By Rachel Jones
Photograph from Jeff Jones, Capture Inc. Photographic Services
Start buying those peanuts and Cracker Jacks — it’s time to go out to the ballgame in Washington County! The 65th annual DICK’S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series brings baseball teams from across the world — including Maui, Hawaii; Paderborn, Germany; Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico; Taipei County, Chinese Taipei; and of course, Washington County, Pa. — to Lew Hays Field August 5-10 to compete for the coveted championship.
“It’s an important jewel in what makes Washington County a special place,” says Bob Gregg, president of World Series Tournaments, Inc. To share the local pride with as many baseball fans as possible, Sinclair Networks Group will televise every game of the PONY League World Series in 2016 and 2017 on American Sports Network (ASN).
“The Pony League World Series aligns with ASN’s vision of providing a platform for competitive and relevant sports events in communities across America that will showcase the determination and pure love of the game that these kids have,” says Doron Gorshein, COO of ASN.
Plus, Sinclair station WPNT in Pittsburgh (22 The Point) will air two live games during the series: an opening-round game August 6 at 5:30 p.m. and the World Series championship game August 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Lew Hays Field hosts the tournament for the 33rd year in a row, but the park did recently receive a makeover from DICK’S Sporting Goods, who provided updated signage and a new entryway to the field to elevate the already exciting atmosphere.
And the organization, in concert with sponsors the Observer-Reporter, the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, the Washington County Tourism Promotion Agency, and DICK’S Sporting Goods, is making sure this year is “more than just baseball games,” incorporating live entertainment, fan-focused activities, and extra events for the players themselves.
Check out the full game and event schedule below! Game tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children. For tickets and more information, visit plws.org.
Text “PONY” to 39187 to become a Pony MVP Insider and stay updated on the series. You will also be entered for a chance to win a $100 DICK’S Sporting Goods gift card! A random winner will be drawn at the Championship game on August 10. No purchase necessary.
Thursday, August 4
DICK’S Sporting Goods hosts the first-ever Fan Fest at its Washington store. Come meet the players, outfitted in their official DICK’S Sporting Goods uniforms; play interactive games; have some fun with the Pittsburgh Pirate Parrot and Bucco Brigade; and see a live broadcast with 93.7 The Fan.
Friday, August 5
Pre-tournament meeting at PONY Headquarters
The World Series Home Run Derby & Fastest Runner Contest, sponsored by the Observer-Reporter, will determine who can knock the most out of the park and who is the fastest around the bases. The Joint Service Clubs Luncheon will follow.
Game 1 — Los Mochis, Mexico vs Peters Township, Pa.
+ Opening ceremonies will take place between Game 1 and Game 2
Game 2 — Chesterfield, Va. vs Johnstown, Pa.
Saturday, August 6
Chapman Corporation presents the Champions League Game, inviting players of all abilities to join in the fun.
Game 3 — Laredo, Texas vs Bay County, MI
+ Performance by Joe Grkman & Alpen-Glow from Hofbrauhaus in Pittsburgh, presented by Northwest Bank after the game
Game 4 — Washington County, Pa. vs Paderborn, Germany
+ Performance by Guaracha Latin Dance Band after the game
Game 5 — Winner of Game 1 vs Taipei County, Chinese Taipei
Sunday, August 7
Players will partake in the beloved Breakfast of Champions at DoubleTree Meadowlands, sponsored by WalMart, Sam’s Club, the City of Washington, and Giant Eagle
Game 6 — Maui, Hawaii vs Game 4 Winner
+ Performance by Mariachi Band Zelaya after the game
Game 7 — Loser Game 1 vs Loser Game 2
+ Special recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Greensboro, N.C., 1966 PONY World Series Championship after the game
Game 8 — Loser Game 3 vs Loser Game 4
Monday, August 8
Game 9 — Loser Game 5 vs Winner Game 7
Game 10 — Loser Game 6 vs Winner Game 8
Starting at 5 p.m.
Celebrate Pirates Night and Mascot Night with Pirates players, management, the Bucco Brigade, the Pierogies, and the Pirate Parrot! The first 500 fans wearing Pirates gold/yellow will receive a free ticket to an upcoming Pirates game, the first 300 kids 10 and under will receive a free foam ball and bat, and one lucky fan will win an exclusive Pirates give-away item. And, thanks to the partnership with West Virginia Radio Corp. and Pinewood Sports, it’s West Virginia Night, too!
Game 11 — Winner Game 5 vs Winner Game 2
Your favorite furry characters will stop by for Mascot Night!
Game 12 — Winner Game 3 vs Winner Game 6
Tuesday, August 9
Game 13 — Loser Game 11 vs Winner Game 9
Game 14 — Loser Game 12 vs Winner Game 11
Starting at 5 p.m.
It’s Military Appreciation Night, presented by the Association of the United States Army, Pittsburgh Chapter, featuring a Color Guard presentation and honorary first pitch. All active, reserve, retired, and veteran military members can get up to four tickets on plws.org or govx.com.
Game 15 — Winner Game 11 vs Winner Game 13
Game 16 — Winner Game 12 vs Winner Game 14
Wednesday, August 10
If Winner Game 13 wins Game 15, a Game 15 rematch takes place at 10 a.m.
If Winner Game 14 wins Game 16, a Game 16 rematch takes place at 12:30 p.m.
Performance by John McDonald and the Mango Men, presented by Northwest Bank
Championship Game — Winner Game 15/17 vs Winner Game 16/18
* Lanny Frattare, the long-time Pirates play-by-play announcer, will provide the game coverage!