Major League Baseball announced today that the Little League Classic will be played again next season, this time with the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies facing off on August 19 at Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The game will be broadcast by ESPN for Sunday Night Baseball.
As was the case this year, when the Pirates and Cardinals faced off in the inaugural edition of the event, players from both teams will attend the Little League World Series earlier in the day. Back on August 20, Pittsburgh beat St. Louis 6-3 before a crowd. It was a small crowd — only about 2,500 fans can fit into the minor league ballpark — but it made for a great event, both in person and on TV. I’m glad they’re doing it again.
There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.
The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.
All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.
After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.
Here’s today’s schedule: