Umpire Davis does double duty in Williamsport

Umpire Davis does double duty in Williamsport

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- For veteran umpire Gerry Davis, umpiring a game at the Little League World Series on Sunday brought him back to the beginning of his 35-season career.

Davis, who will be the crew chief of Sunday evening's inaugural Little League Classic between the Cardinals and Pirates on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET, was asked to join the Little League crew at second base for the first two innings of the Southeast vs. West game.

"Yes, I am [excited], actually. One of my friends said, 'Boy, now you've really gone full circle.' You know, and there's a lot of truth to that," Davis said. "It's exciting. I umpired Little League when I first got started, so to be able to do this is exciting, it really is."

Before working some innings for the Little League World Series, the Major League umpiring crew walked through the rest of the complex, and its first stop was at Play Ball Park.

"It's fun," Davis said. "They've certainly expanded the horizons of what the kids can do when they get here. It's not just going to see games anymore. It's an entire experience, and it's really, really cool."

Play Ball Park is a new addition to the Little League World Series, and it has different stations where young fans can work on their baseball and softball skills. But when Davis and his crew entered the facility, the activities briefly stopped, with all eyes on the MLB umpires.

"This is unbelievable," MLB umpire Tony Randazzo said. "I've never been here before. I've seen it a lot on TV. I think it's just awesome. All these kids and families, it just seems like everyone is having a blast. It's really nice to be here."

The crew stayed for about a half-hour taking pictures with as many fans as possible. Randazzo and Davis invited young fans over for small talk and posed for photos before leaving for Volunteer Stadium for the Japan vs. Asia-Pacific game.

"[The Little League World Series is] a blast," Davis said. "I brought my son here about 15 years ago and fell in love with the environment and stuff. And now because of the Major League involvement, obviously being able to be a part of it, I mean this is Americana at its greatest, you know? I mean anybody who is involved with baseball in any capacity should try to make this trip. It's just a blast."

As the second-most senior umpire -- after Joe West -- Davis is now able to add umping the first Little League Classic to his resume Sunday night.

"[To be able to work this game is] very cool. The strides that the Commissioner [Rob Manfred] has made with the involvement of Major League and Little League and youth baseball in particular has been really, really great," Davis said. "And I'm just proud to be a part of it."

Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.