2017 MLB Little League Classic
|Date||August 20, 2017|
|Venue||BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field|
|Umpires||HP Gerry Davis (crew chief)|
1B Ramon De Jesus
2B Pat Hoberg
3B Tony Randazzo
|MVP||Josh Bell (Pittsburgh Pirates)|
|Ceremonial first pitch||7:00 PM (ET) (scheduled)|
ESPN Deportes (Spanish)
Dan Shulman (play-by-play)
Aaron Boone (analyst)
Jessica Mendoza (analyst)
Tim Kurkjian (reporter)
|Radio announcers||Adam Amin (play-by-play)|
Chris Singleton (analyst)
The game was featured on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball, and was also available on ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, and MLB Network. The game was part of MLB's effort to get more children interested in and involved with baseball at a younger age.
After the Fort Bragg Game between the Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves at Fort Bragg in July 2016, rumors spread that MLB was planning another similar event in Williamsport, which is the venue for the annual Little League World Series and home of the Crosscutters minor league team. Many locals of the area and reporters across the nation thought it was almost impossible due to the size and capacity of BB&T Ballpark, as seating for fewer than 3,000 fans seems much less than ideal for an MLB game. As the rumors were dispelled by many, the news faded. However a St. Louis newspaper column in early March stated that MLB was finalizing plans for the game.
Residents from Lycoming County were eligible to win a very limited number of tickets to the game via a lottery system found on the MLB website. The game was originally scheduled to be a home game for the Pirates; ticket holders for that game were offered a food-and-beverage credit, tickets to another game, or a refund.
Prior to the game, funding from MLB and commonwealth grants given to the City of Williamsport provided more than four million dollars to improve BB&T Ballpark. These included adding new seats, padding around the infield fence, new irrigation and draining to the field itself, moving the bullpens out beyond the outfield fence, new dugouts closer to home plate, and improved dining areas.
Both teams were allowed by MLB to add a 26th player to their active rosters for the game; the Cardinals added outfielder Stephen Piscotty, who started in right field, and the Pirates added catcher Jacob Stallings, who did not appear in the game.
The Cardinals and Pirates also wore special uniforms, including features such as pullover jerseys with bright colors and contrasting sleeves, specially colored caps, and a unique logo that drew design cues from the official logos of both MLB and Little League Baseball. In addition, players were encouraged (though not required) to put nicknames on the jerseys' rear nameplates. These uniforms were worn again by both teams on August 25–27 for Players Weekend, an initiative of MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association that saw all 30 MLB teams wear similar uniforms.
|St. Louis Cardinals||0||2||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||3||11||0|
|WP: Iván Nova (11–10) LP: Mike Leake (7–12) Sv: Felipe Rivero (14)|
Away: Jedd Gyorko (17)
Home: Josh Bell (21)
|Matt Carpenter, 1B||5||0||1||0||0||2||.246|
|Stephen Piscotty, RF||4||0||2||0||1||1||.236|
|Paul DeJong, SS||5||0||0||0||0||0||.299|
|Dexter Fowler, CF||4||0||1||0||0||0||.262|
|Yadier Molina, C||4||2||3||0||0||0||.278|
|Jedd Gyorko, 3B||4||1||2||2||0||0||.269|
|Kolten Wong, 2B||4||0||1||1||0||1||.309|
|Randal Grichuk, LF||4||0||0||0||0||3||.244|
|Mike Leake, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||.174|
|José Martínez, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||.287|
|Sam Tuivailala, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Greg Garcia, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||.249|
|Brett Cecil, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|John Brebbia, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Tommy Pham, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||.307|
|Starling Marte, LF||3||2||2||0||0||0||.278|
|Josh Harrison, 2B||4||2||2||0||0||1||.278|
|Andrew McCutchen, CF||4||1||2||1||0||1||.288|
|Josh Bell, 1B||4||1||2||4||0||0||.261|
|David Freese, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||2||.261|
|Adam Frazier, RF||4||0||1||1||0||0||.284|
|Jordy Mercer, SS||4||0||0||0||0||2||.249|
|Chris Stewart, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||.194|
|Iván Nova, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||.023|
|A. J. Schugel, P||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|Dovydas Neverauskas, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Juan Nicasio, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Felipe Rivero, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Iván Nova||5 2⁄3||8||3||3||0||5||1||3.81|
|A. J. Schugel||2⁄3||1||0||0||1||2||0||1.42|
- "ESPN to broadcast MLB Little League Classic in Williamsport PA". ESPN Media Ventures, LLC. March 11, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
- "ESPN to cover MLB Little League Classic August 20 in Williamsport".
- "Pirates and Cardinals will attend the Little League games during the day and the little leaguers will attend the Major League game at night". WTAE. March 9, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
- Goold, Derrick (March 7, 2017). "Williamsport Calling". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved August 20, 2017 – via newspapers.com.
- "Cardinals and Pirates have been selected to participate in the first "MLB Little League Classic"". STL Today. March 9, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
- "Major League Baseball has officially announced that the Pirates and Cardinals will take the field on August 20th in Williamsport". Pittsburgh CBS Local. March 9, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
- "MLB ANNOUNCES LITTLE LEAGUE CLASSIC". baseballamerica.com. March 9, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
- Beauge, John (June 15, 2017). "Lycoming County residents can win free tickets to Aug. 20 Pirates-Cards game in Williamsport". pennlive.com.
- Brink, Bill (March 9, 2017). "Pirates and Cardinals will play a game in Williamsport". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
- "Crosscutters Baseball Field Gets Upgrade Thanks to MLB". wnep.com. April 4, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
- FOX Sports Midwest (August 20, 2017). "Cardinals recall Piscotty as 26th man for Sunday's game". FoxSports.com. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
- Brink, Bill (August 20, 2017). "Max Moroff reached Williamsport as a 12-year-old. Twelve years later, he's back". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
- Lukas, Paul (August 9, 2017). "It's uniform change for MLB's Players Weekend". Uni Watch. ESPN.com. Retrieved August 9, 2017.