I'm one of those baseball fans who absolutely refuses to watch Little League baseball when it's the championships on ESPN/ABC. The championships of Little League baseball are approximately four years longer than the NBA and NHL playoffs. And there are eight kids on the field who are 5'1" and 95 pounds. Except for one kid, who has an Adam Morrison mustache, is 6'3" and 245. It reminds me too much of middle school gym class.
That said, this is pretty cool, in which I just found out (and if I'm behind, I apologize), that Jeff Bagwell was given the 2009 Bill Shea Distinguished Little League Graduate Award last month in Williamsport.
The award was established in 1987 to serve a two-fold purpose. First, and most importantly, the award is presented to a former Little Leaguer in Major League Baseball who best exemplifies the spirit of Little League. Consideration for selection includes both the individual’s ability and accomplishments and that person’s status as a positive role model.
Why Bagwell? Let's ask Stephen D. Keener, President and CEO of Little League Baseball and Softball:
“Jeff Bagwell played the game for its enjoyment and he had the talent to make baseball his career. Now as a member of the Astros’ front office, he is engaged in player development and serves as a talent evaluator, while continuing he charitable endeavors...
...“For Mr. Bagwell, baseball has been a life-long ambition, and his drive to play the game at the highest level required personal commitment and fortitude that was learned while playing Little League. His transition from playing to teaching skills and mentoring young players has brought him full circle with the experiences and enthusiasm enjoyed during his Little League days. Jeff’s athletic prowess coupled with his desire to assist in the lives of children makes us are proud to honor him with this award.”
“I loved putting on my Little League uniform and going to play. As I got older, every time I put on my uniform it was exciting. When I talk to young players, I tell them, ‘If baseball is what you want to do, go practice, play hard, keep plugging away and don’t give up.’”