Happy Little League Week! We’re always happy to honor our friends at Little League Baseball®. This year is extra special, because it marks the 75th Anniversary of the Little League Baseball World Series.
The championship game began in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in 1947. The organization itself was relatively small at that point. Over the ensuing three-quarters of a century, the popularity of the World Series has helped Little League grow to become the largest youth sports organization in the world.
When the organization, which had been founded eight years earlier, introduced the Series in 1947, teams existed only in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, according to the Little League website. Soon, the program’s success spread to communities in every state (48 at the time) and even into Canada, Panama and Hawaii.
A Tradition is Born in South Williamsport
In 1959, the same year Alaska and Hawaii became the 49th and 50th states, the LLWS moved to Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, where it remains today. The round-robin style tournament draws players and fans from all over the world. To date, 28 different countries and 42 U.S. states have sent teams to the World Series.
Change came to the game in 1974, when courts ruled that Little League had to allow girls to play, not just boys. That same year, Little League Softball, exclusively for girls, also began, with its own World Series. To date, 20 girls have played in the baseball World Series, according to the organization, and 300,000 girls participate in the softball program.
From humble beginnings in Pennsylvania, Little League has grown to include approximately 2,000,000 players in every U.S. state and more than 80 other nations around the world, according to Little League.
Trading Pins Are a Beloved Part of the Game
One of the most popular traditions of the LLWS is trading pins. Players, spectators, coaches, parents and even umpires exchange custom pins at the tournament. Since the organization introduced its first official trading pins in 1983, the popularity of them has exploded. For some people, the opportunity to trade pins at Lamade Stadium is almost as popular as the games themselves.
We’ve had the privilege of supplying many of the teams playing in the tournament with trading pins for nearly 20 years. We’re happy to play a role in the fun of the legendary event.
For more information about custom baseball or softball trading pins, click here.