When you play sports growing up, an important part of the game is the postgame handshake line, where you shake hands with the opposing players and tell them "Good game."
However, at the professional level, the postgame handshake line isn't an everyday thing, as teams often just head back into their respective clubhouses or locker rooms after every win or loss.
On Sunday night, though the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals got the opportunity to go back to their youth and participate in the postgame show of sportsmanship.
Playing at the site of the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the two squads set a good example for the youth teams in attendance, gathering on the field to shake hands following the Pirates' 6-3 victory:
Even the Cardinals, who had just lost the game, seemed to enjoy the activity, congratulating their National League Central foes on a hard-fought victory.
Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen told MLB.com that he was thrilled to have the opportunity to play in the historic game at the LLWS site:
"It's just growing the game. It's the best place to do it, in Williamsport during the Little League World Series," McCutchen said. "It's awesome we're able to come here and play this game. It's all moving in the right direction. It's awesome that it's come to fruition."
Both teams spent the day hanging out with young players and watching the LLWS action that took place prior to the first pitch of the MLB contest.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said playing a game in Williamsport was a no-brainer for the league, as it was a great opportunity to reach out to young fans:
"I think first and foremost, this is an indication of the strength of the relationship we had with Little League and the respect we have for the job that Little League does, particularly in the 8-12 space," Manfred said. "Secondly, I think publicizing the game, marketing the game to young people has to involve young people. The idea that we can have Major League players come in, go see the Little League World Series game and then play a game in a stadium full of Little Leaguers, those are good benchmarks for us. The kind of exposure you get from that undertaking is something you can't pay for and is hard to quantify."
Whether or not the league hosts another game in Williamsport remains to be seen, but based on how much fun the Pirates and Cardinals seemed to have on Sunday, we may see more games like this in the near future.
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