Events, Southside Stories

Little League World Series Milestone

The year 2008 was a milestone Little League World Series for Howard J. Lamade Stadium. It was the 50th Little League World Series to be played at Lamade.

According to the 2008 Little League World Series Media Guide, the field, built in 1959 for the World Series, was originally called Howard J. Lamade Memorial Field. It was renamed Howard J. Lamade Stadium when the old wood and steel stands were razed and a concrete stadium was constructed in 1968. Extra seating was added in 1972 and the first night game at the stadium was played on Aug. 24, 1992.

In 2006, thanks to a gift from the Lamade family, the covered section of seating was extended to the ends of the stadium, adding 14,700 square feet to cover the majority of bench seating. The number of individual seats with backs was also expanded from 584 to 1,530.

It is estimated that approximately 45,000 fans could fit into Lamade Stadium, including those on the terraced hills beyond the outfield fence. However, the total number of seats available is not known since admission is free and most of the seating during the Little League Baseball World Series is first-come, first-served. The improvements added 946 individual seats with backs (matching the existing seats in the section behind home plate).

The outfield fences at Howard J. Lamade Stadium and Little League Volunteer Stadium were moved back from 205 feet to 225 feet for the 2006 Little League Baseball World Series. The 20 extra feet is just under 10 percent more distance at all points on both stadiums.

Some of the highlights of these 50 magical Series at Lamade Stadium include”

1959: The first LLWS is played at Lamade and is won by Hamtranck, Michigan.

1960: The first European entry plays in the LLWS. It is Berlin, Germany.

1961: Future Cleveland Browns quarterback, Brian Sipe, plays for the Series champion, El Cajon, California team.

1962: Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson is a guest at the LLWS.

1963: ABC and Wide World of Sports broadcasts the LLWS championship game for the first time.

1964: Ed Yacopino tosses a no-hitter to help lead the Staten Island team to the world title.

1967: West Tokyo, Japan becomes the first Far East team to win the LLWS

1969: Taiwan wins the first of its 17 LLWS championships.

1971: Lloyd McClendon of the Gary, Indiana team hit five home runs in five at bats. His team loses to Taiwan 12-3 in extra innings.

1974: Future major leaguer, Ed Vosberg plays for Tucson, Arizona in the LLWS and would later become the only player to play in the LLWS, the College World Series and the Major League World Series.

1976: Baseball Hall-of Famers Joe DiMaggio, Bob Gibson and Ernie Banks are guests at the LLWS as Chofu, Japan wins the championship.

1980: George H.W. Bush throws out the first ball for the championship game.

1982: Kirkland, Washington upsets Taiwan in the championship game as Cody Webster pitches and hits his team to the championship.

1984: Seoul, South Korea wins that country’s first World Series championship.

1989: Little League celebrates its 50th anniversary and Trumbull, Connecticut becomes the first U.S. team to win the LLWS since 1983.

1992: Long Beach, California is declared LLWS champs after Zamboanga, Phillipines is disqualified after it was found to be using illegal players.

1993: Long Beach, California wins the LLWS as future major leaguer, Sean Burroughs tosses two no-hitters.

2001: A second World Series stadium, Volunteer Stadium is dedicated. President George W. Bush throws out the first ball at the championship game as Japan defeats Apopka, Florida.

2004: Pabao Little League of Willemstad, Curacao becomes the first Caribbean region entry to win the LLWS.

2006: Fences are moved back at the two LLWS stadia from 205 to 225 feet.

2007: Warner Robbins, Georgia wins the LLWS.

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