The Little League World Series is going back to how it was, even bigger.
After an edition canceled in 2020 and a competition limited to teams from the United States last year (each time in connection with the pandemic), the famous minor baseball tournament welcomes this time 20 clubs, four more than usually.
The action begins Wednesday in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
The inaugural edition took place in 1947, 75 years ago.
The tournament has acquired an undeniable reputation, in addition to instilling dynamism in this corner of Pennsylvania.
Home to around 35,000 people, Williamsport and South Williamsport were eager for fans and families to return.
“The last two years have been tough,” Williamsport Mayor Derek Slaughter said.
“It’s hard to put a number on it, but there’s no substitute for a traditional Little League World Series.”
In 2021, only family and friends could take place in one of the two stadiums of the complex during matches.
There weren’t the big crowds in outdoor chairs on the hill beyond Lamade Stadium, where the league game will be played on August 28.
Slaughter estimates that 85,000 visitors will be passing through his city, to the delight of restaurateurs and other traders.
“We are privileged to be able to organize this event,” said Slaughter. Our business people will be very happy with it. They deserve it considering what we have all had to go through in recent years.
Max Ralph is studying journalism at Penn State University.
Max Ralph, The Associated Press