The Passion of Little League Baseball in McKinney

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The Passion of Little League Baseball in McKinney

Although the first Little League game was played on June 6, 1939, its roots date back to the 1880’s when pre-teen leagues were formed. Unfortunately, these leagues did not flourish and kids were left to play pick-up games, which they did. America’s pastime was well underway. Overall, Little League is now an international pastime with games throughout the world. Now in more than 80 countries with over 2.4 million kids and 1.5 million adult volunteers, Little League has become one of the most instrumental foundational institutions that shapes athletes worldwide, whether it be contributing to the children’s skills or their character and passion for the game.

Above: A little league runner diving back to first base in the 1950’s.

There are many interesting facts in the development of Little League Baseball. With a $30 donation, uniforms were purchased for the first three teams; Lycoming Dairy, Lundy Lumber and Jumbo Pretzel. The first season was played in a vacant lot near the outfield fence of what is now Bowman Field in Williamsport.

Above: The Lundy Lumber Co. team

I still remember playing in Little League games throughout the late 60’s and early 70’s in Florida. Growing up in Cocoa Beach, where the Astros trained made it icing on the cake. My mom would pull me and my friends out of school to go to Cocoa Stadium during a day game, where it was up close and personal with the players, then many nights thereafter we were the players on the Little League Field. My best friend was a pitcher wearing #10 and I was a catcher bearing #6. We played on the Burger King Orioles. I recall my friend acting like Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan and I just knew that I was Johnny Bench.

Above: My best friend Mark #10 and myself (Rick Duncan) #6

We lost touch with each other for 40 years, but reconnected recently. Reminiscing about those years, we both now agree that they were some of the best years of our lives. Playing in Little League had one of the most important impacts on my development during those childhood into teen years. It helped me shape a level of respect, not only for the game, but in overall life and in all my business ventures. I learned a respect for the game, teammates and coaches that I was able to apply throughout my life that I would never have had without that experience.

Above: Around 1972. Even at age 54, I remember going after this foul ball. I missed it!

Little League baseball has been instrumental in shaping character in our youth for many decades. Recently northDsports was on an NFL phone interview with Kurt Warner, who has recently been inducted into the hall of fame. Whether it is football, baseball or golf, in order to become successful an individual must shape their character from a young age. Warner said “All you need is a ball. I fell in love with football in my front yard. So much of where you go as an athlete is determined by the coaches you have.”

FILE – In this Feb. 3, 2002, file photo, St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner looks to pass to Marshall Faulk, right, in the first quarter against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 36 in New Orleans. Warner is part of seven-man class heading into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it was announced Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Doug Mills, File)

Just as Kurt Warner’s character was shaped through flag football and other sports as a kid, so is a boy who is developing through little league. During that time of life, there is no cognizant thought that goes into the financial side of sports or the pressures of sustaining its business aspects. All thought is for the love and passion of the game itself. If you have not been to a little league game lately or have never been, northDsports highly recommends it and what better way to start than the McKinney Little League right here in the north Dallas area.

Above: Jack Driscoll tagging home base.

The McKinney Little League is the best place to start. Whether you have a kid that is ready to get started in the game or want to witness the most pure level of America’s pastime a McKinney Little League game is the place to be. The League was established in 1997 and are a part of the North Texas 8 National Charter.

Above: Jared Paz signaling one down with Aiden Prince in the background.

McKinney Little League, known as MLL, is a non-profit organization and all adults involved are volunteers; therefore, their passion for the game and the players is second to none. All coaches must attend must attend coaching camp and are trained in the utmost and highest standards of safety for the players.

Fall 2017 registration is now open. CLICK HERE for more information.

Photo Credit: All photos herein are the property of the Mckinney Little League, littleleague.org and Betty Duncan and were published by northDsports with their permission and consent. All content herein, other than property published by permission, is the property of northDsports.com and any reproduction, other than normal social media sharing, is strictly prohibited. Copyright ©, northDsports.com. For reprint permission contact rick@northdsports.com

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