Swing through Williamsport for a sporting time
Headed north from Central Pennsylvania on a long road trip with a car full of bored kids? If you find yourself on Route 15, take a pit stop in South Williamsport. Or better yet, pack the kids in the car and take a daytrip to The Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum in Lycoming County.
Every member of the family can find something to enjoy: kids can let off some stream in the batting cages and dads can relive their glory days with archived video footage of Little League games, while moms can read up on Little League safety and nutrition information.
The museum offers a lasting tribute to the multitude of baseball players Little League International has fostered since the first game was played in 1939. Capturing the attention of more than 25,000 visitors each year, the museum provides not only a history of the sport, but also interactive exhibits to engage all audiences and to show how Little League brings a community together. “It’s more than just a game of softball or baseball,” explained Janice Ogurcak, museum director.
Some of the museum’s most popular features include:
- Interactive batting and pitching cages and a running station, each with instant replay cameras.
- Test your Little League knowledge with a quiz to see if you know the differences between little League and Major League Baseball.
- Giant Little League rulebook with pages you "flip" by pushing them.
- Uniforms, newspaper clippings and other memorabilia from Little League games dating back 50 years and more.
- Nutrition exhibit showing differences between good and bad eating choices as a part of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative.
- Hall of Excellence which identifies former Little League players who have gone on to make a difference with values they learned from Little League, such as Vice President Joe Biden, actor Kevin Costner and more.
But families who share a love for Little League should plan two trips to the site—one now and one next summer.
The museum will close for a $4 million renovation project Sept. 4 and reopen June 6. The renovations will include upgrades to everything, bringing the circa 1982 project into the era of modern technology, which more audio and video devoted to showing and telling how the Little League program thrives throughout the world, with plenty of interactive exhibits.
“It will be developed on six innings and will include high-tech and low-tech exhibits,” Ogurcak said, with the goal of making the museum both kid-friendly and adult-friendly.
Some of the new features will include a track to see how fast you can run, a station to measure how high you can jump to catch a fly ball and other agility stations.
“When they take a look at the renovated exhibits, kids are going to say ‘This is awesome.’” she said.
Maya Kosoff is a junior at Syracuse University and an intern at Central Penn Parent.
IF YOU GO
The museum is open daily through Sept. 3. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
The Peanuts at the Bat exhibit will be on display Aug. 10-Sept. 3. The exhibition features Charles M. Schulz's love for the all-American sport and showcases the Peanuts Gang’s hapless pursuit of a winning baseball strategy.
Brian Jordan, a retired Major League Baseball outfielder and National Football League safety, will be on hand Aug. 17-18 to talk about his book, Overcoming the Fear of the Baseball.
For more information, visit www.littleleague.org.