We drop by Howard J. Lamade Stadium, home of the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa.
Capacity: 15,000 in grandstand, 40,000 on grounds
Dimensions: 225R, 225C, 225R
Address: 539 U.S. Hwy. 15, South Williamsport, Pennsylvania 17702.
Directions: Highway 15 runs north-south through Pennsylvania; the nearest larger cities are Wilkes-Barre, Scranton and Harrisburg.
For most of the year Howard J. Lamade Stadium is empty, with minimal action during the summer.
Until the Little League World Series, that is, when tens of thousands of fans fill the ballpark to cheer on the youth on the field. It is an amazing experience, to be sure.
The ballpark is basic. Though the area can seat 40,000, the ballpark grandstand can hold 15,000. Forget about amenities: concessions are in back of the grandstand, and the emphasis always is on the action of the field.
Howard J. Lamade (LAM-a-day) was the son of Grit founder Dietrick Lamade and worked for decades on the once-ubiquitous publication geared toward rural America. Grit was published out of Williamsport; Lamade also worked for Little League Baseball, Inc., and his family donated the land for the ballpark.
In fact, the existence of Lamade Stadium is somewhat an accident of history. Williamsport has always been a center of Little League Baseball, but before the building of Lamade Stadium the city of Williamsport offered a run-down Bowman Field to Little League Baseball. There was no pro ball being played at Bowman Field at the time, but the historic ballpark was so run down Little League passed on it. Later on Bowman Field was renovated for pro ball, and Lamade Stadium has served as an excellent home to Little League Baseball.
If you go, spend some time at the Little League Museum in the complex.