Left to Right: Karl Ravech, Jessica Mendoza, and Kyle Peterson.
Following another exciting year covering the Little League Baseball® World Series, ESPN hosts Karl Ravech, Jessica Mendoza, and Kyle Peterson will join volunteers from around the world at the 27th Little League® International Congress in New Orleans on January 19-22, 2018.
“The Little League International Congress is an exciting time for the entire Little League program and having the opportunity to welcome these three individuals to our most important event will be a great experience for all the volunteers who attend,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “The dedication that Karl, Jessica, and Kyle have shown to the Little League program, both during the Little League Baseball World Series and throughout the year, has been truly remarkable, and it is an honor to invite them to our event in New Orleans this January.”
During their time at Congress, each of the ESPN hosts will have the opportunity to interact with Little League’s top volunteers to talk about the future of the organization, share their experiences during smaller group sessions, and spotlight signature ceremonies on the closing day of the event.
A member of ESPN since 1993 and the host of Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown since 1995, Mr. Ravech has been a major influence in the sports broadcasting industry and an instrumental contributor to the coverage of the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport each year.
Most recently, Mr. Ravech served as the voice of ESPN’s coverage of the 2017 MLB Home Run Derby and has also hosted ESPN’s coverage of the Major League Baseball playoffs and World Series dating back to 1995. Additionally, he has anchored ESPN’s college basketball studio wraps operation. In the fall of 2000, Ravech followed Tiger Woods’ quest for the Grand Slam while hosting ESPN’s golf coverage at Pebble Beach, St. Andrews, and Valhalla. Along with his work covering the Little League Baseball World Series with ESPN, Mr. Ravech has always been a big supporter and friend of the Little League program and has attended multiple Little League-hosted events throughout his career.
During the Little League International Congress, Mr. Ravech will serve as the emcee of the Chairman’s Banquet, the official closing ceremony of the event, held on January 22. Mr. Ravech also served as the emcee during the 24th Little League International Congress in Houston in 2007. In addition to his role at Congress, Mr. Ravech has previously attended the Little League International Awards Breakfast, narrated a film on the Little League Baseball World Series for the World of Little League® Museum, and personally thanked the volunteers of the Little League program in a tribute video.
A two-time Olympic medalist, co-chair of the Women’s Sports Foundation Athlete Advisory Panel, and Little League coach and mom, Jessica Mendoza has served as a major role model for women in sports throughout her illustrious career. Ms. Mendoza has been a member of the ESPN family since 2007 and in 2016 was officially named to the Sunday Night Baseball team as an analyst. The announcement was made after a historic 2015 for Ms. Mendoza, who became the first female analyst for a nationally televised MLB Postseason game. A few months prior, she became the first female ESPN MLB game analyst during the August 24, 2015 edition of Monday Night Baseball and earlier in the year became the first female analyst for a Men’s College World Series telecast.
Along with her accolades at ESPN, Ms. Mendoza is also a two-time Olympian and was a member of the U.S. Women’s National team from 2001-10. She is both a three-time World Champion (2002, 2006, 2010) and World Cup Champion (2006, 2007, 2010), in addition to being a two-time Pan American Gold Medalist (2003, 2007). In 2006, she was named the USA Softball Athlete of the Year and was also recognized in 2008 as the Women’s Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year. In college, Ms. Mendoza was a four-time first team All-American while playing outfield at Stanford University. She led the Cardinals to their first ever Women’s College World Series appearance and finished her college career with school records that are still held today in: batting average (.416), hits (327), runs scored (230) and career home runs (50). She was also named a three-time Stanford Female Athlete of the Year and a First Team Academic All-American in 2002.
Along with spending time speaking at the Little League Softball® sessions at the Little League International Congress, Ms. Mendoza will join Mr. Peterson as special guests during the Volunteer Recognition Breakfast on January 22.
A former pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers, Kyle Peterson has been working with ESPN since 2003 as an analyst for Little League, College, and Major League Baseball events. Throughout his broadcast career, Mr. Peterson has served on a pair of Emmy-nominated events in the 2003 Little League Baseball World Series and the 2004 Major League Baseball Playoffs.
Mr. Peterson’s professional baseball career began in 1997 when he was drafted 13th overall in the first round of the MLB Draft after a standout career at Stanford University where he was named a two-time Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year (1995, ’97) and led the Cardinals to the College World Series in two of his three seasons on the squad. In 1999, Mr. Peterson made his major league debut and in 2002 officially retired from playing baseball. Within a year after retirement, Mr. Peterson made his debut with ESPN and since then has offered his expertise and insights to baseball fans of all ages around the world.
During the Little League International Congress, Mr. Peterson will join Ms. Mendoza as special guests during the Volunteer Recognition Breakfast on January 22.
About Little League® International Congress
First launched in 1956, the purpose of the International Congress is to chart the course of the world’s largest organized youth baseball and softball program. More than a thousand Little League volunteers from around the globe attend the Little League International Congress, held once every four years. For more information on the Little League International Congress in New Orleans, visit LittleLeague.org/Congress.