Monday, January 26, 2015

Little League® International Congratulates New Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred

Stephen D. Keener (L) and Rob Manfred at Howard J. Lamade Stadium
during the 2014 Little League Baseball World Series
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa.  – Little League® International congratulates Rob Manfred on assuming his new role of Baseball Commissioner. Mr. Manfred, the first Little League graduate to hold the position, succeeds Allan H. (Bud) Selig, who retired after 22 seasons as Commissioner.

“Since the earliest days of the organization, Little League has had a wonderful relationship with Major League Baseball and the office of the Commissioner,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “We wish Mr. Selig a wonderful retirement, and we are very eager to work with proud Little League graduate, Rob Manfred, to help grow the games of baseball and softball.”

Mr. Manfred played Little League Baseball at Rome (N.Y.) Little League. After his election in August, one of Mr. Manfred’s first acts as Commissioner-Elect was visiting the Little League Baseball® World Series. During his visit, Little League presented Mr. Manfred with a copy of his Little League roster from the archives at the World of Little League®: Peter J. McGovern Museum and Official Store.

“I am very interested in the whole topic of young people in baseball,” said Mr. Manfred in a recent interview with MLB Network. “The first thing I did after the election was I went to the Little League World Series, I had not been to Williamsport before, I’ve had a lot of great experiences since August; that may be one of the best. We’re going to engage fully all the way down the ranks of baseball to try to encourage youth participation.”

Little League’s support from the office of the Baseball Commissioner dates back to the fifth Commissioner, Bowie Kuhn, who was a Little League Foundation Trustee. That relationship with the office of the Commissioner continued with Peter Ueberroth, who worked with Little League on creating the Urban Initiative Program; A. Bartlett Giamatti, to whom the Little League Eastern Regional Headquarters are dedicated to; Fay Vincent, who helped Little League raise the funds needed to expand the Little League Baseball World Series to its current 16-team structure, and the organization’s relationship with Mr. Selig, which was highlighted with Major League Baseball’s support of the 75th Anniversary of Little League in 2014.

“For more than 75 years, Little League has been at the forefront of providing fun baseball and softball experiences for children around the world,” said Mr. Keener. “We are encouraged that Mr. Manfred is committed to growing the game through youth outreach and excited to work closely with the Commissioner and his staff to accomplish this goal.”