OREM, Utah — In June of 1939, a group of young baseball players stepped onto a field in Williamsport, Pennsylvania and made history.
That was the start of Little League Baseball in the U.S., and this year marks the 75th anniversary.
Now, the city is enlisting the help of a man from Orem to plan their celebration during the Little League World Series.
“This is a dream job,” said Matt Glenn, the owner of Big Statues in Provo.
A few months ago, Glenn received a call from officials in Lycoming County in Pennsylvania, who were interested in commissioning statues for their event in August. A sculptor and baseball fan, Glenn jumped at the opportunity and won the bid for the project.
“We wanted to represent the international feel of baseball, how baseball now is almost in every country around the world,” Glenn said.
He and a team of artists spent countless hours trying to finish 10 statues by the deadline of August 1.
“There are representations from early baseball, from early ‘40s and ‘50s, all the way up to 2000s,” Glenn said.
The pieces follow the history of baseball, incorporating players from around the world. Each one comes with specifications that depict what was happening during the era, such as patches for the league’s very first sponsors.
“Every detail you see is something that actually happened,” Glenn said. “You’ll see a 42 out there representing Jackie Robinson.”
The statues will be shipped out on Friday and transported to Williamsport for an unveiling on August 22, the championship for the Little League World Series.
“They’ll be placed on the corners of an intersection, so home plate will be on one corner. First base will be across the street, and there will be two or three players on each corner representing a baseball diamond,” Glenn said. “So, as you’re driving through the intersection, you’ll see a home run being hit and baseball players interacting.”
Glenn plans to make the trip to the tournament to be present for the ceremony.
“To be a part of this whole thing is just a dream come true,” he said. “I can’t wait to show my grand kids one day.”