Sure, Clayton Kershaw and Yasiel Puig play for the Dodgers now, but all MLB athletes had to start from more humble beginnings. That’s where the Little League comes in. Check out these 5 must-know facts about this amazing American sporting event!
1. It’s not just an American sport.
The U.S. is best known for three things — warm apple pie, red plastic cups (thanks Steve Stifler) — and baseball! The Little League World Series is actually an international tournament that welcomes young players from all over the world. The most recent World Series champions come from Tokyo, Japan, and the country with the most medals (17) is Taiwan.
2. The championship game is just on the horizon!
The Little League World Series takes place in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, where the organization was originally founded. The big tournament kicked off on Aug. 18 and will run through Aug. 28, which means the championship game is only a few days away! There are a total of 16 teams competing, and the last time an America team made it to the finals was in 2014 when Chicago, Illinois competed against Seoul, South Korea.
3. It’s free (kind of) and tons of fun!
Hey parents, listen up, just ONE entrance fee of $75 gets your kid set up with travel costs and housing accommodations during the tournament. The majority of the costs are handled by Little League International. And, if your kid is sleeping at one of the dormitories, expect no extra fees for snacks and dinner!
4. Yes, GIRLS ARE ALLOWED.
What kind of sexist world would we live in if girls weren’t allowed to play baseball? Chicks can do anything these days! So far, there have been 12 girls who played in the Little League World Series. Setting the trend was Victoria Roche, the first-ever girl to sign up and kick butt in 1984. She played for Brussels, Belgium.
5. The Little League is more progressive than the MLB!
Did you know that the Little League World Series was accepting of different races WAY before the MLB ever was? The Little League has ALWAYS accepted players of different races, but the MLB wasn’t an integrated company until 1947.
HollywoodLifers, will YOU be watching the Little League Series on Aug. 28?