When baseball started in the late 19 century, there were no classification of the age and players played together regardless of their age. This had some of the disadvantages compared to now. There are many misconceptions about Little League Baseball and this piece will address all the issues that entail this important league in baseball.
The amazing story of Little League cannot be complete without a mention of Carl Stotz. Before the era of organized baseball for the young people, there were no means in which young people could be nurtured to play baseball. They were insignificant by default. However, Carl Stotz saw a chance to help his two nephews in playing a game that he loved in a more organized and in a formal way. This noble idea was conceptualized in Pennsylvania in a small town then called Williamsport. His main idea apart from getting his nephews to play baseball in a more organized and in a formal way, he also wanted to experiment on what can work and what cannot work in terms of equipment and the general rules to young players.
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This whole idea of an organized and a fully functioning baseball for the young people made him do the expected during that time and that was gathering all the young people in that town to play baseball. It is important to note that after this bold step, no game in an official way the young people played.
A year later, the founder was able to convince other like-minded baseball lovers to be the first managers of different teams around Pennsylvania. These managers were, Mr. Bert Bebble and his friend Mr. George Bebble. Together, they were able to actualize the first successful league that comprised of only the young players that were full of love for the game.
The Growth of the Little League
From the initial conceptualization, the league has been in constant growth. It is important to note that the league was founded in a very hard time in the history of the USA and the world at large. This was during the onset of the Second World War. It is interesting to note that the league survived the war. The Little League was one of the few things that kept the young generation of baseball players hopeful.
In 1946, the league experienced it first ever expansion from a neighborhood organization to an amazing competitive league of twelve (12) leagues. This was more than just a step to the initial founders who never saw the idea embraced by a whole state. As from the following years, the Little League was embraced in other states where baseball, where there was love for baseballs such as the New Jersey and this, improved the level of competition among different teams featured in these leagues.
From the 1950s to 1974, there was the contentious issue of who is supposed to play in the league. Initially, the rules where not clear and this created an opportunity for a single girl that wanted to challenge the status quo of baseball. Although she was later stopped from playing in a league, she created such a great impact that led to the creation of girls Little League. This was in 1974.
From this era, the Little League has been a huge success for many. The league has been a home to world known leaders such as George W. Bush. This shows the impact of growing the league has been able to accomplish over the years.
Classifications in the Little League
There are many classifications of this league and all based on the player’s age. The main idea of classifying the players in different categories is to give each player a chance to be competitive and at the same time, giving them the needed visibility. It is common for these two vital aspects to lack if players of different ages play together. Some of the major leagues include the following. There is an exception of Big League Baseball. Although this league was initially classified in this category, it was removed in 2006 due to some technical factors.
First, there is the traditional Little League, which is the oldest in this category. It only accommodates players that are aged nine years and twelve years. Second, there is Intermediate League Baseball. This league, unlike the previous one, only accommodates players from eleven to 13 years.
What are some of the vital equipment for playing in the Little League?
Just like senior and professional leagues, this league has a set of specific equipment that the young player must have. The equipment varies in price and durability and each piece of equipment has many variations due to different companies’ makings.
The first piece of equipment is a baseball bat. There are two main makes of bats that are allowed in this league. These makes are aluminum and the composite makes. The drop of the bat must be corresponding to the specific league and in this case, it must be -12 to -9 depending on the age and the strength of the player. Second, the young baseball player must have a correct baseball cleat and although parents may find baseball cleats expensive, they offer the best experience. Third, other equipment such as pants, gloves, and helmets should be of the right size for a better experience.