The 69th edition of the Little League World Series has come to a close in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. For the 10th time in its country’s history, Japan is crowned the champions, as they defeated the United States champion and local favorite from Lewisberry, PA by a final score of 18-11.
Both teams went into the championship game undefeated. The Kitasuna Little Leaguers based out of Tokyo, Japan had given up just ten runs through their first four games in the tournament. Japan is a perennial powerhouse at the annual event in Williamsport. Their tenth title ranks third among countries represented in Williamsport every year. It was the tenth time since 2000 that they have appeared in the World Championship game, and the third time specifically for the Kitasuna Little League to bring home the title.
Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania team representing the United States broke attendance records throughout the tournament. In their five games combined, they drew over 189,000 people to watch them play. They were also one of the most prolific scoring teams ever to play in the tournament. During the summer, they outscored opponents by an unthinkable margin of 293-48.
The state of Michigan has represented its region eight times since 1957, which was the inaugural year for the “Central” Region (which was split up into the “Midwest” and “Great Lakes” Regions in 2001. The most recent time Michigan was in Williamsport was in 2013, when Grosse Point Woods LL took home the honors. An Escanaba, Michigan Little League team was the first to represent the “Central” Region in 1957. Two years later in the summer of 1959, a Hamtramck, Michigan team won the Little League World Championship, which stands as the state’s lone title in the tournament.