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Angels to play Cleveland in MLB Little League Classic next year

Angels manager Joe Maddon, center, greets players after a three-run home run by Mike Trout.
Angels manager Joe Maddon, center, greets players after a three-run home run by Mike Trout during a July 26 game against Oakland.
(Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

The Angels are scheduled to play the Cleveland Indians in the MLB Little League Classic at historic Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pa., on Aug. 22, 2021, Major League Baseball announced Sunday morning.

The 4 p.m. PDT game, the finale of a weekend series that will begin with two games in Cleveland, will be televised nationally by ESPN as part of its “Sunday Night Baseball” package. Players from both teams will attend Little League World Series games earlier in the day in an effort to promote the game at the youth level.

Much of the stadium for the Angels-Indians game will be filled with players and families of the participating Little League World Series teams as well as players from local Williamsport youth baseball and softball organizations.

MLB and the MLB Players Assn. launched the Little League Classic in 2017, with a game pitting the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals. The Philadelphia Phillies played the New York Mets in 2018, and the Pirates played the Chicago Cubs in 2019.

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Mike Trout made a key diving catch late and hit a two-run double, Ty Buttrey recorded a six-out save and the Angels defeated the Athletics 4-3.

This year’s scheduled game between the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Angels manager Joe Maddon, who grew up in Hazelton, Pa., and managed the Cubs when they played in Williamsport last year, is looking forward to the trip.

“You get off the airplane and the kids greet you and it’s so grassroots, it’s so original, it’s so organic,” Maddon said of the Williamsport experience. “That’s what we really have to promote, to make sure that the kids understand what this game is all about us all. We were all impressed, from the manager, the players, all the staff, all the traveling party. It’s just a really, really big highlight.

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“It’s going to be really exciting for everybody here. It’s spectacular. And the fact that it’s in Pennsylvania, about an hour from where I grew up, I feel like I’m at home, and it makes it even more special for me.”


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