If you have ever played Little League, or watched your child or grandchild play, chances are you have found something very special in the experience. It is not difficult to find oneself caught up in the play at the plate or a come from behind win in the bottom of the sixth, or amused by the dancing kindergartener in left field. What is not as natural to come by, however, is the reflection on how your particular little league experience is part of 75 of American culture and a worldwide tradition in youth sports.
That 75 year tradition, and its evolution and expansion, is the focus of Little League: A History, the newest documentary release from local PBS station, WVIA that will premier nationwide on June 9. Mountaintop Area Little League was part of the production process and has a small part in the film.
Little League chronicles the past 75 years of Little League: from the day Charles Schultz got the idea for scaled down field dimensions, equipment and uniforms, through institutionalized racial and gender discrimination, major tv contracts, global expansion, and the creation of a challenger division for players with mental and physical challenges. Mountaintop Area Little League was called upon to add a local dimension to the film, and discuss what Little League is to most people –community kids playing on community fields and having a blast.
Creative Director of Documentary Films for WVIA, Greg Matkosky, shot more than forty hours of footage and conducted thirty interviews ranging from former President George Bush and MLB Commissioner, Bud Selig, to local league presidents and coaches. Legendary Dodger announcer, Vinn Scully narrates the film. MALL President, Pat Rinehimer and board member Andrea O’Neill, were interviewed for the film in early October 2013. Rinehimer has been a board member since 1978 and President for 25 of those years, and it was that level of experience that drew Matkosky to Mountaintop, especially
See Little League page 4