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Historic Bowman Field hosts first MLB game

August 25, 2017

For the first time ever, a Major League matchup was played at historic Bowman Field.

On Aug. 20, the Pittsburgh Pirates played the St. Louis Cardinals at the 91-year-old Minor League facility, BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field, located in Williamsport, Pa. The Pirates pulled off the win in the final game in a four-game set.

Leading up to the game, BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field was renovated to conform to MLB’s standards. The outfield dimensions are now 331 feet to right field, 411 feet to center field and 323 to left field, according to a CBS Sports article. Before renovations, it was 351-408-341 from right to left.

The field required 6,000 tons of sand and root-zone material. A laser hooked up to a tractor operating a box blade brought the surface to within ¼ inch of the finished grade and new infield and outfield sod to meet MLB standards.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the renovation, courtesy of the MLB:

This special event spotlighted Little League International’s commitment to working with MLB to celebrate youth baseball and softball through its PLAY BALL Initiative. The players and families of the 16 teams competing in the Little League Baseball World Series were in attendance at the event as well.

“Major League Baseball’s greatest responsibility is to ensure that today’s youth become active participants in our game as players and fans,” said Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., in MLB’s official release. “The ‘MLB Little League Classic’ exemplifies our entire sport’s commitment to building a stronger connection between young people and the National Pastime. Our players will honor the great tradition of the Little League World Series and create lifelong memories for the Little Leaguers, their families and the city of Williamsport. I thank the Pirates and the Cardinals, Little League Baseball, Governor Wolf, the Crosscutters, the City of Williamsport, and ESPN for helping us organize an unforgettable weekend.”

The MLB Little League Classic is the latest in a series of new initiatives of MLB that Little League International is supporting to grow the games of baseball and softball, on both the grassroots and developmental levels.

BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field is a minor league ballpark in Williamsport and home of the Williamsport Crosscutters, currently a lower level affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. They were once a Pirates affiliate. The Pennsylvania College of Technology also plays their home games at the ballpark.

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