Here is everything you need to know about MLB Little League Classic 2021 (Little League Classic: Angels Baseball vs. Indians from Cleveland, within the framework of the Little League World Series Williamsport (LLWS – World Series of the Little League).
It is the time of year when the players of MLB They can go back in time and remember exactly what made them fall in love with the baseball.
After the Classic from Little League of the MLB 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual tradition will return tonight, when the Angels Baseball and the Indians from Cleveland play at 7:10 p.m. ET on Williamsport, Pa. – home of the World Series Little League.
“It is the dream of a young baseball player to play on the stage of the World Series from Little League on Williamsport, and only a few have the opportunity, “said the president of baseball operations of the United States. Indians from Cleveland, Chris Antonetti, when he first learned that his team would participate.
Neither team has appeared in any of the three Classics from Little League of the MLB above, but everyone is aware of how special the opportunity is.
“Everyone is very excited… I think almost all the guys who grew up in the US on the team played in the minor leagues. So that was a dream of ours when we were young. My team, we never did the World Series from Little League, so it will be great to finally go, ”said Max Stassi of the Angels Baseball.
When it started
This game started in 2017, and the precedent set by the Cardinals and Pirates in the opening game was truly special. Tommy Pham and Carlos Martínez bought more than 200 snow cones for the Little League in the stands for the game of MLB, Pirates catcher Francisco Cervilli sat in the stands with members of Team Italy and the Cardinals had a constant joke with the Australian team, keeping their mascot (an inflatable kangaroo) on the Major League side throughout the game.
The left-handed José Suárez will open for the Angels Baseball against Cal Quantrill right of the Indians from Cleveland in front of a crowd full of players from the Little League and their families at the Muncy Bank Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field.
Suarez has posted a 3.88 ERA in 16 appearances (seven starts) this season. The 23-year-old was transferred to the rotation on July 5 and has a 5.45 ERA in seven starts. But he’s coming off a solid start against the Yankees on Monday, allowing two runs in more than five innings in a comeback game at Yankee Stadium.
Quantrill has been red-hot since the second half of the season began, though he’s coming off his most shaky outing since the All-Star break, allowing three runs and eight hits with one walk, two hitters and four strikeouts on five innings against the Twins on Monday.
Before the game
Before the main event, the players of MLB They’ll sit on the bleachers, they’ll watch the World Series of the Little League and they will think back to that point in their own lives, as they help continue to grow the game for the future.
“We are very excited to be selected for what has become a highlight of the unique lineup of annual exhibition games from MLB… The future of baseball will be determined by the next generation of players and fans, so having the opportunity to engage these young athletes to celebrate and continue to grow this great game will have a powerful and lasting impact on our organization, and especially our players, “added Antonetti.
What is the MLB Little League Classic?
It is an annual game that takes place in Williamsport and that reinforces the commitment of MLB with youth baseball and its young fans around the world. The inaugural Classic was played between the Pirates and the Cardinals in 2017. In 2018, it featured the Phillies and the Mets, followed by the Pirates and the Cubs in ’19. Last year’s delivery between the Orioles and Red Sox was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Little League Classic is part of a larger initiative that launched five years ago with the introduction of MLB’s signature Play Ball initiative. Youth baseball participation continues to grow significantly.
Where will the game be played?
The room Classic of the Little League of the MLB will be held at the Muncy Bank Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field. The stadium opened in 1926, but was renovated before the inaugural MLB Classic Little league in 2017 to meet MLB standards.
How can I watch the game?
The game will air nationally on ESPN beginning at 7:10 pm ET. The Sunday Night Team Baseball ESPN, which includes Matt Vasgersian, Alex Rodriguez and Buster Olney, is ready to give the go-ahead. Those who want to get involved in a different experience can tune in to ESPN2 for ESPN’s Kidscast, which will provide commentary from a youth perspective. The former legend of the World Series of the Little League, Mo’ne Davis, will return as an analyst and join three aspiring reporters and commentators from the Bruce Beck Sports Broadcasting Camp to end the game.
What other activities will be part of?
COVID-19 has altered some of the traditional annual travel plans, but MLB and Little league International have worked together to develop a plan that makes the visit to Williamsport be special for both young and old.
The day will start, as always, in the complex of Little League. There will be no outside audience this year, however each team has up to 250 passes from friends and family to have a few people in the stands. The players of MLB They will join them to watch portions of Sunday’s games at Lamade and Volunteer Stadiums. Four Little League teams eliminated from the World Series of the Little League on Saturday before the arrival of the MLB players. Those teams will have protocols that are a bit more relaxed than those still in the tournament, leaving the possibility of having outdoor interactions with Major League Baseball players and playing games like Wiffle ball or Spikeball.
Who will be in the stands?
Bowman Field seats more than 2,300 fans and, as always, most of those seats will be filled by minor league players and their families. Most of the remaining tickets will go to healthcare professionals and hospital workers to attend as special guests of MLB and Little league.
Who was there before?
The teams are new to the game, but the pattern of the Angels Baseball, Joe Maddon, awaits his second trip there. Maddon participated in the last Classic from Little League of the MLB in 2019 as manager of the Cubs, who faced the Pirates in the third year of the festivities.
“It’s just wonderful… I hope my shirt arrives on time. I asked for a shirt with my team’s name on it. Little League on the front. It is not the exact one. But really proud of that … He’s one of the ones that really helped shape you as a human to move forward, you know, as a baseball player, but beyond that, just the self-discipline it takes to participate, ”Maddon said of the experience.