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‘Little League Pep Talks’ meant to give inspiration to kids

With the coronavirus pandemic temporarily shutting down Little League programs everywhere, Little League International has launched a new campaign called #LLPepTalk as a way for its players, volunteers and fans to remain in a positive mood while the pandemic is going on.

The #LLPepTalk series provides Little Leaguers everywhere a sense of positivity and hope as communities work together to stop the spread and return to the ballfields.

Those involved in the campaign are a number of celebrities and athletes including former Little League World Series star Todd Frazier, former Little League World Series manager Dave Belisle, two-time Olympic softball pitcher Jennie Finch, two-time Olympic softball gold medalist Michele Smith, National Baseball Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven to name a few.

“These are unprecedented times we are all facing due to the coronavirus, but we want to make sure that all of our Little Leaguers, parents, and volunteers are staying positive and hopeful as we work to get back to normalcy,” Little League President and CEO Steve Keener said in a statement. “We hope these pep talks will help keep everyone focused on the bigger picture and unite us all together as we battle this global pandemic and keep the Little League experience alive at home.”

Alred Delia, who gained fame in 2018 during the Little League World Series regionals with the nickname “Big Al,” also got in on the social media campaign, posting a video of him hitting a ball off a tee into a net with the caption “Once this virus is over … we’re going to hit dingers”

Finch had words of encouragement to those Little Leaguers affected to stay positive.

“This is a tough, tough time, but I want you to hang in there. Become better and stronger through this,” Finch said in her video statement. “I always tell athletes that are faced with an injury or adversity is no matter what, you can come out stronger if you have the right mindset.”

Finch also encouraged kids to throw into a net, take cuts in front of a mirror and to even video tape one self to analyze yourself and find ways to improve your game while being stuck at home.

Frazier, a member of the Texas Rangers and 1998 Little League World Series champions of Toms River, New Jersey, said in a video statement as part of the campaign to stay patient and “keep thinking about good thoughts and positive attitude and eventually we’ll get out there and hear the ping of that bat again.”

Videos from all of the celebrities and athletes can be seen at www.littleleague.org/LLPepTalk and those who are part of the campaign are to use the hashtag #LLPepTalk on social media.

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