve that dream last year when he helped the Chicago Cubs win their first World Championship in 108 years. But before they saw Anthony raise the Commissioner’s Trophy, the Rizzo’s were avid volunteers as both Anthony and their other son, John, played Little League growing up in Florida.

    Mr. and Mrs. Rizzo’s hard work, dedication, and guidance to Parkland (Fla.) Little League and the entire Little League organization earned them the prestigious honor to be named as the 2017 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year.

    Read More

  • 2016 - George and Laura Springer

    Through it all, George and Laura Springer look back not at the on-field accomplishments of their children, or their own sporting successes, but how they have been able to support their hometown community, and create opportunities for their children and their neighbors’ children to learn the lessons of hard work, dedication, sportsmanship, and so much more on the Little League fields in Connecticut.

    The Springers return to Williamsport for the World Series regularly. In 2016 they will be guests of honor, having been named the 2016 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year. Established in 1980, the recognition is presented annually to the parents of a Major League Baseball player who were actively involved in their son’s Little League experience. More than recognition of one set of parents annually, the Parents of the Year Award is designed to be a symbolic recognition of the millions of mothers and fathers who each year respond to the call of parental duty and help provide a wholesome healthy arena for leadership training for the children of their respective communities.

    Read More

  • 2015 - Charlie and Joan Frazier

    Charlie and Joan Frazier have raised three boys who were all drafted into the big leagues. Their hard work, patience, and guidance with their sons were just three of the many reasons they were named the 2015 George and Barbara Bush Little League® Parents of the Year.

    The Frazier’s level, steady and grounded approach to the successes and failures of their children over time has prepared each to excel both on and off the field.

    Read More

  • 2014 - Tony and Robin Rasmus

    For the family of Tony and Robin Rasmus, Little League® has been a binding thread of their lives. Their four sons (Colby, Cory, Cyle, and Case) have thrived on the baseball field, all four advancing through to the collegiate and/or professional level, but it is the respect for the life lessons learned between the lines and reinforced by Mr. and Mrs. Rasmus that has earned them the recognition as the 2014 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year.

    The Rasmuses enduring support and commitment to their children and the Little League program will be honored at the 68th Little League Baseball World Series in South Williamsport, Pa., during an on-field ceremony on Saturday, August 23.

    Read More

  • 2013 - Keith and Cheryl Zimmerman

    The Zimmermans have transitioned from a Little League family into a Major League Baseball family with a philanthropic mission. And Little League is honored to recognize Keith and Cheryl Zimmerman as the 2013 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year.

    “Our Little League parents are vital to our organization and help to ensure that all Little Leaguers have a wonderful experience on the field and off,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League Baseball and Softball President and CEO. “We are proud to thank all of our Little League parents by recognizing the accomplishments of Mr. and Mrs. Zimmerman. Their dedication over the years to their children, and the family’s passion for helping others in working for a cure for Multiple Sclerosis is an inspiration in many ways.”

    Read More

  • 2012 - David and Alba Gonzalez

    For the family of David and Alba Gonzalez, Little League has been a binding thread of their lives. Sons, David, Edgar and Adrian have thrived on the baseball field, with two reaching the Major Leagues, but it is the respect for the life lessons learned between the lines and reinforced by David, Sr., and Alba, that has earned them recognition as the 2012 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year.

    In recognition of the Gonzalezes enduring support and commitment to their children and the Little League program, they will be honored at the 66th Little League Baseball World Series later this month in South Williamsport, Pa.

    Read More

  • 2011 - Mike and Jocyelyn Victorino

    Dedication to family and community were the cornerstones of Shane Victorino’s childhood, and the Philadelphia Phillies outfielder has his parents, Mike and Joycelyn, to thank for that, which is why Little League International will honor them this August as the 2011 recipients of the George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award.

    “What you sow is what you reap,” Mrs. Victorino, who lives in Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii, with her husband, said. “When our boys were growing up, we felt like it was our obligation and responsibility to get involved by volunteering. During Shane and Mikey’s Little League years, my husband would be a coach or manager, while I was team mom and handled my children’s team’s finances.”

    Read More

  • 2010 - Margie Sabathia-Lanier

    Every child depends on an adult figure to guide, mentor and assist them in their development. New York Yankee pitcher CC Sabathia’s mom, Margie Sabathia-Lanier, played a large role in molding him into the person he is today, both on and off the field.

    “My mom went beyond the call of duty as a Little League mom and was certainly the best mom a kid could have,” Mr. Sabathia, who led the American League with 19 wins last season, said. “Not only did she work the snack bar, but she also played catch with me. She would suit up in her catchers gear day after day until one day a pitch I threw came in so hard it was too difficult to handle. Still, she was amazing. She’s been my personal pitching coach from those early days in Little League and still is today.”

    Read More

  • 2009 - Dwight and Linda Inge

    Playing four different positions in his nine seasons with the Detroit Tigers, Brandon Inge has shown his versatility, adaptability and willingness to do whatever is asked to help the team. Brandon’s parents, Dwight and Linda, shared and promoted many of those same qualities during their years as volunteers in the Lynchburg (Va.) Little League.

    In recognition of the Inge’s enduring support and commitment to their children and the Little League program, they will be honored as the 2009 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year at the 63rd Little League Baseball World Series later this month in Williamsport, Pa.

    Read More

  • 2008 - Richard and Kathy Verlander

    Pitching for the Detroit Tigers, Justin Verlander has experienced much success on the field, including an appearance in the 2006 Major League Baseball World Series and throwing a no-hitter in 2007. Although displaying grit, intensity and competitiveness on the mound, his compassion and grounded persona away from the field remain a tribute to his parents, Richard and Kathy.

    In recognition of the Verlanders enduring support and commitment to their children and the Little League program, they will be honored as the 2008 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year at the 62nd Little League Baseball World Series later this month in Williamsport, Pa.

    Read More

  • 2007 - Gene and Dori Bonderman

    Pitching for the Detroit Tigers, Jeremy Bonderman has experienced much success on the field, including an appearance in the 2006 Major League Baseball World Series. Although displaying grit, intensity and competitiveness on the mound, his compassion and grounded persona away from the field remain a tribute to his parents, Gene and Dori.

    In recognition of the Bondermans’ enduring support and commitment to their children and the Little League program, they will be honored as the 2007 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year at the 61st Little League Baseball World Series later this month in Williamsport, Pa.

    Read More

  • 2006 - Joyce M. Guy

    Raising a child who one day grows up to play Major League Baseball is often a father’s dream, but for Florida Marlins’ pitcher Dontrelle Willis it is his mother, Joyce M. Guy, who is now enjoying watching her son live the dream after taking on the singular roles of disciplinarian, support giver and life fan.

    Mr. Willis attributes his successes on the field, and off, to his mother, who he calls his hero. The commitment and sacrifices made by Ms. Guy will be recognized this month when she becomes the first single parent to be presented with the George and Barbara Bush Parents of the Year Award at the 2006 Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

    Read More

  • 2005 - Mr. & Mrs. Jose Valentin, Sr.

    The 2005 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award recipients were Mr. & Mrs. Jose Valentin, Sr.

  • 2004 - Mr. & Mrs. Charles Johnson, Sr.

    The 2004 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award recipients were Mr. & Mrs. Charles Johnson, Sr.

  • 2003 – Mr. & Mrs. Joe Varitek

    The 2003 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award recipients were Mr. & Mrs. Joe Varitek.

  • 2002 – Mr. & Mrs. Eddie Hoffman

    The 2002 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award recipients were Mr. & Mrs. Eddie Hoffman.

  • 2001 – Mr. & Mrs. Carlos Delgado

    The 2001 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award recipients were Mr. & Mrs. Carlos Delgado.

  • 2000 - N/A

    No award was presented.

  • 1999 - Charles and Dorthy Jeter

    Charles and Dorothy Jeter, parents of New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, were named recipients of the 1999 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award, it was announced today by Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball.

    “The entire Jeter family was involved in Little League,” said Mr. Keener. “Mr. and Mrs. Jeter volunteered countless hours to the children of their community. Obviously, that dedication had a positive effect on Derek.”

    Add Link to story

  • 1998 – Dr. John & Mrs. Ginger McGwire

    The 1998 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award recipients were Dr. John & Mrs. Ginger McGwire.

  • 1997 – Mr. & Mrs. Lee Caminiti

    The 1997 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award recipients were Mr. & Mrs. Lee Caminiti.

  • 1996 – Mr. & Mrs. Malcolm Mussina

    The 1996 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award recipients were Mr. & Mrs. Malcolm Mussina.

  • 1995 – Mr. & Mrs. Leonard Greenwell

    The 1995 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award recipients were Mr. & Mrs. Leonard Greenwell.

  • 1994 – Mr. & Mrs. John Olerud

    The 1994 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award recipients were Mr. & Mrs. John Olerud.

  • 1993 – Mr. & Mrs. Frank Thomas

    The 1993 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award recipients were Mr. & Mrs. Frank Thomas.

  • 1992 – Mr. & Mrs. Frank Dravecky

    The 1992 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award recipients were Mr. & Mrs. Frank Dravecky.

  • 1991 – Mr. & Mrs. Tony Drabek

    The 1991 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award recipients were Mr. & Mrs. Tony Drabek.

  • 1990 – Mr. & Mrs. Warren Scott

    The 1990 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award recipients were Mr. & Mrs. Warren Scott.

  • 1989 – Mr. & Mrs. Carl Yastrzemski

    The 1989 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award recipients were Mr. & Mrs. Carl Yastrzemski.

  • 1988 – Mr. & Mrs. Orel Hershiser, Jr.

    The 1988 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award recipients were Mr. & Mrs. Orel Hershiser, Jr.

  • 1987 – Mr. & Mrs. Lynn Nolan Ryan, Sr.

    The 1987 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award recipients were Mr. & Mrs. Lynn Nolan Ryan, Sr.

  • 1986 – Mr. & Mrs. Charles Murphy

    The 1986 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award recipients were Mr. & Mrs. Charles Murphy.

  • 1985 – Mr. & Mrs. James Carter

    The 1985 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award recipients were Mr. & Mrs. James Carter.

  • 1984 – Mr. & Mrs. Max Palmer

    The 1984 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award recipients were Mr. & Mrs. Max Palmer.

  • 1983 – Mr. & Mrs. John Hernandez

    The 1983 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award recipients were Mr. & Mrs. John Hernandez.

  • 1982 – Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Garvey

    The 1982 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award recipients were Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Garvey.

  • 1981 – Mr. & Mrs. Jack Schmidt

    The 1981 George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award recipients were Mr. & Mrs. Jack Schmidt.