AMERICA’S STRANGEST SPORTS TRADITION: Here’s What You Need To Know About The Little League World Series

little league world series

[credit provider=”www.littleleague.org” url=”http://www.littleleague.org/media/newsarchive/09_2000/mcclendon.htm”]

The 2011 Little League World Series gets underway a week from tomorrow.To an outsider, the LLWS must look like a strange phenomenon — little kids playing a child-proofed version of our national pastime in front of 40,000 people (with millions more watching on national TV).

But the LLWS has nonetheless become an end-of-summer tradition for American sports fans since it was first broadcast on ABC in 1963.

Maybe this is because the LLWS falls in the dead zone of the sports calender.

Maybe it’s because watching emotional 12-year-olds react to immense pressure is more entertaining than watching jaded pro players go through the motions.

Maybe it’s because every little team in every little town has a chance to make it on the national stage.

But no matter which theory you subscribe to, TV ratings and general interest indicate that the LLWS is here to stay.

College football and the NFL are weeks away, and the MLB playoff hunt won’t heat up until September so these 12-year-olds are the best show in town.

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[slide
permalink=”there-has-never-been-a-llws-held-anywhere-other-than-the-small-appalachian-town-of-williamsport-pennsylvania-1″
title=”There has never been a LLWS held anywhere other than the small Appalachian town of Williamsport, Pennsylvania”
content=”Source: Little League
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[slide
permalink=”only-11-teams-were-part-of-the-first-llws-1947-but-2500-fans-attended-the-title-game-2″
title=”Only 11 teams were part of the first LLWS 1947, but 2,500 fans attended the title game”
content=”Source: Little League
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e429adaeab8ea9808000015″
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[slide
permalink=”howard-j-lamade-stadium-holds-40000-people-the-population-of-williamsport-is-30000-3″
title=”Howard J. Lamade Stadium holds 40,000 people. The population of Williamsport is 30,000″
content=”Source: VisitPA.com
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[slide
permalink=”sorry-no-alcohol-is-permitted-in-the-williamsport-complex-4″
title=”Sorry, no alcohol is permitted in the Williamsport complex”
content=”Source: Little League
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e42ba5b69bedd1624000021″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”tickets-are-free-and-no-ticket-is-required-to-sit-on-the-famed-hill-overlooking-lamade-5″
title=”Tickets are free, and no ticket is required to sit on the famed “hill” overlooking Lamade”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e42baf469beddfd2300004b”
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[slide
permalink=”all-16-teams-stay-in-the-grove-its-a-kiddie-version-of-the-olympic-village-complete-with-an-arcade-and-a-pool-its-located-in-the-top-right-side-of-this-photo-6″
title=”All 16 teams stay in “The Grove.” It’s a kiddie version of the Olympic Village complete with an arcade and a pool. It’s located in the top-right side of this photo”
content=”Source: Connecticut Post
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e42bd3d69beddb559000002″
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[slide
permalink=”25-countries-have-sent-teams-to-williamsport-including-some-surprises-like-france-greece-poland-and-the-philippines-7″
title=”25 countries have sent teams to Williamsport, including some surprises like France, Greece, Poland, and the Philippines”
content=”Source: Little League
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4cb5ee197f8b9a847b920000″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”all-but-11-us-states-have-sent-teams-to-williamsport-wisconsin-is-the-most-populous-state-to-never-send-a-team-8″
title=”All but 11 U.S. states have sent teams to Williamsport. Wisconsin is the most populous state to never send a team”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e42c6fa6bb3f7757700000d”
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[slide
permalink=”too-bad-for-them-the-lucky-winners-get-to-meet-the-president-9″
title=”Too bad for them, the lucky winners get to meet the president”
content=””
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[slide
permalink=”the-llws-was-first-broadcast-of-abcs-wide-world-of-sports-in-1963-its-been-there-ever-since-10″
title=”The LLWS was first broadcast of ABC’s Wide World of Sports in 1963. It’s been there ever since”
content=”Source: ABC Sports
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e42c6166bb3f77577000006″
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[slide
permalink=”13-girls-have-played-in-the-llws-starting-with-belgiums-victoria-roche-in-1984-11″
title=”13 girls have played in the LLWS, starting with Belgium’s Victoria Roche in 1984″
content=”Source: ESPN
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e42c17269bedd7f6500000b”
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[slide
permalink=”carl-yastremzki-became-the-first-llws-player-to-become-a-hall-of-famer-when-he-was-inducted-in-1989-12″
title=”Carl Yastremzki became the first LLWS player to become a Hall of Famer when he was inducted in 1989″
content=”Source: MLB
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e42c4a66bb3f72256000002″
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[slide
permalink=”future-mlb-manager-lloyd-mcclendon-had-the-best-llws-performance-ever-in-1971-he-went-5-for-5-with-5-home-runs-and-5-intentional-walks-13″
title=”Future MLB manager Lloyd McClendon had the best LLWS performance ever in 1971. He went 5-for-5 with 5 home runs and 5 intentional walks”
content=”Source: Little League
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e42d40aeab8ea1015000019″
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[slide
permalink=”68-aaron-durley-became-the-tallest-llws-player-ever-2006-14″
title=”6’8″ Aaron Durley became the tallest LLWS player ever 2006″
content=”Source: Sports Illustrated
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e4299ca6bb3f74d07000011″
caption=””
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]
[slide
permalink=”this-years-llws-gets-underway-on-august-18-15″
title=”This year’s LLWS gets underway on August 18″
content=””
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[slide
permalink=”now-learn-some-more-fun-sports-facts-16″
title=”Now learn some more fun sports facts”
content=”15 Things You Need To Know About The English Premier League >>
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