Every young ballplayer dreams of this: Play baseball on national television. For 13 Michigan boys, that dream comes true this evening when they take the field for the first game of the Little League World Series in WIlliamsport, Pa. The team, made up of players from all over the Grosse Pointe area, is representing the entire Great Lakes region in the LLWS. They face the Southwest regional champions from Lufkin, Texas starting at 7 p.m. EST Thursday night. You can watch on ESPN2 or stream the game live on ESPN3.com.
Grosse Pointe Woods-Shores’ path to the LLWS wasn’t a clear-cut one. The Michigan team came all the way back from the loser’s bracket before winning four straight games, most recently against the Hinsdale, Ill. team, to pave its way to Williamsport.
Little League rules
The Little League rules differ significantly from Major League Baseball rules. The main differences are the lengths of games, extra innings, and pitchers — how many pitches each can throw and how many days of rest each needs before being eligible to return to the mound. The full rule book, including updates for the 2017 season, can be found here.
- The Grosse-Pointe Woods-Shores team also advanced to the LLWS in 2013 and 1979.
- The 2017 Grosse Pointe Woods-Shores team is the eighth team from Michigan to get to the LLWS in the tournament’s history.
- Only one Michigan team has ever won the LLWS: the 1959 Hamtramck Little League team, which included arguably the best player in Little League history, Pinky Deras. You can click here to read a full write-up of the 1959 team and Deras.