At 2017’s Little League World Series, which is currently taking place in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, two young competitors bridged their language barrier with the help of technology. When Bob Holzman, a former ESPN anchor who is currently working for Infield Chatter of the Major League Baseball Players Association, captured a photo of the two boys, sitting side by side on the ground in the athletes village, it was not to shame them for their smartphone addictions, as the two boys were not playing games or viewing their friends’ Snapchat photos.
Rather, these two boys, one from South Dakota and the other from the Dominican Republic, were using Google translate technology in order to communicate with one another.
Though South Dakota was eliminated this weekend, after representing the Midwest, the Dominican Republic is on the line for a must win game against Venezuela if they want to move forward in the tournament. The fact that these two were rivals didn’t stop them from trying to bond with one another off the field.
The Little League Baseball World Series is an international tournament for children who are between the ages of 11 and 13 come together every August to play against their peers from all over the world. Though there are actually 12 such tournaments that are sponsored by different branches of Little League Internationals, this is often referred to as just the Little League World Series.
Established 70 years ago, it was originally a tournament for only American teams, which allowed children from different regions throughout the United States to meet and play one another, but due to its popularity, international brackets were quickly added to the competition. The tournament has been played in Williamsport, Pennsylvania since its establishment in 1947, making use of two separate stadiums. Over 2 million children compete in the tournament, with the vast majority of the players coming from the United States.