Stars of the Future

Most of the time, sports headlines are dominated by big-time pro and college athletes. Sometimes high school heroes make it onto the national scene, but for the most part the big-leaguers dominate the spotlight.

One time a year, though, it's kids like you who take center stage in the sports world. This is a time when middle-schoolers upstage all-stars. Every August, the Little League World Series becomes one of the world's most popular athletic tournaments, turning 11,12 and 13-year-old ballplayers into super stars.

Williamsport, PA: Just like many other sporting events, the Little League World Series has a rich history. Since 1947, it has been played every year in South Williamsport, a small town in northern Pennsylvania. Until the late 1960s, only teams from the United States participated. Now, it is a worldwide tournament. Teams from all over the globe go to Williamsport to compete, leading to the crowing of a true world champion. The way the tournament is set up, the American champion plays against the international champion for the World Series title. Last year, a team from Hawaii beat a team from Mexico in the finals.

Future Big Leaguers: For more than 60 years, the best Little League players in the world have played in Williamsport. Occasionally, these athletes have gone on to become Major League stars. Some of these players include: Boston catcher Jason Varitek (1984 Little League World Series), Colorado pitcher Jason Marquis (1991 Little League World Series) and Boston outfielder Jason Bay (1990 Little League World Series).

Other Youth Tournaments: The late-summer festivities aren't just limited to the Little League World Series in Williamsport. There are international tournaments in baseball and softball for boys and girls of all ages. Hundreds of kids get to experience the thrill of competing in such important competitions. Don't forget to practice hard, as one day your team could be competing for a title.

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