ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The inaugural MLB Little League Classic between the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates is obviously a marketing scheme by ESPN to promote its coverage of the Little League World Series. However, the non-cynics in the U.S. will see it as rare opportunity for just a small group of fans watch baseball in a very intimate setting.
And that’s a win for everyone.
Here are the 5 best things to watch for during this Sunday’s game:
1) The jerseys – Each player will be allowed to wear a jersey featuring their nickname in place of their last name. You won’t see a No. 18 Martinez or No. 13 Matt Carpenter, instead you’ll see “Tsunami” and “Carp” on the field. It’s part of MLB Players Weekend, a special weekend of games where players are able to show off their creative and charitable sides during MLB games.
2) Day with the kids – Make sure you’re following the likes of Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina, Dexter Fowler and Carlos Martinez on Twitter and Instagram, because they might be sharing their experience with the players and fans in Williamsport. Both the Pirates and Cardinals will attend a Little League World Series game on Sunday, before getting prepared for their competition that night.
3) Intimacy of the ballpark – BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field, the home of the Class-A Williamsport Crosscutters, has a capacity of approximately 2,500. It will become the smallest venue to ever host a regular season MLB game, reports Baseball America. Bowman Field is also the second-oldest minor league ballpark in the United States.
4) Game’s importance – The Cardinals are just 1.5 games back of the Chicago Cubs, going into Friday’s contests. Chicago has gone 5-5 in their last 10, as St. Louis is 7-3. Lets hope the remaining teams in the Little League World Series will grow a rooting interest in the 11-time World Series champion Cardinals, to help push them to a victory.
5) Growing the game – The Little League World Series features teams from Asia, Australia, Canada, Carribbean, Europe, Africa, Japan, Latin America and Mexico, chances are that many of those athletes, and their families, have never seen a MLB game in their lives. Sunday, they might be shaking hands with pro ballplayers. MLB played a game in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Sydney, Australia, and their are plans to play a game in Mexico soon. It’s trending in the right direction, to give the world a chance to watch a game that many in our country may take for granted.
First pitch will be at 6 p.m., and pregame coverage begins at 5:05 p.m. on KMOX 1120AM.