MLB Little League Classic

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MLB Little League Classic
Bowman Field MLB Little League Classic 2017 01.jpg
Bowman Field during the 2017 game
SponsorGEICO
First played2017
SiteBB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Previous gameAugust 18, 2019
(Chicago Cubs 7, Pittsburgh Pirates 1)
Next gameAugust 23, 2020
(Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles)

The MLB Little League Classic is an annual Major League Baseball (MLB) game held in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, first played during the 2017 Little League World Series.[1] The series is part of MLB's effort to get more children interested in and involved with baseball at a younger age.[2]

History[edit]

After the success of the Fort Bragg Game between the Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in July 2016, reports spread that MLB was planning another similar event in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, which is the venue for the annual Little League World Series and home to the Williamsport Crosscutters of Minor League Baseball. Many locals of the area and reporters across the nation thought it was almost impossible due to the size and capacity of BB&T Ballpark, as seating for fewer than 3,000 fans seems much less than ideal for an MLB game. As the reports were dispelled by many, the news faded. However, a St. Louis Post-Dispatch column in early March 2017 stated that MLB was finalizing plans for the game.[3]

On March 9, 2017, MLB officially announced the first MLB Little League Classic, selecting the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals as the participants,[4][5] and released the following statement:[6]

"Major League Baseball's greatest responsibility is to ensure that today's youth become active participants in our game as players and fans. The 'MLB Little League Classic' exemplifies our entire sport's commitment to building a stronger connection between young people and the National Pastime. Our players will honor the great tradition of the Little League World Series and create lifelong memories for the Little Leaguers, their families and the city of Williamsport. I thank the Pirates and the Cardinals, Little League Baseball, Governor Wolf, the Crosscutters, the City of Williamsport, and ESPN for helping us organize an unforgettable weekend." — Rob Manfred, Commissioner of Baseball

Prior to the inaugural game, funding from MLB and grants from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania given to the City of Williamsport provided more than $4 million to improve BB&T Ballpark. These included adding new seats, padding around the infield fence, new irrigation and draining to the field itself, moving the bullpens out beyond the outfield fence, new dugouts closer to home plate, and improved dining areas.[7]

Josh Bell had four RBIs in the 2017 game.

The Pirates defeated the Cardinals, 6–3, in the first Classic, played on August 20, 2017.[8] In late September 2017, MLB announced that a second Classic would be held in 2018, between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies.[9] On August 19, 2018, the Mets won the second Classic, 8–2,[10] with MLB announcing a third Classic that same day.[11] The third Classic was played on August 18, 2019, with the Chicago Cubs defeating the Pirates, 7–1.[12] The fourth edition has been announced for August 23, 2020, between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles,[13] which will be the first Classic to be contested between American League teams.

Games[edit]

Game Date Winning team Losing team Attendance Ref.
2017 August 20 Pittsburgh Pirates 6 St. Louis Cardinals 3 2,596 [14]
2018 August 19 New York Mets 8 Philadelphia Phillies 2 2,429 [15]
2019 August 18 Chicago Cubs 7 Pittsburgh Pirates 1 2,503 [16]
2020 August 23 Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles   [13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ESPN to cover MLB Little League Classic August 20 in Williamsport".
  2. ^ "Pirates and Cardinals will attend the Little League games during the day and the little leaguers will attend the Major League game at night". WTAE. March 9, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  3. ^ Goold, Derrick (March 7, 2017). "Williamsport Calling". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved August 20, 2017 – via newspapers.com.
  4. ^ "Cardinals and Pirates have been selected to participate in the first "MLB Little League Classic"". STL Today. March 9, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  5. ^ "Major League Baseball has officially announced that the Pirates and Cardinals will take the field on August 20th in Williamsport". Pittsburgh CBS Local. March 9, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  6. ^ "MLB ANNOUNCES LITTLE LEAGUE CLASSIC". baseballamerica.com. March 9, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  7. ^ "Crosscutters Baseball Field Gets Upgrade Thanks to MLB". wnep.com. April 4, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  8. ^ "Cardinals vs. Pirates - Game Summary". ESPN. August 20, 2017. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  9. ^ Trezza, Joe (September 29, 2017). "Phils, Mets to play in MLB Little League Classic". MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  10. ^ "Mets vs. Phillies - Game Summary". ESPN. August 19, 2018. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  11. ^ Randhawa, Manny (August 19, 2018). "Bucs, Cubs to match up in 2019 LL Classic". MLB.com. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  12. ^ "Quintana, Rizzo lead Cubs past Pirates 7-1 at LLWS". AP. August 18, 2019. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  13. ^ a b "Red Sox, O's to play in '20 Little League Classic". MLB.com (Press release). August 7, 2019. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
  14. ^ "Pittsburgh Pirates 6, St. Louis Cardinals 3". Retrosheet. August 20, 2017. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
  15. ^ "New York Mets 8, Philadelphia Phillies 2". Retrosheet. August 19, 2018. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
  16. ^ "Cubs vs. Pirates - Box Score". ESPN. August 18, 2019. Retrieved August 18, 2019.