The World of Little League traversed two sites Thursday for a grand reopening.
It included a completely redesigned and renovated museum at Little League International and a sneak peek at an exhibit of the more than half-century of Little League Baseball World Series photography by Putsee Vannucci, one of the area's best-known photojournalists.
First, was a glimpse of the Putsee Vannucci Photo Gallery exhibit at Pennsylvania College of Technology's Professional Development Center that will be on display with additional photographs in the Madigan Library.
The World of Little League: Peter J. McGovern Museum and Official Store in South Williamsport was described as "nothing short of breathtaking," by Davie Jane Gilmour, chairwoman of Little League International board of directors and Penn College president.
It's a perfect place to take the family as Little League celebrates its 75th anniversary next year.
Inside the museum are six galleries, representing six innings of Little League baseball. A giant movie screen shows the best of all Little League has to offer, from field day when volunteers, players and coaches get out the shovels and weed the playing fields, to testimonials from umpires, kids who start in tee ball, and the softball and Challenger divisions.
Little League teaches about life and is a global phenomenon, with 7,000 leagues in 90 countries. In 1989, the Urban Initiative began in Harlem, N.Y., and that same year the Challenger division opened ball up to kids with special needs.
On a plaza overlooking Howard J. Lamade Stadium, Gilmour said the museum is one that respects the past and inspires the future.
She was joined by Stephen D. Keener, president and CEO of Little League, and Lance Van Auken, vice president of Little League and museum executive director.
The museum is a must-see for baseball fanatics, science and history buffs and anyone who wants to learn more about the world's largest and most respected youth sporting organization.
Such historical museum pieces include the uniform Babe Ruth played in while traveling to Japan in 1934.
The endless stream of exhibits on the walls and floor, include uniforms from players such as Kent Tekulve, when the future submarine hurler and reliever for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds was playing for the Lindenwald Little League in Hamilton, Ohio, in the 1950s, and Ed Ott's 1960 shirt with Murray Motors across the chest.
An elongated touch-screen computer enables anyone to press and reach a Little League with information about countries' teams around the globe.
The voice of Cy Young can be heard and his photograph captured, and umpire Frank Rizzo's use of an umpire camera in the 1985 Series is explained. The padded seat where President George W. Bush sat is on display, as is the plate from the Original Little League.
The Hall of Excellence includes such famous Little Leaguers such as columnist George Will and Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan.
Jill Bauer, a host of QVC, was in attendance. Her father, Hank Bauer, played Little League in the early 1950s, according to Keener.
Before the tour of the museum and store, visitors saw Vannucci's photo display, which included a close up of Yankee legend Joe DiMaggio chatting with a Far East team, and Cody Webster firing a fastball against Taiwan in the 1982 series. Kirkland, Wash., defeated the perennial favorite, with Webster hurling a two-hitter and hitting a mammoth homer as 40,000 watched and chanted "USA, USA."