In honor of the late Bro. Carl Stotz, the Mason who founded Little League Baseball in 1939, Robert L. Dluge, Jr., R.W. Grand Master announced a monumental program for the Masons of Pennsylvania to support the expansion of the Little League World Series in Williamsport. During a well attended media conference on Dec. 30 in the Little League Baseball Museum in Williamsport, Grand Master Dluge tossed a winning pitch in this team effort to benefit youth by presenting a contribution of $500,000 to Little League Baseball.
Because of this support, in conjunction with the building of another stadium, the Little League complex will have a big league-style scoreboard marked with Masonic symbols and dedicated in honor of the late Bro. Stotz. In addition, there will be a memorial sculpture of him placed at the entrance of the stadium complex. A Masonic cornerstone laying ceremony for the memorial statue is also being planned for the unveiling and dedication of the statue during the Little League World Series.
It was Bro. Stotz, who was a member of John F. Laedlein Lodge No. 707, Williamsport, who conceived the idea of organized baseball for young boys. He founded the first program in 1939 with only three teams that today has grown to become the world's largest organized youth sports program. Nearly three million boys and girls participate in Little League baseball and softball programs, with one million volunteers in 103 countries.
Grand Master Dluge presented the check to Stephen D. Kemmer, President and C.E.O. of Little League Baseball; Karen Stotz Myers, daughter of the late Bro. Carl Stotz; and Theodore H. Reich, Chairman of Little League Baseball International Board of Directors. In receiving the grant, President Kemmer said: "With Little League Baseball continuing to grow and expand, it is appropriate that we take this opportunity to remember Carl Stotz as the founder of our program. We thank the Masons of Pennsylvania for their generosity and their belief in the mission of Little League as they memorialize Mr. Stotz. Their gifts will be of benefit to the children around the world."
"It is a great day for the Stotz family, Masons, and the Little League," said Chairman Reich, who also is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jersey Shore (PA) State Bank.
According to Karen Stotz Myers, the founding of Little League was simply the result of her father wanting his nephews to play baseball. "The Stotz family dreams will be realized when future generations of Little Leaguers know it was Carl Stotz who gave them the opportunity," she said at the media conference.
After the conference, Grand Master Dluge commented on behalf of the nearly 150,000 Pennsylvania Masons, "Our team effort and contribution is a 'grand slam' for youth, again putting action into the often repeated words that 'Masons care about youth.'"
This Grand Master's program came to this point as a team effort among a number of Masons, especially Ronald A. Aungst, Sr., R.W. Junior Grand Warden, and Richard L. Betron, Sr., P.M., Lodge No. 106, Williamsport, who is an employee of Little League Headquarters, Inc.