The first Little League baseball game was played on June 6, 1939. The Little League World Series, which kicks off Thursday, August 18th, is now in its 65th year. Up to 45,000 fans can pack the stadium for the championship game and a million more watch it live on television.
The Little League Baseball World Series is just one of eight championship tournaments played each year. The Little League Softball World Series, for example, plays it’s title game this afternoon. Texas’ Midway All-Stars (SW regional champs) will defend their title against an Illinois team (Central regional champs) in Portland, Oregon. The game will be broadcast on espn2.
This is actually the 37th year since girls were first allowed by rule to play Little League Baseball in 1974 (although the
first girl to actually play Little League did so in 1950 in Corning, N.Y. – Kathryn “Tubby” Johnson). Through 2010, 15 girls have played in the Little League Baseball World Series.
The first, Victoria Roche, was in 1984. She played for a team that represented Brussels (Belgium) Little League.
The 2004 Little League Baseball World Series marked the first time that two girls played in the same World Series.
The other girls who have participated in the Series are: Victory Brucker, Eastview Little League, San Pedro, Calif., 1989; Kelly Craig, Trail Little League, Trail, British Columbia, Canada, 1990; Giselle Hardy, Arabian American Little League, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, 1991; Krissy Wendell, Brooklyn Center (Minn.) American League, 1994; Sayaka Tsushima, Kashima Little League, Osaka, Japan, 1998; Alicia Hunoly, Ramstein Little League, Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany, 1999; Tatiana Maltseva, Khovrino Little League, Moscow, Russia, 2001; Sanoe Aina, Waipio Little League, Waipahu, Hawaii, 2002; Merced Flores, Central Little League, Agana, Guam, 2003; Meghan Sims, Owensboro (Ky.) Southern Little League, 2004; and Alexandra Bellini, East Nepean Little League, Ottawa, Canada, 2004; Brelle Meno, Southern Guam Little League, Yona, Guam, 2008; Katie Reyes, Hastings Community Little League, Vancouver, British Columbia; and Bryn Stonehouse, Arabian American Little League, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, 2009.Two women have coached a team in the Little League Baseball World Series: KathyBarnard, Lynn Valley Little League, North Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1993; andBarbara Zuelli, Emilia (Italy) Little League,2008.
There have also been a number of female who have officiated at the Little League Baseball World Series: Betty Speziale (Dunkirk, N.Y., 1989) was the first woman to umpire in the Little League Baseball World Series. Flora Stansberry (Seneca, Mo., 2001) was the first woman to umpire behind the plate in the Little League Baseball World Series Championship Game. Lo Mei Yan (Hong Kong, 2006) was behind the plate for the 60th Little League Baseball World Series Championship Game.
Congrats to all – and hopefully the list will grow in the future.