Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dr. Creighton J. Hale, Former Little League® President and CEO, Retires from Little League International Board of Directors After 60 Years of Service

Dr. Creighton J. Hale, former Little League
International President and CEO, working
on developing the catcher’s mask with his
air cannon in the 1950s.
South Williamsport, Pa.  – Since January 1, 1955, Little League® International has benefitted from the wisdom and leadership of Dr. Creighton J. Hale. On April 7, 2014, he announced his retirement from the Little League International Board of Directors, after nearly 60 years with the organization. The announcement came at the 26th Little League International Congress in Minneapolis, Minn.

Dr. Hale, 90, started at Little League as the Director of Research. His baseball innovations changed the way the game was played, and his vision helped make Little League a fabric of societies throughout the world. He served as Little League President from 1973 to 1994, and was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 1983. He was the second full-time Little League President in the history of the organization. From 1994 to 2001, Dr. Hale served as special advisor to current President and CEO, Stephen D. Keener. 

“Little League would not be what it is today without the dedication of Dr. Hale,” said Mr. Keener. “Through his years of service, his Little League legacy is one of the biggest in the history of the youth sports. I could not have asked for a more dedicated mentor during my early years with the organization, and Little League is forever grateful for Dr. Hale’s lasting impact on the program for the last 60 years.”

Prior to joining Little League, Dr. Hale was an Associate Professor of Physiology at Springfield (Mass.) College. Earning degrees from Colgate University, Springfield College and New York University, he is originally from Hardy, Neb. Dr. Hale’s research and inventions have led to the development of the double ear-flap batter’s helmet, catcher’s helmet, chest protector with throat guard, and the non-wood baseball bat. As Little League President, he oversaw vast expansion of the Little League program domestically and abroad, the creation of Little League Softball® and the Little League Challenger Division®, and provided millions of children the opportunity to play baseball and softball.

“Dr. Hale’s impact on Little League goes beyond his leadership role in making Little League the largest and most respected youth sports organization in the world,” said Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour, Little League International Board of Directors Chairman. “His dedication to the safety and well-being of children has impacted millions of people globally, and will continue to for a very long time.”

In addition to his advances in safety equipment for baseball, Dr. Hale’s research also lead to the development of the Kevlar helmet and the lightweight bullet-proof vest. His work has lead Dr. Hale to receive countless honors both locally in the Williamsport community, and nationally, from USA Baseball, the White House, the American College of Sports Medicine, and more.

Dr. Hale’s seat on the Little League International Board of Directors will be assumed by Stephen P. Johnson, President and CEO of Susquehanna Health, located in Williamsport, Pa. Dr. Hale lives in Williamsport with his wife Beverly.