ESPN’s exclusive coverage of the 2022 MLB Little League Classic Presented by GEICO on Sunday Night Baseball Presented by Taco Bell featured several in-game player interviews and special moments from Historic Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pa. The Sunday Night Baseball team of Karl Ravech, Eduardo Perez and World Series Champion David Cone called their first MLB Little League Classic together on the traditional ESPN telecast with Buster Olney reporting. KidsCast returned on ESPN2, providing an alternate presentation of the game with a youth perspective from 18-year old Max Wallace, 14-year old Leo Roth and 11-year old reporter Pepper Persley.
On ESPN, Sunday Night Baseball continued its innovative, season-long initiative of in-game conversations with players, including the first time with two players, Orioles outfielders Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays.
Hays recanted his loss to one of the little leaguers racing down the famous Williamsport hill. “It was an embarrassing performance,” he said. View here.
Orioles rookie catcher Adley Rutschman spoke about his unique relationship with his pitching staff, and his routine of hugging players. “This guy is too good to be true,” David Cone said, “that’s a great way to win over your pitching staff.” View here.
Red Sox second baseman Christian Arroyo paused his in-game conversation to joke with Orioles second baseman, Rougned Odor. “Don’t hit me, please!” View here.
President George W. Bush and MLB Commissioner Manfred Join Sunday Night Baseball
President George W. Bush and MLB Commissioner Manfred joined Eduardo Perez and Karl Ravech during the second inning of the game. President George W. Bush, the first Little League participant to become President, talked about his mentors.
“They were wonderful men who taught us life as well as baseball,” said Bush.
Commissioner Manfred discussed his experience at the MLB Little League Classic and announced the 2023 matchup on KidsCast, the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals.
“You’re making kids dreams come true and the players enjoy it,” Commissioner Manfred said on the ESPN telecast. “I think that’s the greatest testament about our players—how much they enjoy being here and doing this for the game.” View the conversation here.
Pepper Persley also interviewed President George W. Bush about his new statue in Williamsport, Pa., his famous first pitch at Yankee Stadium, and his first memories of baseball. “My dad was a good baseball player, and he encouraged me to play,” he said. View the interview here.
More from KidsCast
Later in the game, Pepper Persley got a foul ball. “That was definitely very exciting, but I mean, it’s hard to put it first after interviewing the former president.” View the moment here.
Little League Champion Todd Frazier joined KidsCast to recall his Little League World Series experience. “We took the whole world by storm,” he remembered. “It was a fun time for our family.” View the interview here.
ESPN’s Little League World Series coverage continues this week across ESPN, ABC and ESPN2, with the Little League Baseball World Series Championship on Sunday, August 28, at 3 p.m. ET on ABC. For more information, visit ESPN Press Room.