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Remembering the Good Old Days

/ Source: WBRE

South Williamsport, Lycoming County-

We've shown you plenty of what the current Little League World Series is all about.

But now we're heading back in time with some of the founding members of youth baseball, to show you a small slice of how things used to be.

Step foot onto the grounds of Carl E. Stotz Field in Williamsport, and you can't help but feel the history ingrained here.

This is where youth baseball began, with a three-team league set up for Stotz's nephews and other neighborhood boys.

Original League player Al Yearick recalled, "Boy, to play with new bats and balls, with managers and umpires, I mean it was a dream come true."

It was a place where people got along. They left their equipment on the field- sharing it- so everyone could play the game they loved.

Original League founding member Bert Haag noted, "If a boy didn't have a glove, he'd go out and pick one of those gloves up and put it on and play. And it was a happy family situation."

It's now known as the Original League, separate from today's Little League. But the games, they still go on.

Original League Past President William Fritz explained, "This is where it all began. And we give each kid that plays here a certificate stating that he played at the birthplace of Little League baseball."

For the few left who were here when it all began, it's an experience they will always cherish.

Haag said, "I have a feeling that I was in something that really meant something in our society."

And all the men here hope people will remember and honor Carl Stotz for his role as the pioneer of the game they love.

Yearick recalled, "At his funeral the preacher said, If there was ever a 13th disciple, he was it. And that's what he meant to all of us."

Fritz added, "Lord knows what my health would be like if I wasn't here doing this. I love the kids. I love the fans. Basically I just love Little League baseball."

And in a ceremony that some say is long overdue, Little League International will honor the founding members of the Original League.

The celebration will happen during championship weekend of this year's Little League World Series.


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