Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The World of Little League to Officially Reopen in South Williamsport, Pa.

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Following nine months of construction and nearly two years of planning, Stephen D. Keener, Little League® Baseball and Softball President and Chief Executive Officer, will officially reopen of the renovated World of Little League: Peter J. McGovern Museum and Official Store, on Saturday, June 15, 2013.

The $4.3 million renovation project was designed by Cambridge 7 Associates of Cambridge, Mass. and constructed by Quandel Construction Group, Inc., of Harrisburg, Pa. Grand Reopening celebrations began on June 6, the 74th anniversary of the first-ever Little League game, with a special preview event. The celebrations continued throughout National Little League Week, which is officially recognized as the week leading up to Flag Day, June 14.

“When the Peter J. McGovern Museum opened in 1982, it was state of the art, but after 30 years, the Little League International Board of Directors faced a decision to completely renovate the museum or close it. We made the right choice,” said Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour, Pennsylvania College of Technology President and Little League International Board of Directors Chairman. “With the scheduled reopening of the World of Little League, we will once again have a museum that is on the cutting edge of technology and interaction, and is truly a showcase of the past, present and future of Little League®.”

On Saturday, June 15 at 9 a.m., Little League Vice President and Executive Director of the World of Little League, Lance Van Auken, will join Mr. Keener in welcoming the public, and special guests, including members of the 1955 Cannon Street YMCA Little League All-Stars of Charleston, S.C. (the team that brought Little League’s racial equality standards to the forefront) and Nadia Diaz (pitcher of a 19-strike out, six-inning Little League baseball game in New York in 2012), to the renovated museum.

Of the nearly 300 items displayed in the World of Little League, 200 of them have never been on display before. They include everything from Little League volunteer photographer, Russ Tinsley’s 1986 Emmy Award to a baseball signed by President George W. Bush to Little League Hall of Excellence enshrinee, Story Musgrave’s complete NASA spacesuit.

“The museum is a fixture of the Little League International Complex, and we could not be more thrilled to have the World of Little League reopen, at the end of National Little League Week,” said Mr. Keener. “It’s a celebration of all the things that Little League is about. We’re not just a youth sports organization, we are a leadership training program, and the World of Little League displays our baseball and softball history with the diverse accomplishments of so many of our Little League alumni and volunteers.”

The new museum and store are designed around a six-inning theme that allows visitors to have a self-guided, educational and interactive experience. Highlights of the museum include:

A 1934 game-worn, complete Babe Ruth uniform, on loan to the museum thanks to an anonymous donor, and baseball autographed by Mr. Ruth.

Two videos produced exclusively for the new World of Little League by ESPN.

Artifacts from Little League Founder, Carl E. Stotz’s personal collection, on loan to the museum thanks to the Stotz family.

Dr. Creighton J. Hale’s compressed air cannon used to fire baseballs at helmets to test safety, which lead to the development of the double-ear flap batter’s helmet.

Fourteen audio story moments and nine video story moments that include messages from Cy Young, Mr. Stotz, Cannon Street YMCA Little Leaguers, Peter J. McGovern and Dr. Creighton J. Hale.

The ACTIVE Network Global Connections Table, an interactive, touch-screen table that connects every local Little League in the world.

The Little League Museum Viewing Plaza.

A piece of the Berlin Wall.

Little League jerseys from: the 1939, inaugural Little League teams; Gary Carter; Mike Mussina; Doug Drabek; Ms. Diaz and more.

The Richard M. “Hank” Bauer Photography Exhibit, displaying the first-, second-, and third-place photographs from each of the past 13 years of the Little League Photo Contest.

Interactive simulations including a catcher’s station with Mr. Mussina and two Little League pitchers, a shortstop fielding station and a timed base running.

The World of Little League was made possible in part thanks to generous contributions from ACTIVE Network, the Easton Foundations, First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania and the Richard Bauer Memorial Fund.

The World of Little League: Peter J. McGovern Museum and Official Store will open to the public at 9 a.m on June 15.

The museum will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. General admission will be $5. Children under 4 years old are admitted free, and children 5-12 are admitted for $2. The senior admission fee is $3, for those 62 and older. Discounts are available for large groups booking in advance.