In commemoration of National Little League Week and as an additional level of support for the youth sports organization's Diamond Anniversary, MLB announced today that Little League will be a central component of activities surrounding the 85th Midsummer Classic in Minneapolis.
A group of Little Leaguers will march in the MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet, a free parade featuring 2014 MLB All-Stars through the streets of Minneapolis. The Little Leaguers will be front and center as they follow directly behind the Parade Grand Marshal, who will be announced at a later date. Additionally, two Little League players will walk to the mound prior to the 2014 All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 15th at Target Field with a Twins Legend who will be participating in the ceremonial first pitch. An annual All-Star tradition will continue in 2014 as the Little League Challenger Division will participate in the Challenger-Miracle League Game on Friday, July 11th. Special needs children from the Little League Challenger Division and Miracle League participants will play a one-inning game on the outfield of Target Field, with help of volunteers from the Twins.
"Children are the foundation of the National Pastime, and for 75 years Little League Baseball has brought our game, and the joys of playing it, to millions of young people," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "We are thrilled that Little League will be a part of our 85th Midsummer Classic in the Twin Cities and will participate in memorable All-Star festivities."
Throughout this season, Major League Baseball and its Clubs have been actively supporting the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Little League, primarily by hosting "Little League Days" or "Youth Baseball and Softball Days" at MLB ballparks.
MLB Clubs have hosted more than 90 youth baseball and softball theme dates at their ballparks so far this season, with more than 40 being specific to Little League Days. These youth-themed days at the ballpark are designed to celebrate Little League Baseball and Softball in the Clubs' local communities.
Little League is the world's largest youth sports organization, and in this 75th Anniversary year, the organization is incorporating an exciting slate of initiatives that celebrate the fundamental values of the program - community, family, friendly competition and relationships that last a lifetime. Little League was founded in 1939, when the first Little League game was played in Williamsport, Pa. on June 6th of that year.