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Pony World Series again set for Washington

For the 28th consecutive summer, Lew Hayes Field in Washington Park will host the Pony League World Series.

This year's 10-team, double elimination tournament for 13- and 14-year olds begins Aug. 12 and concludes Aug. 20 with the 1 p.m. championship game.

The tourney's opening night begins with the Caribbean Zone champion facing the West Zone champion at 5:30 p.m. and Mexico against the Host Area North at 8 p.m.

Last August Chesterfield County, Va., won the first Pony national title for a team from that state. Chesterfield completed its championship with a 3-1 victory in the finals over West Tokyo, Japan.

Over the past 14 years, seven American teams have won the Pony League World Series.

The overall Pony Baseball program is divided into seven different age divisions beginning with Shetland for ages 4-6 and ending with Palomino, up to age 18.

All told, this will be the 48th time in the 60-year existence that the Pony League World Series will take place in Washington. Washington played host to the first 12 Pony League championships from 1952 through 1963 and also served as host of the Pony World Series from 1968-1973, 1976, and 1981-1982.

Has earned its spot

A registered Historical Pennsylvania Landmark, Lew Hayes Field, was built by a volunteer work force in 1952 and the first World Series played on this field was 1953.

In 1998 the Washington Park field was named in honor of Hayes, the league's first commissioner. He was named commissioner of the new league when it was incorporated for national organization in early 1953. Hayes held that post until he was named the league's second president. Joseph Evans Brown, a well-known actor and comedian, was Pony's first president from 1953-64.

The Pony International headquarters has been located next to Consol Energy Park since 2005. The facility consists of 12,000 square feet and houses the offices, museum and shipping departments for Pony Baseball and Softball.

Culminating this worldwide event will be one team winning the Roy Gillespie Trophy. This championship trophy is named posthumously in honor of the former sportswriter from Illinois. Gillespie, along with Hayes and Brown, helped promote Pony League Baseball in its initial years. He followed Brown and was Pony's third president.

All World Series games will be broadcast live by WJPA radio (1450 AM) with Mark Uriah and Bob Gregg handling the broadcasting duties.

In addition to his play-by-play duties, Gregg has served as the Chairman of the Pony League World Series since 1985. Washington Councilman Terry Faust is the tournament director.

For more general information, contact the Pony offices at 724-225-1060 or e-mail info@pony.org .

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