Appalachian Basin

*UPDATE* Williamsport Plays Ball, RDA Plays Grinch

Well, folks, it’s that time of the year again, when Williamsport and South Williamsport, Pennsylvania turn into an international hub for aspiring young baseball players and their parents.  And, what’s the highlight of the Little League World Series–well aside from being on ESPN? The parade, of course!  This year’s LLWS parade boasted some 55,000 people and was made possible with the support of companies throughout the natural gas industry.  Incredibly, the Responsible Drilling Alliance (RDA) seemed to think it was Christmas in August and time to play Grinch, but, just as in that well known story, the people seemed not to notice. 

Nine out of the 21 sponsors for this year’s parade were natural gas companies operating in Lycoming County! There were production companies like Chief, Exco and Range Resources, but also service companies such as Hawbaker’s, HB Rentals, Flint, RETTEW, Sooner Pipe and  Stallion.  That doesn’t even include the companies like Bass, Allison and others that donated trucks to carry the teams that will be competing and other floats. It was really great to see how the community has come together and worked with these companies to welcome this year’s Little Leaguers and their families.

Watch this video of the parade to see a few of the sponsors and this year’s teams.


This year’s series promises to be a good one, and if the turnout at the parade was any indicator, I am pretty sure it will be! You see, quite a few teams this year have some hometown appeal. The first (and one I am rooting for because they come out of my college alma mater town!) is the Mid-Atlantic team from Keystone Central (Lock Haven) in Clinton County. Good luck, boys! Regardless of whether you win or not, everyone from Central PA is proud of how far you have come!

The Mid-Atlantic and Mexico float passing the Keystone Central parents


Little League is about bringing the world community together to forget differences and enjoy a common interest. With the Marcellus Shale play, this goal takes on a whole new meaning since natural gas  workers have moved to this community from all over the country and Canada. Joining the many Pennsylvania residents who comprise the Marcellus workforce in the state.

As a result it would not surprise me if there was a greater turnout for the games with teams from La Grange, Kentucky (Great Lakes), Rapid City, South Dakota (Midwest), Billings, Montana (Northwest), Warner Robins, Georgia (Southeast), Lafayette, Louisiana (Southwest) and Langley, British Columbia (Canada). For at least one week, some of our local transient workforce will have a little taste of home as they head out to cheer on teams from their hometowns or states.

But that’s only if they are still in the area. Why is that? Because many of these workers from companies like Exco, saved up vacation time for this week in order to help the community have available hotel rooms. That’s right, anticipating a need from the community that they have become a part of, many workers went out of their way to make sure those needs could be met!

Good luck to all of the teams! Enjoy the following pictures of some of the other parade participants (followed by the sour message from the RDA).

Representative Mirabito

Senator Gene Yaw

Commissioner Jeff Wheeland

Mayor Campagna


Now, take a look at this nonsense put up by RDA across the street with the deliberate intention of spoiling this festive event:

Really Dumb and Angry (RDA) Billboard Put Up to Rain on Little Leaguers Parade

Honestly, can you believe this?  How angry does a group have to be to put up a billboard designed to rain on the parade of a group of Little Leaguers invited to Williamsport for a traditional event for which the City is widely known?   It’s like stealing candy from a baby; like jumping the line in front of a 7-year old to get on a ride at the fair; or, like reporting the lemonade stand operator to the taxing authorities just for fun.  Is there no bottom to the depths to which these people will sink to push their angry message – no respite from their shrill voices, even on a day of celebration for the community and young people?  To ask is to answer.  This is what we are up against, but just as in that Grinch story, you can’t take the spirit out of a community or the good out of this natural gas industry, no matter how hard you try.

UPDATE: For an indication of just what spoilsports the RDA members are, visit this link.  The billboard was deliberately placed for the purpose of ruining a children’s event!


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