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August 3rd, 2009 by Temple City Tribune
Last Friday, the 2nd Annual Al Millham Memorial Tournament wound down its second year with the Championship game between Temple City and West Covina. Following the semi-finals, Temple City National Little League and West Covina American Little League met in the Championship Game on Friday at 7:30pm.
Temple City made short work of the West Covina team, romping past them on their way to the title with a 14 to 1 victory.
Photographs by Terry Miller
The tournament was created by Dustin Duhamel with the purpose of giving eliminated teams an extra opportunity to participate in post-season play. The tournament is also intended to honor the memory of one of the most influential Little League personalities of this area, Al Millham.
Al became involved in Little League in Temple City in 1955 serving as an umpire, vice president and in 1961 he became President of Temple City National Little League and was instrumental in building the field and the building they now occupy. Al was very proud to be elected president. In fact, he saved the first presidents roster that he was ever listed on with his phone number starting with letters. AT-7-1231 The following year he became Assistant District Administrator and finally, in 1967, District Administrator for California District 18. Again, Al saved those first presidents rosters showing him as an ADA and then as DA.
In 1967, when Al took over as District Administrator, things were a lot different than they are today. Managers and coaches wore ties, players wore heavy wool uniforms and Williamsport’s letterhead read Little League Baseball, Baseball for Boys.
Throughout his Little League career Al was instrumental in developing and bringing to Little League and District 18 programs such as Junior and Senior Baseball, Tee Ball, Big League Baseball and every division of softball. Most people don’t know that many years ago Al had proposed to Little League International Headquarters the concept of a Little League Division that would allow physically challenged children a chance to play Little League. That file still exists, along with the letter from International Headquarters rejecting his idea, saying it was not possible to create such a division.
That is the division that we all now know as the Challenger Division.
In 1984, Al was elected by the District Administrators of Little League’s Western Region to serve a three-year term on the International Board of Directors of Little League Baseball in Williamsport, PA. That season at Sunnyslope’s (Located in San Gabriel) opening day ceremonies, Al was introduced as a member of the International Board of Directors for the first time. Being elected to the Board of Directors was one of Al’s proudest accomplishments.
In 1999, Temple City National and the Kiwanis Club of Temple City joined together to dedicate Temple City National’s Little League ‘Millham Field’.
Along with Friday’s Championship game, the event featured a Homerun Derby wherein kids slugged and battled it out against each other, just as in the MLB Homerun Derby. All of the events took place at the home of Temple City National Little League, Millham Field, on the campus of Longden School.
The teams that participated in the tournament and were represented in the All-Tournament Game and Homerun Derby included Temple City National Little League, Central Altadena Little League, Temple City American Little League, Foothill Little League, Claremont Little League, Culver Marina Little League, Norwalk-Downey All-Stars, Whittier Little League, Metro Pioneer Little League and the Alhambra All-Stars.
Along with the Championship game, the event featured a Homerun Derby wherein kids slugged and battled it out against each other, just as in the MLB Homerun Derby. All of the events took place at the home of Temple City National Little League, Millham Field, on the campus of Longden School.
-Special thanks to Dustin and Tracy Duhamel for their contributions to this report.