On May 20, 1995, Dr. Creighton Hale, President and CEO, Little League Baseball (left) and Dodger President Peter O’Malley are ready to turn a shovel for groundbreaking ceremonies for Conrad N. Hilton Little League Field, Los Angeles. Sponsored by the L.A. Department of Recreation & Parks, with assistance from the Dodger organization, the field was located in Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in South L.A. Educated as a physiologist, Dr. Hale garnered attention when he invented the first batting helmet for Little League, ensuring the safety and health for thousands of young ballplayers.


Dr. Creighton Hale

Dr. Creighton Hale – was the longtime Little League President and CEO and a frequent visitor to Dodgertown, Vero Beach, Florida. Dr. Hale played a significant role in the growth of youth baseball internationally. He and Peter O’Malley frequently traveled to important field openings and international baseball meetings and events. O’Malley, a longtime Little League Foundation Trustee and President of the Little League Foundation from 1991-2002, said when Dr. Hale passed on October 8, 2017 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, “My father and I had the greatest admiration for Dr. Creighton Hale and we both served as Trustees on the Little League Foundation Board. Dr. Hale was a pioneer and his vision to innovate equipment for safety was internationally recognized. His passion for growing inner-city baseball was instrumental in giving more children an opportunity to enjoy playing our national pastime.” 

On Sept. 12, 1986, Dr. Hale was part of a delegation of O’Malley friends who attended dedication ceremonies for “Dodger Baseball Field,” privately built by O’Malley, in the People’s Republic of China at the Tianjin Institute of Physical and Cultural Education. On June 27, 1988, O’Malley and Dr. Hale were in Tokyo for the announcement that the first Little League Baseball field in the People’s Republic of China would be constructed in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. The arrangements were a gift to Little League by former Mitsui Chairman Tatsuzo Mizukami. On July 4, 1990, the dedication ceremonies for the first-ever Mitsui Little League Baseball Friendship Field were held in Guangzhou, as both Dr. Hale and O’Malley, a Little League Foundation Trustee, participated. On January 18, 1992, Dr. Hale attended the opening of “Little League Friendship Field” in Managua, Nicaragua, privately built by O’Malley. Nicaraguan President Violeta Barrios de Chamorro participated in the ceremonies. On June 27, 1994, Dr. Hale, Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, legendary USC baseball coach Rod Dedeaux and O’Malley traveled to Beijing, China to encourage Little League Baseball in that country. He Zhenliang, IOC member and President of the Chinese Olympic Committee held a meeting with the delegation and Wu Zhaozu, People’s Republic of China Minister of Sports; and Wei Ming, responsible for all sports in China, including the China Baseball Association, to support the growing youth baseball program. He Zhenliang served as Vice President of the IOC from 1989-1993. On July 4, 1998, Dr. Hale was also with O’Malley for the opening of two baseball fields, privately built by O’Malley, at Corkagh Demesne Park in Clondalkin, West Dublin, Ireland. One was an international standard Little League Field (“O’Malley Little League Field”) and the other a regulation-sized adult field (“Dodger Baseball Field”). Through the years of friendship, Dr. Hale attended numerous exhibition games and St. Patrick’s Day parties at Dodgertown as guests of the O’Malley family.

Peter O’Malley, Dodger President, receives the first distinguished Little League Baseball Ambassador Award from Little League Baseball President Dr. Creighton Hale (right) on April 15, 1992 at the 19th International Congress of Little League Baseball at the Boston Park Plaza, Boston, Massachusetts. The award now bears O’Malley’s name.

Dr. Hale was only the second full-time Little League President, from 1973-1994. He was appointed CEO in 1983. Dr. Hale built and ran the world’s largest youth sports organization with 2 million participants in 80 countries. From 1994-2001, he served as special advisor to Little League President and CEO Stephen D. Keener. From Hardy, Nebraska, Dr. Hale first joined the Little League Program in 1955 as Director of Research. In 1953, he was an associate professor of Physiology at Springfield College studying “safety requirements of Little League Baseball and the effects of athletic competition on young boys.” He had received his Doctorate Degree (specializing in the physiology of muscular activity) from New York University.

In the August, 1995 Little League World Series Program an article which was reprinted in International Baseball Rundown in September, 1996,  features the efforts of Peter O’Malley to increase international baseball. The article stated, “Both Peter and Walter O’Malley have actively supported Little League Baseball, and have had the vision to look outside of the United States to realize that baseball has a unique opportunity to foster international goodwill. Through the years, the Dodgers have maintained a long-term view of the international game, with the goal of introducing baseball worldwide.” Dr. Creighton Hale, President of Little League Baseball said, “Peter O’Malley has been Little League Baseball’s most distinguished worldwide ambassador. Through his concern, more children than ever are enjoying the benefits of Little League Baseball participation.” On April 15, 1992, Peter O’Malley received the first distinguished Little League Ambassador Award at the 19th International Congress of Little League Baseball in Boston. The award now bears O’Malley’s name.