The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


May 12, 2014

‘Little League: A History’ premieres June 9 on WVIA

PITTSTON — The WVIA Original Documentary Film, “Little League: A History,” narrated by legendary baseball broadcaster Vin Scully, chronicles and celebrates Little League’s 75-year contribution to American culture and to the quality of life for millions around the world, is set to premiere at 7 p.m. June 9 on WVIA-TV and throughout the summer on PBS stations across the country.

The world’s largest organized youth sports program grew from a lilac bush, tripped over in the summer of 1938 by Carl Stotz, a young-at-heart uncle playing catch with his nephews in his hometown of Williamsport.

Stotz promised the boys he’d find a field they could play on that was scaled for their size, and that they’d have uniforms and proper equipment. Then he set out to make good on his promise, and in doing so he would make history. The first Little League game was played in Williamsport on June 6, 1939, and the original league had three teams and 30 players.

Today, more than 2 million boys and girls play Little League Baseball and Softball. Local leagues can be found in every state and worldwide in more than 80 countries. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers manage, coach, or in some way support the organization.

The documentary features appearances by former Little League players, historians and to impart a human touch to the historical highlights. Interviewees include: President George W. Bush, the only President to have played Little League; Allan “Bud” Selig, Major League Baseball  Commissioner; former Los Angeles Dodger Owner Peter O’Malley; current Seattle Mariners’ manager Lloyd McClendon; current Cincinnati Reds star Todd Frazier; John Thorn, the official historian for Major League Baseball; former NASA Space Shuttle Commander Story Musgrave; James Gehron, nephew of Little League  founder Carl Stotz and one of the two boys for whom Stotz invented Little League in 1939; Karen Stotz Myers and Monya Stotz Adkins, Carl Stotz’s daughters; Kathryn “Tubby” Johnston Massar, considered to be the first girl to ever play Little League  in 1951; and three surviving members of the original Little League team formed in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in 1939.

The production was shot on-location in 11 states and in Japan, and includes many archival photographs that capture Little League’s history and are being presented on television for the first time.

“Millions of Americans know about Little League,” remarks WVIA’s Creative Director for Documentary Films Greg Matkosky. “Yet the intimate intensity of those memories often overshadows an awareness of Little League’s extraordinary evolution and contemporary dimension. The film reintroduces America to one of its own iconic institutions, and reminds us of how powerful a bond the game of baseball is between generations.”

“For 75 years and counting, Little League has brought families, neighbors, and whole communities together to cheer on and support their teams,” said WVIA Public Media President, CEO and Executive Producer Tom Currá. “Now through the efforts of our Emmy award winning team, ‘Little League: A History’ goes deep past the fences of your neighborhood ballpark into the American institution that is Little League.”

Text Only
  • Celebratory mass at St. Monicas

    July 30, 2014

  • Summer Nutrition

    There was a cooking program at Sunnybrook Park in Danville on July 28 to teach students about the new healthy eating standards, called "My Plate."

    July 29, 2014

  • Those Sunday Drivers

    Sunday nights are busy at the Beaver Springs Dragway in PA.

    July 28, 2014

  • Bikers roll to support Sharon Budd and her family

    Saturday's motorcycle ride raised $7,758 for Sharon Budd, an Ohio woman who was struck in the face by a rock dropped from an overpass along Interstate 80 in Union County as she and her family were driving to New York.

    July 28, 2014

  • Civil Air Patrol Glider Flight

    Aubrey, a member of the Civil Air Patrol #522 based in Selinsgrove, takes a glider flight over Pennsylvania.

    July 26, 2014

  • Ask Izzy: Secrets & Sibling Revenge

    Izzy talks about how to deal with a friend who tells all your secrets and what to do when your brother causes all the fights.

    July 26, 2014

  • Splish Splash at Degenstein Library

    July 24, 2014

  • Summer Reading

    July 24, 2014

  • Listening to the beat

    A drum circle was held Tuesday at the Packwood House in Lewisburg, lead by Steve Mitchell.

    July 23, 2014

  • Youth Leadership

    Members of the Northumberland County Youth Leadership group founded in May of this year which was funded by a grant from the Pennsylvania Systems of Care was picking up trash along the Susquehanna River in Sunbury on Monday with help from the High Fidelity Wraparound group. The group will be doing a number of community service projects this year as well as some fundraising projects to become self sufficient.

    July 22, 2014