The History of Little League Baseball
- Updated: July 3, 2012
Little League Baseball is the largest organization for youth sports and has been the hallmark organization for children’s recreational baseball for over 70 years. From a meager beginning of only one league and 30 total participants in 1939 Little League Baseball has grown to 7,123 leagues and 2,513,760 participants as of the year 2010. The organization which began in Williamsport, Pennsylvania under the direction of Carl Stotz has had two members that have changed the course of Little League Baseball’s history.
The first of which was known as Tubby. Kathryn “Tubby” Johnston was a self-proclaimed “tomboy.” In the summer of 1950 she, alongside her brother, tried out to get on the King’s Dairy baseball team that was located Corning, N.Y. Kathryn reportedly tucked her hair beneath her baseball hat and posed as a boy. Her talent was recognized and she was chosen to play. Later, upon confessing to her coach that she was a girl, he responded “Well, if you’re good enough to make the team, then you’re good enough to stay on the team.”
News that a girl was on the team drew mixed responses. The number of fans attending games increased as Tubby became somewhat of a novelty player. Little League Baseball officials however did not respond so favorably. A rule known as the “Tubby Rule” was established which prohibited girls from playing in Little League.
Subsequent to the “Tubby Rule” a few girls played illegally. When Little League officials would catch wind of female players they would inform the particular local league that the player in question was not eligible and their charter would be removed if the player continued to participate in the league.
In the year of 1972, a little girl by the name of Maria Pepe, 12 years old at the time, would be the next female to change Little League Baseball history. She too was a girl playing in an all-boys league. When her coach received the threat of charter revocation, Maria said that she didn’t wan to make the kids mad and that is why she stopped playing. She also stated that although she left the team she was able to keep her baseball hat. This infuriated representatives of (N.O.W) an organization for women who, upon receiving consent from Maria’s parents, represented Maria in a court case against the Baseball organization.
It wasn’t until 1974, two years later, that Little League Baseball history would be changed forever. As a result of Maria Pepe’s case, Little League Baseball not only would admit girls worldwide, but also mandated that a separate all-girls league be established. Maria’s case is recognized as one of the greatest moments in U.S. women’s sports history.
Devon enjoys getting outside and living a healthy lifestyle. Little league baseball started him out early in this type of life. Now Devon enjoys many different outdoor activities and is actively engaged in living a more healthy life. Recently Devon and his wife have taken on a passion for juicing. You can follow their juicing experience at juicingpedia.com.