Throwback Thursday by Matson Insurance: Little League

Matson Insurance is partnering with Jefferson County History Center to offer exploreJeffersonpa.com readers a look in Jefferson County’s past. Today “Little League” is being showcased.

[Pictured above: Brookville’s Little League All-Stars are pictured from a season long past. (JCHS Collection)]

The following article was written by Carole A. Briggs, Curator, Jefferson County History Center:

LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL IN BROOKVILLE

The city of Williamsport gave birth to Little League Baseball in 1939. Teams of boys between the ages five to 12 played on a reduced-size field. Their goal—to play in the “World Series” in Williamsport!

Little League baseball first appeared in Brookville in 1950. Tom White described the field at the Memorial Park as “a beautiful ball-park…encircled by a green, wooden fence. Behind centerfield was a manually operated scoreboard where inning-by-inning totals were post-ed. The scoreboard had lights, which let the players, managers, the crowd, and yes, even the umpires, know the ball-strike count and the number of outs. The lights were operated by the official scorekeeper who sat in the press box be-hind home plate.”

Tom also reminded his readers of the dug-outs that filled with water after a sudden rain-storm!

Local businesses, Brookville Creamery, Fulton Chevrolet, Sterck’s, and Riverside Market, supported the first teams to play in 1950. The passage of Title IX in 1972 led to a Little League rule change the next year that allowed girls to play in 1974. Did Brookville girls try out that year? If so, the History Center’s not been able to document it!

Today both boys and girls try out for many divisions and play the all-American sport. Tee Ball is for ages five to eight. Minors are ages seven to 11. Little League or the Majors are ages nine to 12. Juniors are ages 13 to 14. Both baseball and softball are available for older persons, and there is also a division for children with disabilities.

What was once a pick-up game on a sandlot has become a well-organized activity for young people in communities throughout all fifty states and more than eighty countries. Each year more than 20,000 teams worldwide are hearing the call “Play Ball!”

[email protected] County Historical Society, Inc.

Throwback Thursday is brought to you by Matson Insurance in Brookville.

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Submitted by the Jefferson County History Center.


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