Granderson returns to Urban Youth Academy

Dodgers outfielder imparts wisdom to kids in second visit to facility

Granderson returns to Urban Youth Academy

While playing for the Tigers in 2009, Curtis Granderson held a baseball clinic at the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif., which was then 3 years old. About 50 kids, wearing their own baseball clothes, turned out to work with the young outfielder that day.

Fast forward eight years and Granderson, fresh off celebrating clinching the 2017 National League West title with his new Dodgers teammates, returned to Compton, this time dressing more than 160 young players in shirts emblazoned with "Curtis Granderson's Grandkids," provided by the veteran's foundation.

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Ben Platt is a national correspondent for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bronx Play Ball event a celebration of stickball

Local youth learn basics of game as NYESL partners with MLB, Yankees

Bronx Play Ball event a celebration of stickball

NEW YORK -- Slowly, the blacktop field came together, one chalk baseline at a time. By the time the lines were drawn, River Avenue had been transformed.

Draped with murals and soaked in history, this South Bronx street has flanked the eastern edge of the Yankees experience for nearly 100 years. On game day it becomes a block party, with fans spilling out of Yankee Stadium -- from the first-base gate at the old version, the right-field gate at the new -- onto the neighborhood's main strip of bars and souvenir shops.

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Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tournament 12 features top Canadian talent

Tournament 12 features top Canadian talent

TORONTO -- Tournament 12 was back in action on Saturday at Rogers Centre in Toronto as the top young Canadian amateur baseball players showcased their talent for college and professional scouts.

After a scouting day on Friday, Saturday featured a slate of six games, with eight teams taking the field. After the final two games of the preliminary round are played Sunday morning, the top two teams from each pool will play in the semifinals for a spot in the championship game at 6:00 p.m. ET.

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Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based on Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Naylor cherishes lessons of Tournament 12

Brother of Padres prospect is creating buzz in amateur circles

Naylor cherishes lessons of Tournament 12

TORONTO -- Tournament 12 means different things to different players. Some of the young Canadian amateurs at Rogers Centre this weekend are looking to put their name on the map for the first time, while others, like Noah Naylor, are padding an already-stacked resume.

Even in his third T12 and coming off a year of high-profile baseball experiences, the 17-year-old Mississauga, Ontario, native still cherishes the opportunity to take the field in Toronto.

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Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Shannon Ford

Play Ball joins in for Worldwide Day of Play

Event at Prospect Park encourages youth participation in baseball, softball

Play Ball joins in for Worldwide Day of Play

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Wiffle balls flew over the fences at MLB's Play Ball event as part of Nickelodeon's Worldwide Day of Play in Prospect Park on Saturday morning, leaving only smiles and the sound of elated cheers in their dust.

"We think it's important to connect with the community, and being here at Prospect Park and partnering with Nickelodeon's Worldwide Day of Play event is hugely successful," said Tony Reagins, MLB's senior vice president of youth programs. "We expect about 3,000 kids coming through our Play Ball Park feature here today."

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Shannon Ford is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @Shannon__Ford. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Abram shows growth in Tournament 12

17-year-old pitcher goes four strong for Ontario Green

Abram shows growth in Tournament 12

TORONTO -- It's hard to miss a 6-foot-8 pitcher like Dellin Betances or Doug Fister standing atop a 10-inch Major League mound. When that towering right-hander is a 17-year-old Canadian who throws strikes, heads really turn.

Ben Abram, one of the premier young arms at Tournament 12 in Toronto this weekend, threw four strong innings in Ontario Green's 5-3 win over Ontario Black on Friday night at Rogers Centre. The Georgetown, Ontario, native allowed one run on three hits with three walks and six strikeouts. His velocity sat in the mid-80s and touched 87 mph multiple times. Abram understands those numbers will continue to grow into his 235-pound frame.

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Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tournament 12 showcases Canadian talent

Fifth annual event underway at Rogers Centre this weekend

Tournament 12 showcases Canadian talent

TORONTO -- The fifth annual Tournament 12 got underway Thursday at Rogers Centre in Toronto, showcasing Canada's 160 best young amateur baseball players with college eligibility. The event runs through Sunday.

Eight teams represent every Canadian province and will play a four-game round-robin before the top two teams from each pool advance to the playoff round Sunday. The event, run by Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar, also features a scout day Friday, during which the players get valuable exposure in front of college and pro scouts.

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Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

D-backs host National Play Campaign event

Club educates youngsters on health, injury prevention and more

D-backs host National Play Campaign event

PHOENIX -- Hours before the D-backs were scheduled to face off with the Rockies on Wednesday, the outfield at Chase Field was flooded with kids sprinting, jumping and hurdling their way through a series of drills as D-backs head athletic trainer Ken Crenshaw shouted words of encouragement.

Chase Field played host to a National PLAY Campaign event on Wednesday with the goal of educating local kids on everything from healthy eating, injury prevention, strength and conditioning, and education about the dangers of illegal performance and appearance-enhancing drugs as they ran through a series of stations.

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Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

U.S. beats Canada behind Casas' 5 RBIs

First baseman goes 3-for-4 at U-18 Baseball World Cup

U.S. beats Canada behind Casas' 5 RBIs

USA Baseball opened the Super Round of the U-18 Baseball World Cup with an 8-3 win over Canada in front of a raucous crowd Thursday in Thunder Bay, Canada, led by five RBIs from first baseman Triston Casas.

Casas wreaked havoc on Canada pitching all night, starting with a bases-loaded single in the first inning to open the scoring. Considered a top prep talent for the 2018 MLB Draft, Casas finished the night 3-for-4 with a homer, double and walk.

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Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

USA Baseball 18U team reaches Super Round

USA Baseball 18U team reaches Super Round

The USA Baseball 18U National Team is moving on to the Super Round of the 2017 World Baseball Softball Confederation U-18 Baseball World Cup as one of two undefeated teams in the tournament.

Team USA beat Cuba, 8-1, on Tuesday in its last game of Group B pool play in Thunder Bay, Canada, to improve to 5-0 at the World Cup. Korea, in Group A, is also undefeated. Super Round play begins on Thursday, with the U.S. waiting on the results of two remaining games on Wednesday to have its schedule determined.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Shannon Ford

Top 14U players match up in Perfect Game

Top 14U players match up in Perfect Game

FORT MYERS, FL -- Although a friendly matchup of teen All-Stars, Sunday's 14U Perfect Game Select Baseball Festival has already featured some impressive competition.

Mississippi slugger Blaze Jordan is among the 40 best age 14 and under players who were selected to play in Sunday's game at JetBlue Ballpark, the Spring Training home of the Boston Red Sox  (tonight at 7 ET on FOX Sports and streamed live on MLB.com). One of the leadup events included a Home Run Derby, where Jordan gave fans a sneak preview of the talent pool by knocking five dingers out of the Major League practice field with apparent ease.

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Shannon Ford is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @Shannon__Ford. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Japan wins Little League World Series

Japan wins Little League World Series

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Japan overpowered Texas in the Little League World Series championship game, 12-2, on Sunday. The victory marks the fifth time that a Japanese team has won the title since 2010.

Even though the gutsy squad from Lufkin, Texas, came up short of the ultimate prize, the team advanced further than any Southwest region or Texas team ever had.

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Mike McCormick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

LLWS was invaluable experience for Bellinger

Dodgers' rookie star went to US final with Chandler, Ariz., in 2007

LLWS was invaluable experience for Bellinger

Nobody knew who he was at the time, but that sweet, smooth Cody Bellinger swing -- the one that would come to captivate the baseball world -- first hit national television sets 10 years ago.

It was the 2007 Little League World Series, and Bellinger's team from Chandler, Ariz., made it all the way to the U.S. bracket final before losing to the eventual champion from Georgia. But Bellinger made his mark, going 3-for-3 with an opposite-field home run in one of the games.

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Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Texas, Japan to meet in LLWS title game

Texas, Japan to meet in LLWS title game

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Lufkin, Texas', Mark Requena belted a dramatic two-run homer with his team down to its final three outs Saturday, sending the Southwest region champs to the Little League World Series championship game.

In a rematch against Greenville, N.C., for the U.S. Championship, Lufkin again had its hands full, but was able to come back from a 5-0 deficit to win, 6-5.

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Mike McCormick is an editorial director for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rizzos are Little League Parents of the Year

Rizzos are Little League Parents of the Year

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Ice cream if you win. Ice cream if you lose.

That was the philosophy to which the Rizzo family held firm during Anthony Rizzo's Little League days.

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Mike McCormick is an editorial director for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Japan tops Mexico, earns spot in LLWS final

Japan tops Mexico, earns spot in LLWS final

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- The team from Japan started Championship Weekend at the Little League World Series with a bang.

Facing a red-hot Mexico team in the International Championship at Lamade Stadium, the Kitasuna Little League from Tokyo rode a four-run first inning all the way to a spot in the world championship game with a 5-0 win.

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Mike McCormick is an editorial director for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Talented kids are up to Challenge at LLWS

Talented kids are up to Challenge at LLWS

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Playing in front of a raucous crowd made up of parents, friends and several of this year's Little League World Series teams -- including Australia and the Northwest Region's Walla Walla Valley Little League -- the Challenger Division squads from Freehold Township, N.J., and Riverside, R.I., got a chance to showcase their talent, pride and spirit Saturday.

The Challenger Program, according to the league's website, is Little League's adaptive baseball program for individuals with physical and intellectual challenges. 

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Jake Schwartzstein is an editor for Major League Baseball. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Team USA finalizes 18U roster for World Cup

Americans will go for fourth consecutive gold medal in September

Team USA finalizes 18U roster for World Cup

MINNEAPOLIS -- It is a day that outfielder Jarred Kelenic will never forget.

Kelenic, a left-handed-hitting outfielder from Waukesha, Wis., was named to to the Team USA 18U roster following the final intrasquad scrimmage at Target Field on Thursday. But more importantly, Kelenic had a chance to pay tribute to his grandfather, who was a lifelong Twins fan, and ultimately passed away on May 4 of last year while watching a Twins game.

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Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

What's in a (nick)name? Ask Little Leaguers

MLB players aren't the only ones with unique monikers

What's in a (nick)name? Ask Little Leaguers

Williamsport is not about to miss out on the inaugural Players Weekend. For every "Boomstick" and "Joey Bats" roaming the Major Leagues, Little Leaguers have their own share of great nicknames.

Since unfiltered fun and creativity dominate the dugouts of youth ball, it comes as no surprise that this year's Little League World Series teams have nearly as many entertaining monikers as there are players on their roster.

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Mike McCormick is an editorial director for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Top 10 championship games in LLWS history

Top 10 championship games in LLWS history

A week of festivities, fun and friendly competition concludes Sunday when the Little League World Series hosts its 71st championship game. Two teams -- Lufkin, Texas, from the United States and Tokyo Kitasuna of Japan from the international bracket -- will battle to become the last squad standing from the 16-team field.

With talented youngsters showcasing their love for the game in a winner-take-all scenario, it's no wonder that the LLWS final has provided some of the most iconic moments in the history of America's pastime. In no particular order, here are 10 championship tilts that made viewers just as excited as the kids who played in these games.

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Dylan Hornik is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Top 10 Little League World Series performances

Top 10 Little League World Series performances

The Little League World Series is 70 years old this summer, and in that time, the tournament has showcased it all. More than 50 no-hitters. Even more grand slams. A handful of perfectos. Seven decades' worth of champions.

Through all of the marvels and milestones, several Little Leaguers have left indelible legacies with their individual feats, team results aside. In no particular order, the players below -- among them future Major Leaguers and regular Joes alike -- represent the Top 10 performers in Little League World Series history.

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Allison Duffy-Davis is a contributing editor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Southeast gives up first hit of LLWS

Double by Requena spoils Greenville's effort to tie no-hitter record

Southeast gives up first hit of LLWS

Forget the bats for one day -- Wednesday pitchers were in charge at Williamsport, Pa.

New England's Ethan Righter got things started appropriately in Wednesday's first Little League World Series game, as the right-hander shut down and eliminated the high-powered Mid-Atlantic (Jackson, N.J.) offense in a 12-2 win. Three Japan (Toyko) pitchers followed suit, allowing just one hit to Canada in a 10-0 victory.

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Mike McCormick is an editorial director for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

LLWS recap: NE, Japan, NC moving on

LLWS recap: NE, Japan, NC moving on

And then there were three.

Facing elimination in the first Little League World Series game on Wednesday, New England exploded for 12 runs to knock Mid-Atlantic out of the tournament. There are now just a trio of teams remaining from the United States. Only one will reach the championship game.

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Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter at @OMacklinMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Flushing YMCA kids get lessons on wellness

PLAY campaign visits Citi Field; Blevins, Sewald answer questions

Flushing YMCA kids get lessons on wellness

NEW YORK -- Roughly seven hours before the Mets and D-backs took the field Tuesday at Citi Field, 48 members of the Flushing YMCA took the field as part of the national PLAY campaign, which partners with the training staff from all 30 MLB teams to raise awareness about children's health issues and the obesity epidemic in the United States.

For almost two hours, the participants were divided into groups and rotated through a series of stations, touching on everything from healthy eating, injury prevention and strength and conditioning. Tavis Piattoly of the Taylor Hooton Foundation, which teaches young people about the dangers of anabolic steroids and other appearance and performance-enhancing drugs, advised the youngsters to value nutrition instead of opting for a shortcut in steroids.

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Chris Bumbaca is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

LLWS rundown: Aussies erupt, beat Midwest

LLWS rundown: Aussies erupt, beat Midwest

Tuesday's slate of games in the Little League World Series started with a bang.

Playing in Consolation Game B, Team Australia defeated Team Midwest, 11-7, in an exciting first game of the day. The Aussies are now scheduled to take on Great Lakes in the next round of the consolation bracket.

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Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter at @OMacklinMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Soccer star Leroux earns LLWS honor

US Women's National Team forward and daughter of a Major Leaguer comes back to baseball roots

Soccer star Leroux earns LLWS honor

In an uplifting message to girls across the country on Monday night, U.S. Women's National Team forward and women's sports advocate Sydney Leroux became the fifth woman to be enshrined in the Little League Hall of Excellence.

Leroux has helped the USWNT to a pair of gold medals since her debut with the senior team in 2012. She also plays for FC Kansas City of the National Women's Soccer League and has played in the league since its inception in 2013.

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Dylan Hornik is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

LLWS rundown: Mexico, Mid-Atlantic prevail

LLWS rundown: Mexico, Mid-Atlantic prevail

Following a thrilling opening weekend of baseball in Williamsport, Pa., the 2017 Little League World Series continued to provide plenty of intrigue on Monday.

Great Lakes defeated Europe-Africa in Consolation Game A before Mexico then eked out a tight victory over Asia-Pacific, and Mid-Atlantic defeated West in a high-scoring contest.

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Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter at @OMacklinMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Superstitions plentiful among LLWS players

Superstitions plentiful among LLWS players

Big league ballplayers are a notoriously superstitious bunch, but if the first weekend of the 2017 Little League World Series has proven anything -- aside from the fact that these 12-year-olds can rake -- it's that they give Major Leaguers a run for their money when it comes to quirks.

The Japan team rubs teammate Ryuto Konno's shaved head for good luck. Numerous players tuck a coin into their uniform pockets. And the New England boys, according to skipper Michael Randazzo -- a former Minor Leaguer -- snack on Haribo Roulette gummy bears.

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Allison Duffy-Davis is a contributing editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Did you know? Little League Classic

Watch Cards-Bucs from Williamsport on ESPN tonight at 7 ET

Did you know? Little League Classic

Big leaguers take a nostalgic stage of sorts tonight, as the Cardinals and Pirates meet in Williamsport, Pa., mere miles from the site of the Little League World Series. The matchup is historic in many ways, particularly due to the town's rich baseball history and unique nature of the event.

Here are a few interesting facts to digest ahead of tonight's game:

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

History 'n' the shaking: Cards-Bucs, Bravo!

Little League Classic caps weekend in Williamsport

History 'n' the shaking: Cards-Bucs, Bravo!

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Big league dreams came true on Sunday night at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field.

The first MLB Little League Classic between the Pirates and Cardinals wasn't just a home run, it was a grand slam.

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Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.