For the last 100 years, newspaper, magazine, and online journalists, literary artists, and musical composers in the United States have dreamed of earning a Pulitzer Prize, and for two enshrinees of the Little League® Hall of Excellence, those dreams were once achieved.
With the Pulitzer Prize heading into its Centennial Year Celebration in 2017, Little League® decided to take a look back in time at two members of the Little League Hall of Excellence, George Will and Dave Barry, and their Pulitzer Prize winning performances in 1977 and 1988, respectively.
A graduate of the Champaign (Ill.) Little League, George Will is known as a nationally syndicated columnist, political analyst, and best-selling author. Specifically known for his political commentary and once referred to as “perhaps the most powerful journalist in America” by The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Will was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1977 for “distinguished commentary on a variety of topics.” Throughout his journalistic career, Mr. Will’s work was widely known for a combination of factual reporting and conservative commentary and his columns featured a wide range of scholarly vocabulary, references to political philosophers, and very often times made references to baseball.
As part of his illustrious career, Mr. Will has served as an editor for National Review from 1972 to 1978, joined the Washington Post Writers Group in 1974, became a contributing editor for Newsweek, served as a news analyst for ABC News and contributor for Fox News, and was a founding member of ABC’s This Week with David Brinkley in 1981. His book, "Men At Work," reached the top of the New York Times Best Seller List and is widely regarded as the best "nuts and bolts" book about baseball book of the decade.
In 1992, Mr. Will became the seventh person to officially be enshrined into the Little League Hall of Excellence, making him the first Pulitzer Prize winner to earn the highest honor that Little League can bestow.
A graduate of Armonk (N.Y.) Little League, Dave Barry is known for his humorous writing style in both newspaper columns and books. In 1988, Mr. Barry was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for “his consistently effective use of humor as a device for presenting fresh insights into serious concerns.”
As part of his early journalistic career, Mr. Barry has served as a guest columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, a nationally-syndicated columnist for the Miami Herald’s Sunday magazine Tropic, has written numerous books such as Big Trouble, and has seen his articles published in such publications as Boating, Home Office Computing, Reader’s Digest, and Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Mr. Barry fondly recalls when "Little League dominated his life in late spring and early summer." Now a best-selling author, syndicated columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner, he still remembers his Little League career in Armonk, N.Y., as a time when he "learned a lot; what if feels like to have to perform under pressure; how to be a part of, and have obligations to a team; how to win, and how to lose. Little League was my first, and best, exposure to organized sports." Dave Barry's community involvement includes working with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Fellowship House, Children's Home Society and the Tactical Speech Project.
In 1998, Mr. Barry was officially enshrined in the Little League Hall of Excellence, granting him the highest honor that Little League can bestow.
Established in 1988, enshrinement in the Little League® Hall of Excellence is an annual honor bestowed on a Little League graduate (or graduates) who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in their chosen profession and exemplify the values learned as children in Little League Baseball or Softball. Enshrinement into the Hall of Excellence is the highest honor that Little League can bestow. Inside the World of Little League Museum, a full exhibit highlighting the 52 members of the Little League Hall of Excellence is available with features such as original rosters, letters from the President of the United States, historical artifacts, and an interactive display detailing each of Little League’s 52 enshrinees.