Little League International Welcomes Visitors to Newly-Envisioned World of Little League
Following nine months of construction and nearly two years of planning, Stephen D. Keener, Little League® Baseball and Softball President and Chief Executive Officer, officially reopened the renovated World of Little League: Peter J. McGovern Museum and Official Store, on Saturday, June 15, 2013.
The $4.3 million renovation project was designed by Cambridge 7 Associates of Cambridge, Mass. and constructed by Quandel Construction Group, Inc., of Harrisburg, Pa. Grand Reopening celebrations began on June 6, the 74th anniversary of the first-ever Little League game, with a special preview event. The celebrations continued throughout National Little League Week, which is officially recognized as the week leading up to Flag Day, June 14.
The new World of Little League: Peter J. McGovern Museum and Official Store is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.
“When the Peter J. McGovern Museum opened in 1982, it was state of the art, but after 30 years, the Little League International Board of Directors faced a decision to completely renovate the museum or close it. We made the right choice,” said Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour, Pennsylvania College of Technology President and Little League International Board of Directors Chairman. “With the reopening of the World of Little League, we will once again have a museum that is on the cutting edge of technology and interaction, and is truly a showcase of the past, present and future of Little League®.”
On Saturday, June 15 at 9 a.m., Little League Vice President and Executive Director of the World of Little League, Lance Van Auken, joined Mr. Keener in welcoming the public, and special guests, including members of the 1955 Cannon Street YMCA Little League All-Stars of Charleston, S.C. and Nadia Diaz (pitcher of a 19-strike out, six-inning Little League baseball game in New York in 2012), to the renovated museum.
Of the nearly 300 items displayed in the World of Little League, 200 of them have never been on display before. They include everything from Little League volunteer photographer, Russ Tinsley’s 1986 Emmy Award to a baseball signed by President George W. Bush to Little League Hall of Excellence enshrinee, Story Musgrave’s complete NASA spacesuit.
“The museum is a fixture of the Little League International Complex, and we could not be more thrilled to have the World of Little League reopen, at the end of National Little League Week,” said Mr. Keener. “It’s a celebration of all the things that Little League is about. We’re not just a youth sports organization, we are a leadership training program, and the World of Little League displays our baseball and softball history with the diverse accomplishments of so many of our Little League alumni and volunteers.”
The new museum and store are designed around a six-inning theme that allows visitors to have a self-guided, educational and interactive experience. Highlights of the museum include:
- A 1934 game-worn, complete Babe Ruth uniform, on loan to the museum thanks to an anonymous donor, and baseball autographed by Mr. Ruth.
- Two theaters: The Rotunda Theater, showing a seven-minute video focusing on Little League at the local level. And the Dugout Theater, presented by the Easton Foundations, a reproduction of the home team dugout at Lamade Stadium, featuring a film on the Little League Baseball World Series, narrated by ESPN’s Karl Ravech.
- Artifacts from Little League Founder, Carl E. Stotz’s personal collection, on loan to the museum thanks to the Stotz family.
- Thirteen audio story moments and nine video story moments that include messages from Cy Young, Mr. Stotz, Cannon Street YMCA Little Leaguers, Peter J. McGovern and Dr. Hale.
- The Global Connections Touch Table Presented, an interactive, touch-screen table that connects every local Little League in the world.
- The Little League Museum Viewing Plaza.
- A piece of the Berlin Wall.
- Little League jerseys from: the 1939, inaugural Little League teams; Gary Carter; Mike Mussina; Doug Drabek; Ms. Diaz and more.
- The Richard “Hank” Bauer Photography Exhibit, displaying the first-, second-, and third-place photographs from each of the past 13 years of the Little League Photo Contest.
- Interactive simulations including: A catcher’s station with Mr. Mussina and two Little League pitchers, a shortstop fielding station and a timed home plate to first base running exhibit.
The World of Little League was made possible in part thanks to generous contributions from the Easton Foundations, First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania and the Richard Bauer Memorial Fund.
The World of Little League: Peter J. McGovern Museum and Official Store opened to the public at 9 a.m on June 15.
The museum is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. General admission will be $5. Children under 4 years old are admitted free, and children 5-12 are admitted for $2. The senior admission fee is $3, for those 62 and older. Discounts are available for large groups booking in advance.
Above: Visitors interact with the Global Connections Touch Table.
Below: Stephen D. Keener, Little League Baseball and Softball President and CEO (left), and Jim Darby, Senior Executive at Easton Sports, at the Fifth Inning: World Series Gallery presented by Easton Foundations.
Above: Jill Bauer, program host for QVC, and her mother, Karen at the Richard "Hank" Bauer Jr. Photography Exhibit showcasing the top three finishers of the annual Little League Photo Contest.
Below: Karen Stotz Myers, daughter of Little League founder Carl E. Stotz, and Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour, Pennsylvania College of Technology President and Little League International Board of Directors Chairman, admiring a collection of Mr. Stotz's Little League artifacts in Second Inning: Heritage Gallery.
Above: The Little League Museum Viewing Plaza, made possible with the support of the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania.
Below: Dugout welcomes visitors to the World of Little League at the Grand Reopening.
Above (left to right): Augustus Holt, John Bailey, and Vermont Brown, in front of the audio story moment for the 1955 Cannon Street YMCA Little League.
Below: Joe Cammarata kneels next to his brother, Michael's photo on the mirrored mural wall. Michael, a Little League Hall of Excellence Honoree, was a rookie firefighter who lost his life on Sept. 11, 2001 and was a member of the 1991 South Shore American Little League in Staten Island, N.Y. that played in the Little League Baseball World Series.
Above: Two young World of Little League visitors about to test their skills at the museum's shortstop simulation wall.
Below: A patron clocks his home-to-first speed on the base path simulation.