Each year, during the second week of June, Little League® International celebrates National Little League Week with the annual Little League Baseball® World Series Luncheon. This year’s luncheon, held on June 14, featured members of the Hazleton Little League Challenger Division, as well as New York Mets Hall of Famer, Mookie Wilson, and former major leaguer and Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster, Gary “Sarge” Matthews, who assisted with the first-round pairings for the 2018 Little League Baseball World Series (LLBWS). The full schedule, bracket, and all information about the 2018 Little League Baseball World Series, as well as the entire Little League Regional and World Series games, can be found on LittleLeague.org.
“Williamsport has always been a big part of our lives,” said Mr. Wilson. “Even in major league clubhouses, we watched the Little League World Series and it’s so much fun, so thank you for allowing me to be here and represent the New York Mets and enjoy this opportunity.”
Mr. Wilson and Mr. Matthews participated in the event’s festivities to celebrate the MLB Little League Classic, which will take place on Sunday, August 19. Major Leaguers on the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets will open the day at the Little League International Complex where they will interact with members from each of the 16 LLBWS teams and attend some of the day’s games before going across town to Historic Bowman Field to participate in the MLB Little League Classic, airing nationally that evening on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” and ESPN Radio at 7:00 p.m. (ET).
“To be in the Little League World Series is quite an accomplishment,” said Mr. Matthews. “That’s where the dreams start, and a lot of those players go on to finish them in the major leagues. On behalf of the Philadelphia Phillies organization, thank you for letting me be a part of this day.”
This year’s LLBWS will once again feature the Little League Baseball World Series Challenger Exhibition Game, as teams from Hazleton (Pa.) Little League and Highland Baseball Club (Evansville, Ind.) Little League will take the field. At the luncheon, David Drauschak and Lexi Mamourian, members of the Hazleton LL team, along with their League President, Ed Shoepe, and District Administrator, Jim Burns, assisted Mr. Wilson and Mr. Matthews with the first-round drawings. The 2018 Exhibition Game will take place on Saturday, Aug. 25 at 10:30 a.m. at Volunteer Stadium, and air live on Northeastern Pennsylvania’s and the Central Susquehanna Valley’s PBS Station, WVIA.
The 2018 LLBWS Luncheon also included the Team Hosts drawing for their Regional Champions for the year.