The 28th Little League® International Congress officially got underway with the Opening Convocation at the Community Arts Center in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, on June 10, 2022. Upon entry to the event, attendees were greeted with a performance by a quartet from the Williamsport Area High School, exemplifying another tremendous display of artistic talent within the local Williamsport community.
Recognizing a Little League Community in Need
Prior to the start of the Opening Convocation, Little League International took a moment to recognize the members of the Uvalde, Texas, community who were impacted by the tragic events that occurred at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022. Of the 19 children and two adults that tragically lost their lives during the events on May 24, more than half of the children were confirmed to have been involved within the Uvalde Little League program, including six of whom were registered to play during the 2022 season. To honor the families, volunteers, and players affected by the tragedy, Little League International awarded Uvalde Little League with the 2022 Carl E. Stotz Little League Community Award, which was presented to Rachel Lathe, Texas District 21 Administrator, on behalf of the league and will share the award with them during the district tournament later this month. Learn more about Uvalde Little League and the Carl E. Stotz Little League Community Award.
A Look Back Through History
Following the award presentation, the Little League International Congress kicked things off with a look back into history in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Little League Baseball® World Series (LLBWS) in August. With the support of children actors from the Williamsport Community Theater League performing on stage, a welcome message from 1989 LLBWS alumnus Chris Drury, and a voiceover by longtime ESPN broadcaster Brent Musburger, attendees had a chance to experience the history of the Little League World Series from its initial conceptualization to the international spectacle it has become today. Following the performance, attendees were welcomed with a performance of the National Anthem of the United States of America by Williamsport native Michael Fisher (a recipient of the 2021 Carl E. Stotz Little League Baseball Scholarship), and the reading of the Little League pledge by the four youth performers from the Community Theatre League.
Recognizing the Chairman’s Award Winner
After welcoming dignitaries from throughout the Williamsport and Pennsylvania community, Little League International Board of Directors Chairman Hugh E. Tanner took to the stage to present the 2022 Little League Chairman’s Award to Gerry Davis, retired MLB umpire and dedicated supporter of the Little League program. Learn more about Mr. Davis’ connection to the Little League program and tremendous accomplishments in his career.
Celebrating 75 Years of the LLBWS
After reliving the past four years since the 27th International Congress in New Orleans through a retrospective video, Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO, welcomed three graduates of the LLBWS to the stage to participate in a panel discussion about the impact the event has had on their lives, and what it means to celebrate the 75th Anniversary this August in Williamsport. Joining Mr. Keener for the discussion was Jose “Pepe” Maiz (1957 LLBWS) of Monterrey, Mexico; Todd Frazier (1998 LLBWS) of Toms River, New Jersey; and Luke Ramirez (2009 LLBWS) of Chula Vista, California.
Official Welcome, Courtesy of A.D. STARR
Following the conclusion of the Opening Convocation at the Community Arts Center, Congress attendees were invited over to the Madigan Library at the Pennsylvania College of Technology for a Welcome Reception, presented by A.D. STARR, where the Diamond Anniversary exhibit created by the World of Little League® Museum and Penn College was on display and District Administrators had a chance to connect with fellow volunteers from around the world.
To see the full Congress schedule, as well as stay up-to-date with all the latest news, information, and resources, Congress attendees are encouraged to download the Congress App by visiting LittleLeague.org/Congress.