WASHINGTON -- The participants of the All-Star Commissioner's Cup and the Jennie Finch Classic aren't just receiving valuable baseball and softball experience during their time in Washington, D.C. Some of that time in the nation's capital has been a learning experience, too, such as their visit to the Library of
WASHINGTON -- The participants of the All-Star Commissioner's Cup and the Jennie Finch Classic aren't just receiving valuable baseball and softball experience during their time in Washington, D.C. Some of that time in the nation's capital has been a learning experience, too, such as their visit to the Library of Congress on Monday morning.
The four championship teams playing the two PLAY BALL youth tournaments taking place during All-Star Week toured the Washington landmark after meeting with Commissioner Rob Manfred, who dropped by the library early in the morning to mingle with the kids.
:: Complete All-Star Game coverage ::
The group of more than 100 posed for a photo with the Commissioner before embarking on an extensive stroll through the library, which is currently showcasing a "Baseball Americana" exhibit.
"One of the great things about the PLAY BALL program is we try to ensure there are non-baseball experiences around our events," Manfred said. "I know a lot of kids who have never been here. It really is a historic building. And they have a great baseball exhibit here."
Items on display range from old artifacts -- such as a fingerless baseball glove and a mushroom-handle bat from a century ago -- to modern equipment, such as bats and baseballs, to show how much the game has evolved over time.
There was also a broadcasting area where a TV screen played some of the most iconic calls from unforgettable baseball moments in history, from Russ Hodges' "The Giants win the pennant!" in 1951 to Joe Buck's call of the final out of the Cubs' World Series win in 2016 on FOX.
Tour guides were on hand to give each group an insider's view of the displays.
"It's cool because most of this stuff, I didn't know about," said Commissioner's Cup player Jalen White of Compton, Calif, who will be a freshman at San Diego State in the fall. "So it's nice to learn about it."
The Commissioner's Cup and the Jennie Finch Classic tournaments have extended throughout All-Star Week, with the finals held on Monday. Both events are new to All-Star Week, and MLB has been pleased with the results.
"It has been a real success for us," Manfred said. "We feel it's important for kids to continue our focus on young people during our best week of the summer. So both of those events are a part of that."
Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.