Pirates, Cubs to play in 2019 MLB LL Classic

Major League Baseball, the MLB Players Association and Little League International announced on Monday that the MLB Little League Classic at Bowman Field would continue for a third year and would see the Pittsburgh Pirates play the Chicago Cubs on August 18, 2019.

The game will air on ESPN again at 7 p.m. as part of ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball.”

Participating Little League World Series players, coaches and families for 2019 as well as local Williamsport youth baseball and softball organizations will fill a significant portion of the capacity at Bowman Field, according to Little League’s statement.

As with the past two MLB Little League Classics, the players from the Pirates and Cubs will attend Little League World Series games earlier in the day.

“The MLB Little League Classic has been a fun summer highlight for baseball the past two years,” Manfred said in a statement. “We are thrilled to give both the Major League players and Little Leaguers another opportunity in 2019 to have the direct personal interaction that strengthens and inspires a lifelong passion for our game. We look forward to joining the Pirates and Cubs in Williamsport to welcome an outstanding collection of engaging players as great ambassadors of our sport.”

“Little League International is thrilled to welcome the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs to Williamsport for the third MLB Little League Classic in 2019,” Little League President and CEO Stephen Keener said. “The Classic has been a fabulous experience for the Little League Baseball World Series teams who’ve had the opportunity to interact wtih the big leaguers and is the perfect vehicle to showcase the youthful excitement and energy that fuels the games of baseball and softball. We’re really pleased that another group of 16 Little League teams from around the world will have this incredible opportunity.”

The Pittsburgh Pirates will become the first team to return for the Little League Classic, having played in the inaugural game in 2017 and defeating the St. Louis Cardinals.

“It was such a rewarding experience for our players and staff having played in the inaugural Classic in 2017. Our players loved the time that they were able to spend with the Little League players, both at the Little League complex and at Historic Bowman Field,” Pittsburgh Pirates chairman Bob Nutting said. “We are proud to actively participate in the commissioner’s ongoing efforts to grow the game and positively impact the next generation of players and fans.”