A statue of a boy, ever-ready to field a fly ball to left field, now greets visitors, students, and faculty to the campus of The Pennsylvania College of Technology.
Situated along the main entrance to Penn College’s campus from Maynard St., this statue is the sixth installment in the “Bases Loaded” series of statues commissioned by the Lycoming County Visitors Bureau that can be found throughout Williamsport.
“We all know Little League baseball plays a key role in the identity of who we are” began Jason Fink, Executive Director of the Williamsport Chamber of Commerce, at the start of the unveiling held Friday, Aug. 16.
He noted that the Little League World Series is the main event, but “of greater importance,” he said, “is what happens in the spring of every year when local leagues with teams of boys and girls from local neighborhoods in communities like ours and those thorughout the world” take the field.
What Little League does for communities is deeper than bringing the world here for two weeks each year. All season, adults volunteer in concession stands, groom the fields, and coach the kids. They take their time to “not only guide in how to play the sport of baseball or softball,” Fink said, “but to teach life lessons, “how to get along with others, sportsmanship, and leadership.”
The Bases Loaded series celebrates the culture and history of baseball in our area. It also serves as a “destination project” commissioned by the Lycoming County Visitors Bureau, noted Amy Brooks, Chair of Lycoming County Visitors Bureau. Visitors can travel throughout the City to find each statue, while discovering other interesting points of interest in the community, including unique shops, restaurants, the Thomas T. Taber museum, Millionaires Row, and more.
Projected seven-year installation of Bases Loaded began in 2014
The first ten statues were commissioned in 2014 on the 75th Anniversary of Little League Baseball, and are situated around Market Square, Market and Third Streets.
In 2015, a statue of a pitcher was installed at the Original Little League on West Fourth St.
The next year brought the shortstop to the Trade and Transit Centre II.
And in 2017, the right fielder was unveiled at BB&T Ballbark at Historic Bowman Field.
UMPC Susquehanna was the site for the next installment, a center fielder outside the Emergency Entrance at The Williamsport Hospital in 2018.
This year’s left fielder at Penn College joins the team, rounding out the nine position player statues. The last of the commissioned statues will be unveiled in 2021, when Little League Baseball hosts the 75th annual World Series.
The statue was unveiled by four Penn College students, Gillian Sinnott and Olivia Hemstock of the women’s softball team, and Max Conrad and Nathan Holt of the men’s baseball team, as they pulled the blue cover to reveal the left fielder. Members of the men’s and women’s soccer teams were also on hand to witness the unveiling.
Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour, President of Penn College noted, “When I think of Little League, I think of the word ‘team,’” including the team at Penn College who installed the statue. In addition to hosting one of the Bases Loaded statues, she highlighted how Penn College connects with Little League, including hosting the picnic for players and participating in the parade.
Penn College also financed the statue.
Sinnott said that in being selectd to unveil the statue, she was excited to represent their softball team’s support for Little League. Conrad and Holt, both upperclassmen on their baseball team, have enjoyed meeting players from the Little League teams.
“They just like to have fun," they said. "What’s not fun about playing baseball in the Little League World Series?”