Over the years, Greg Bzura has managed to accumulate a number of impressive achievements. He has sat on the City of Taylor (Mich.) City Council, been enshrined in both the Taylor and Wyandotte sports halls of fame and has been the only tournament director for the Junior League Baseball World Series (JLBWS) since he helped establish the event in 1981.
With all these accreditations, Mr. Bzura has been described as many things. But this standout Little League® volunteer is best known in Taylor as a selfless, devoted community leader who has made an impact on the lives of teenage Little Leaguers® everywhere.
After nearly 60 years as a Little League volunteer, Mr. Bzura is stepping down from his position as tournament director for the Junior League Baseball World Series. He spent nearly half of his adult life in or around the Taylor South Little League Complex, transforming the JLBWS from a four-team American tournament into a 12-team international event with the 40th edition of the tournament being played this August.
At first, the Junior League Baseball World Series was established in order to provide 13-year-olds with a World Series event and the event quickly began to grow, with Puerto Rico becoming the first international team to play in 1982.
In 1999, Mr. Bzura and his fellow volunteers again expanded the JLBWS, providing the once-in-a-lifetime experience of playing in a World Series tournament to thousands more Little Leaguers by including 14-year-olds and additional international teams to include players from every corner of the world.
Using his motto of “no one is bigger than the program,” Mr. Bzura worked alongside hundreds of like-minded volunteers to build the event into a worldwide spectacle.
“On behalf of everyone at Little League International, and all those who have had the pleasure to experience the Junior League Baseball World Series over the past 40 years, we are thankful to Greg for his unwavering commitment to this incredible event and congratulate him on a well-deserved retirement from his role as tournament director,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “Greg was instrumental in bringing this World Series to the City of Taylor, and thanks to his leadership and support, we continue to be able to provide hundreds of teenage baseball players this unique opportunity each summer. We wish him well in his next chapter and look forward to continuing to work with his son, Dan, on the future of this memorable event.”
Even though Greg Bzura will be moving on from the tournament director role at the JLBWS, the Bzura name will not soon be forgotten in Taylor. Mr. Bzura’s son, Dan, has taken on a larger role at the JLBWS in recent years and has been elected to take the reins as tournament director and follow in his father’s footsteps.
“I couldn’t be more proud of my father’s lifetime dedication to Little League and the Junior League Baseball World Series,” said Dan Bzura, “I am very lucky to have him as a role model in my life, and am thrilled that he is staying on in a consulting capacity to help the JLWS grow and prosper.”
The father and son duo will reverse roles with Dan Bzura at the helm and Greg Bzura as his righthand man, as the Junior League Baseball World Series gets underway on Sunday, August 14, at 11 a.m. ET on ESPN+.
While the Southeast and Central Region champions square off in game one at the Taylor South Little League Complex, Greg Bzura will enjoy the tournament he created from the stands for the first time ever, watching as his son adds a new chapter to the Junior League Baseball World Series story.