ENOLA, Pa. (WHTM) — Enola little league celebrated another opening day but this one was extra special as they honored an original little league team from 1947.
“You don’t remember a lot of that because it’s 76 years ago…” Charlie Sheaffer said.
It’s been a long time since he and his teammates took the diamond for Enola little league, but when their 1947 team did, they were trailblazers.
“Five of the players from Enola that we recognized on the team today went on to the first Little League World Series ever so it’s really neat for our kids to see that and be inspired,” EPYAL Baseball Director Joe Johns said.
“You went up there, you played one game if you lost you came back home,” Sheaffer said. “Nobody paid anything, you didn’t stay overnight, nobody furnished your meals.”
76 years after their national little league tournament appearance — it wasn’t called the world series until 1949 — that original Enola team got to ring in a new season with a new generation of Enola ballplayers.
“It was special, I think the other guys really enjoyed being able to come out,” Sheaffer said.
“Even deep into their 80s they have such passion for baseball, they’re so happy to see these kids out here,” Johns said.
Sheaffer has been a glue guy for the team even long after hanging up the glove.
“Charlie Sheaffer has done a tremendous job getting us all together, which isn’t too many anymore,” another member of the team, Kenneth Hall, said. “There’s six of us left from 1947.”
“A lot of us guys still get together for brunch that are left,” Sheaffer said. “Quite a few of them have passed away.”
The game has come a long way since Enola’s first trip to Williamsport.
“I look at the kids nowadays and most of them much better ballplayers than me,” Hall said.
But that doesn’t erase that first team’s impact.
“One day they’ll look back at this and see that 1947 team that was here and want to pay it forward themselves,” Johns said.