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Apr, 2024

VLL Player Headed to Williamsport

Caroline Braden, 12, a player for Vienna Little League's American League Majors Blue Jays, has been selected by Little League International as one of 96 girls to participate in the first-ever all-girls baseball event at the Little League World Series complex in Williamsport, PA. 

The "Maria Pepe Little League Baseball Legacy Series" on June 7-9, 2024, will bring together 10-12-year-old female baseball players from around the country for a competition that will mark 50 years since Little League first admitted girls into its programs.

When she takes the field at historic Howard J. Lamade Stadium, Caroline will become the first VLL player to play in Williamsport since the Vienna National All-Stars appeared in the Little League Baseball World Series in 1972.

1972 was also the year when Congress passed the "Title IX" civil rights law, and when 12-year-old Maria Pepe famously took the pitcher's mound for the Hoboken Little League. At that time, Little League baseball was played worldwide by more than two million boys and, counting Maria, one girl. 

Maria was swiftly removed from her team after appearing in just three games because national Little League leaders threatened to revoke the Hoboken league's charter for violating its boys-only policy. At that time, Little League Regulation IV(i) stated: "Girls are not eligible." A gender-discrimination lawsuit by the National Organization for Women ensued and, two years later, after NOW won its case before the New Jersey Supreme Court, Little League finally opened its dugouts to girls.

Today hundreds of thousands of "Girls with Game" take the field annually in Little League baseball and softball programs worldwide -- including about two dozen VLL baseball players in 2024.

VLL is tremendously proud of Caroline's selection for this honor. It is a tribute not only to her talents and competitive determination, but to those attributes in all of the other female Majors and Minors players who have represented our league with distinction over the years.

Way to go, Caroline!
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