Play Ball!

Play Ball!

The Story of Little League Baseball

Book - 2001
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Pennsylvania State Univ Pr

On any given spring evening, 360,000 children around the world can be found on the dusty mounds and grassy fields of a Little League field. With more than four million people playing or volunteering in Little League games every year, Little League is the institutional rite of passage into the quintessential American pastime.

Play Ball! charts Little League’s history from the earliest days and shows how, in many respects, its history parallels America’s history. A microcosm of American society, Little League reflects, and is affected by, cultural, political and historical trends. Today, Little League is played on 12,000 fields in every U.S. state and in 103 other countries on six continents, and The Little League Baseball World Series, played annually in Williamsport, is watched by crowds of 40,000 each year in person, and by more than ten million on ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

The authors were given full access to the Little League Baseball archives and have created a fully illustrated and comprehensive history. Play Ball! contains appendixes including winners of all Little League Baseball and Softball World Series, a year-by-year history of Little League, countries in Little League, and lists of some of the famous people who played the game as children, including Kevin Costner, Mark McGwire, and George W. Bush.

Play Ball! will interest parents, former players and coaches, fans of Little League Baseball, general baseball enthusiasts, and anyone who has ever picked up a ball and bat.

Baker & Taylor
Chronicles the history of Little League baseball from its 1938 inception in Williamsport, Pennsylvania into the present, and discusses Little League's struggle with civil rights, gender equality, and foreign players.

Book News
The Van Aukens (formerly a sportswriter, Lance is now director of media relations for Little League; Robin is an editor and journalist) researched the Little League archives to produce this well-illustrated history. Readers will learn of the founding and development of the league, its spread to 103 countries, the history of the Little League World Series, the careers of famous Little Leaguers as adults (in politics as well as baseball), and the lengthy legal battle of girls persisting to be included. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: University Park, Pa. : Pennsylvania State University Press, c2001.
ISBN: 9780271021188
Characteristics: xvii, 243 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 29 cm.
Additional Contributors: Van Auken, Robin


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