“Major League Baseball’s greatest responsibility is to ensure that today’s youth become active participants in our game as players and fans,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “The ‘MLB Little League Classic’ exemplifies our entire sport’s commitment to building a stronger connection between young people and the National Pastime. Our players will honor the great tradition of the Little League World Series and create lifelong memories for the Little Leaguers, their families and the city of Williamsport. I thank the Pirates and the Cardinals, Little League Baseball, [Pennsylvania] Governor [Tom] Wolf, the Crosscutters, the City of Williamsport and ESPN for helping us organize an unforgettable weekend.”
The Aug. 20 game falls at the end of a four-game series between the Pirates and Cardinals. The first three games will be played at PNC Park. The Pirates will serve as the home team in Williamsport, which is situated approximately 165 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
“We could not be more excited to play in Williamsport in front of thousands of enthusiastic Little League players and their families,” Pirates chairman Bob Nutting said. “It is sure to be a rewarding experience for our players and staff, and I am sure it will bring back many fond memories of playing youth baseball. This game speaks to the Commissioner’s commitment to the growth of the game and our collective outreach to the next generation of baseball players and fans.”
“This is a wonderful opportunity for both of our teams and the game of baseball to showcase the way baseball links generations,” added Bill DeWitt Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of the Cardinals. “Our national pastime is something that brings families together, and this game in Williamsport is a great way to showcase that for baseball fans all across our country.”
Though the game will help celebrate what’s going on at the Little League World Series, it will not take place at the main stadium on the Little League World Series complex. That’s because Howard J. Lamade Stadium is two-thirds the size of a professional field.
Instead, the game will be played in nearby BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field — a 4,200-capacity ballpark that is home to the New York-Penn League’s Williamsport Crosscutters, a Phillies affiliate.
Players from both teams will attend Little League World Series games before the big league matchup “as a unified demonstration of their passion and commitment to helping grow the game at the youth level,” MLB announced.
Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.