Barletta Urges President to Invite Red Land Little Leaguers to White House
WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today urged President Obama to reconsider his decision to decline to host a White House visit for the Red Land Little League team from Pennsylvania, winners of the 2015 U.S. Championship. As reported by local media, the Red Land team has received a note from the White House indicating that their hopes of a White House visit were turned away because of problems with the president’s schedule. In a thrilling game last August, Red Land beat a team from Texas to claim the American title. They would fall to Japan in the World Championship game.
“What a thrill is was for me to take my grandson to watch Red Land win the U.S. title, but that would be nothing compared to a trip to the White House for this great group of kids,” Barletta said. “On their own time, the team has raised more than $30,000 to fight pediatric cancer, so they’re not just great ballplayers, they’re good citizens too.”
In a letter to the president, Barletta noted that Obama has hosted other U.S. Little League champions in the past, including the Jackie Robinson West All Stars from his hometown of Chicago.
Barletta’s letter to President Obama is as follows:
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
I write regarding your decision to decline to invite the Red Land Little League baseball team of Pennsylvania to visit the White House. As a baseball fan yourself, you probably are aware that the Red Land kids won the United States championship in Williamsport, Pennsylvania last summer, but you may not know of all of the great works the players have done away from the baseball diamond.
Not only are the Red Land players accomplished athletes on the playing field, they are also responsible and generous members of their community. As a team, they have raised more than $30,000 dollars for pediatric cancer research. In addition, Red Land star Cole Wagner donated a bat he used during the Little League World Series to an auction to benefit families of children undergoing cancer treatment at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. Incidentally, this was not just an ordinary bat – it was an Anderson TechZilla 2.0 model, since Wagner could not use the regular bats supplied by Little League as his bat speed was too high and he would break them. This selfless dedication to helping others is yet another reason to honor the Red Land kids with a visit to the White House.
I cannot help but note that other U.S. champions have been given the thrill of their lives in visiting the White House in recent years. In 2014, you hosted the Jackie Robinson West All Stars of Chicago, who won the U.S. title but fell in the world championship game like Red Land.
I understand that your schedule is full and the demand on your time is great. With that in mind, I am still asking that you reconsider your decision, extend an invitation to a great bunch of young men from Pennsylvania, and grant them memories that would last a lifetime.
All my best,
Member of Congress
For a .pdf version of Rep. Barletta's letter to President Obama, click here.