Educators to Receive Sweet Surprise at World of Little League® Museum

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (February 5, 2015) – The World of Little League®: Peter J. McGovern Museum and Official Store has a sweet surprise in store for educators in February.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the museum has announced “World of Little League Museum Loves Teachers.”

Educators at any level showing teaching identification receive free admission to the museum throughout the month. Up to two guests also are free for a total value of up to $15.

The education event is in conjunction with the Williamsport Loves Teachers program sponsored by the Lycoming County Visitors Bureau, Feb. 13-23. However, the museum has opened its doors to educators at no charge for the entire month.

“This is a great way for teachers, from pre-school through college, to learn what our museum has to offer,” said Lance Van Auken, Little League Vice President and World of Little League Executive Director. “We’re glad to provide a benefit to educators who do such important work for our community, commonwealth, and nation.”

Several of the members of the museum’s Hall of Excellence are educators, including Pennsylvania resident Michael Pladus, who was named the 1999 National High School Principal of the Year. Dr. Pladus was principal of Interboro High School, Prospect Park, Pa., when he received the national award for his dedication to students and his drive to help them succeed.

Dr. Pladus retired as superintendent of Upper Dublin School District (Ambler, Pa.) and was praised for his accomplishments and impact on students and those with whom he has worked, according to an article in the Ambler Gazette on Dec. 17, 2013.

A member of the Shenandoah North (Pa.) Little League, Dr. Pladus said, during his induction to the Hall of Excellence, that “Little League provided me with more than positive recreation; it provided me with opportunities to learn lessons from which I have benefited throughout my life.”

Dr. Robert Stratta was inducted into the Hall of Excellence in 2000. Now Professor of Surgery and Transplantation at Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, N.C., he played for North Roseland Little League of Chicago. He considers pitching in the 1967 Little League Baseball World Series one of the high points in his life.

Dr. Stratta, who attended college on a baseball scholarship, isn’t shy about crediting Little League and the sport of baseball with enabling him to accomplish so much in life. “I played baseball for the competition and sheer joy of the sport. But in the end it allowed me to travel around the country, paved the way for my higher education, and taught me how to effectively compete in the ‘game’ of life.”

A 1996 Hall of Excellence inductee, Dr. Robert Sloan, was like many children, playing Little League for “something to do.”

But Little League became one of the forces that drove him to success. The graduate of Western Little League in Abelene, was President of Baylor University in Waco, Texas, when he was inducted.  Now he is President of Houston Baptist University.

“In a way, all the basic elements of life are in baseball and Little League,” said Dr. Sloan. “You have to show up at a certain time. If you’re late, you let the team down. And just like life, there are isolated individual performances that stand out. But in the end, it’s what the team did that really matters.”

Dr. Sloan, a Little League coach from 1984 to 1990, has authored two books and more than 50 articles.

The Williamsport Loves Teachers program is open to all teachers, school district employees and teachers union retirees. There is no charge for registration and it may be made by contacting the Lycoming County Visitors Center in downtown Williamsport near Wegman’s. Each instructor will receive a Very Important Teacher’s pass. The passes include discounts on dining, shopping, attractions and entertainment.

Education is important to Little League and to the museum, which offers group rates for field trips and has lesson plans available in several subjects, including reading, world cultures and mathematics. The lesson plans were developed through the Education Departments at Bloomsburg University and Mansfield University. Additional information is available from Janice L. Ogurcak, Director of Public Programming and Outreach at 570-326-1921 ext. 2280.

Rates for pre-registered groups of 20 or more people are as follows: $1 for children 12 and younger; $3 for those 13-61; and $2 for anyone 62 or older. Otherwise rates are $2, $5 and $3, respectively.

Additional information about the county program is online at

The World of Little League, 525 Montgomery Pike (US 15), is open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. with the exception of Monday, Jan. 19. General admission is $5. It is $2 for children (ages 5 through 12) and $3 for senior citizens (62 years and older). Children four and younger are admitted free of charge.

More information about the Museum is available at or you can contact the Museum at 570-326-3607. Follow World of Little League on Facebook ( and Twitter (

Photos of About Little League®

Little League® Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with 2.4 million players and one million adult volunteers in every U.S. state and more than 80 other countries. Founded in 1939, more than 35 million people around the world, from a U.S. president to community leaders to professional athletes, can call themselves Little League graduates. And every year, millions of people follow the hard work, dedication, and sportsmanship that the Little Leaguers display at our nine baseball and softball World Series events, the premier tournaments in youth sports. For more information, visit, or follow Little League on Facebook (, Twitter (, and Instagram (

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