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MLB Little League Classic

From BR Bullpen

The MLB Little League Classic is a major league game that was played for the first time on August 20, 2017 at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field, the home of the Williamsport Crosscutters of the New York-Penn League, in celebration of the holding of the 2017 Little League World Series next door. It has since become an annual event. The ballpark has since been re-named Muncy Bank Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field, but remains the same, although the Crosscutters were victims of the 2021 Minor League Reorganization and were replaced by a summer collegiate team.

The original game was a nationally-televized Sunday night contest on ESPN in which the Pittsburgh Pirates, who were the home team, defeated the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-3. 1B Josh Bell homered and drove in four runs for the Pirates, while 3B Jedd Gyorko hit a two-run homer for the Cardinals as Ivan Nova was the winner over Mike Leake, with Felipe Rivero getting the save. After the game, the players from the two teams formed a line-up and shook hands, Little League-style. The crowd of 2,596 was principally composed of the young players taking part in that year's tournament, with their accompanying parents and coaches and other Little League Baseball officials. Commissioner Rob Manfred was present and vowed to repeat the experience in future years given the success of the first game. Three former LLWS players were on the Pirates and Cardinals rosters, in Lance Lynn (1999 LLWS), Randal Grichuk (2003) and Max Moroff (2005).

In September 2017, Major League Baseball announced that the second edition of the game would take place on August 19, 2018, between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, entrenching the game as a fixture on the Baseball Calendar. It was not played in 2020 as the Little League World Series fell victim to the Coronavirus pandemic, but it was reprised in 2021 and in following years.


Year Date Visiting Team Score Home Team
2017 August 20 St. Louis Cardinals 3-6 Pittsburgh Pirates
2018 August 19 New York Mets 8-2 Philadelphia Phillies
2019 August 18 Chicago Cubs 7-1 Pittsburgh Pirates
2020 Cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic
2021 August 22 Los Angeles Angels 0-3 Cleveland Indians
2022 August 21 Boston Red Sox 3-5 Baltimore Orioles
2023 August 20 Philadelphia Phillies 3-4 Washington Nationals
2024 August 18 New York Yankees Detroit Tigers

Further Reading[edit]

  • Adam Berry: "Inaugural MLB Little League Classic a success: Daylong celebration culminated in Cardinals-Pirates game",, December 27, 2017. [1]
  • Adam Berry and Jordan Bastian: "Every Little League Classic question, answered",, August 17, 2019. [2]
  • Anthony Castrovince: "Little wonder: Classic unites kids of all ages: MLB's special event at LLWS proves worthy of repeating",, August 20, 2017. [3]
  • Anthony Castrovince: "Manfred sees annual potential in Williamsport: Little League Classic draws heavy praise in first edition",, August 20, 2017. [4]
  • Anthony DiComo: "Joy of Little League Classic shared by kids, pros",, August 20, 2018. [5]
  • Joe Mock: "MLB Little League Classic: Pirates beat Cardinals, but young players, fans real winners", USA Today Sports, August 20, 2017. [6]
  • Jesse Sanchez: "History 'n' the shaking: Cards-Bucs, Bravo! Little League Classic caps weekend in Williamsport",, August 21, 2017. [7]