Little Leaguers Get Royal Treatment - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Little Leaguers Get Royal Treatment

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SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) - Little League World Series players are not only treated like rock stars, they're housed and protected like them, too.

Players and coaches stay at the Dr. Creighton J. Hale International Grove, next to where they compete at Lamade and Volunteer stadiums. It's secure and private enough to feel as though there's no one around but their friends.

And that's the plan as four buildings house the four teams. The grounds are fenced and anyone who wants in or out — including players — must flash their credential in front of a machine that tracks their whereabouts.

When team buses pulled in this week, luggage and gear were checked by security and player's temperatures were taken to avoid spreading illnesses, according to Brian McClintock, Little League's media relations director. An infirmary is located in the complex.

Once off the bus, Easton and Rawlings sporting goods companies gave each player shoes, jerseys, pants, bats, undershirts and practice shirts, McClintock said. Everything but the pants go home with them.

When the team from South Nashville, Tenn., arrived, their luggage didn't accompany them. McClintock said the Australian team, making its first appearance in Williamsport, allowed the players to use their gloves so they could practice.

A spacious game room in the complex has table tennis and air hockey tables, pinball games and video games.

The first floor of the rec center serves food and banners displaying each of the 16 teams hang from the ceiling. Pictures of past champions adorn one the wall. An Olympic-size swimming pool sits outside with a caricature of Little League's mascot, Dugout, tiled in on the pool floor.

McClintock said Little League and the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., will celebrate their 75th anniversary next year.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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