ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – In less than a month, the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates will play in a nationally televised game, from a Single-A ballpark in Williamsport, Pa. Two former St. Louis Cardinals players were at the field, Sunday, to help promote the “MLB Little League Classic.”
The August 20th game will air on ESPN at 7 p.m.
Andy Van Slyke, who began his MLB career in St. Louis, remembers playing 12 games when he was 12-years-old for his Little League team. He told WNEP in Pennsylvania, he mostly remembers a deal with a local pizza place that for every home run a player hit, he’d get a free pizza after the game.
“I tried to hit a home run every game we played,” Van Slyke told WNEP. “I actually ended up hitting 12 home runs that year and after every game I would take my team and we’d go get that pizza.”
Although the Hall of Famer Bob Gibson never played Little League baseball, in his hometown of Omaha, Ne., he did play American Legion Baseball, which age-wise is very similar.
WNEP reports, BB&T Ball Park at Historic Bowman Field in Williamsport is still undergoing $4 millions worth of permanent, and some temporary, changes to be able to accommodate the Cards, Bucs and Little League attendees. The temporary upgrades include: home and away clubhouses, MLB signage and a production team that works with MLB set up camp in the empty lot behind the outfield fence.
The Class-A Williamsport Crosscutters, affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies play are on a week-long road trip between August 14-21. By the time they return on the 22nd, the field will be back to normal.
Tickets to the game at Bowman Field, the second oldest minor league park in the nation, are not on sale. The stands will instead be filled by Little League World Series players, their families, and 200 local residents who won a random drawing.