MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred was working the crowd full of kids Sunday night in Williamsport, Pa., and had to know MLB hit a home run. The Little League Classic was about far more than the Pirates and Cardinals playing an official game in a heavily renovated Class A ballpark.
It was a daylong celebration of the game the big-league guys played as kids and the scenes everywhere were terrific. There were Bucs and Cards riding the bus with the kids, signing autographs and taking pictures while having sing-alongs. St. Louis' Dexter Fowler got the kids to sign his shoes for the game, Cards players Tommy Pham and Carlos Martinez ordered a round of 200 snow cones, Josh Harrison of the Pirates entered a human bobblehead contest with two Little Leaguers.
The folks in Williamsport presented framed Little League jerseys to World Series alums Lance Lynn and Randal Grichuk of the Cardinals and Max Moroff of the Pirates. The big-league clubs even shook hands after their game. Super cool touches.
This kind of outreach is perfect for baseball at a time when it's vying for kids' attention with soccer, the NFL and NBA. Memo to MLB: Get two teams to Williamsport every year.