Baseball brings the world to NEPA’s backyard.
The journey begins
They dragged themselves to practice in those last cold weeks in spring. They swatted away those pesky gnats out in right field during the stifling July heat. They’ve celebrated victories with pizza and ice cream and endured defeat with dignity and also a little more pizza and ice cream. And finally, those few teams who played their best or just happened to be the luckiest have made it here – Little League Baseball® World Series
Small town no more
For about ten days every August, the baseball-loving world shifts its gaze from Major League Pennant races to South Williamsport. The population of this small city straddling the West Branch of the Susquehanna River multiplies nearly tenfold. Nearby hotels are full. Restaurants overflow with happy out of towners. And a general sense of community spreads cheerfully among its visitors.
PA welcomes the world
The players and their fans come from every corner of North America. They cross the Pacific and the Atlantic. Some make their way from tiny islands in the middle of the sea and others from the most populated places on the planet. Somehow, they find their way to this unassuming town in North-Central Pennsylvania.
And the world brings its best
They come with highest of hopes, positive attitudes and a competitive spirit. They bring their cultures and languages and the pride of their hometowns. They carry with them the dreams of generations who still today can recall with ease the smell of their old glove. In between games, they shop, they eat and they stroll through the World of Little League® Museum. They line the streets for the parade and fill the stands for that famous first pitch.
Until next year
Maybe it is just a game. And maybe we all make a bigger deal of it than we should, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Some great kids are having the time of their lives and so are we as we watch them do it. It’s a rare thing to see our sweet summer pastime bring together this tiny microcosm of the world. And it all takes place right here in NEPA’s backyard.
If you can’t make it this summer, jot it down in your calendar. You’ve got to get to the Little League World Series.
Photographs By: Courtney Snyder, Marywood University, DiscoverNEPA Intern