Alumna anticipates Little League World Series

With as many as 10,000 people ready to converge on her home for the next two weeks, Jan Ogurcak can hardly contain her enthusiasm.

After all, the 23,000 square-foot brick structure she calls home has plenty of space and many interactive and state-of-the-art features. She loves visitors of all ages, and believes they enjoy their time at her place, too.

“It’s a great place for the young and the young at heart,” Ogurcak said. “There’s something here for everyone.”

Ogurcak’s “home” is the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum in South Williamsport, Pa.

She serves as director of the facility that will welcome some 10,000 visitors -- one third of its total for the entire year -- during the Little League World Series, scheduled Aug. 20 to 29.

“It’s an exciting time of year for us,” said Ogurcak, who earned her Penn State degree in journalism in 1977. “We get some visitors who come every year and many more who come for the first time. No matter how often they’ve been here, though, you can see them come in the door and just relax -- their shoulders kind of drop and they get this smile on their face.”

Orgurcak oversees day-to-day operations of the museum, which gives her responsibility for artifacts and exhibits, educational programs and the museum gift shop. She leads a staff that includes the museum’s curator and many volunteers -- a group that swells at World Series time.

Before joining Little League in 2005, she worked for the Williamsport Sun-Gazette for 18 years. She was lifestyle editor at the paper after initially working as a reporter and earning greater responsibilities.

A baseball infield welcomes museum visitors, who can conduct a cell phone audio tour or complete self-guided tours of the facility. A logical layout makes the museum easy to navigate so visitors can follow the development and progress of Little League Baseball while capitalizing on opportunities to use a batting cage or time themselves running from home plate to first base.

A mix of standing and traveling exhibits also makes the museum timely and vibrant.

During the World Series, the museum will play host to “NASA and Little League” and later this fall, from Sept. 18 to Nov. 14, the museum welcomes “Beyond Baseball: The Life of Roberto Clemente,” a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution and the first such exhibit to be developed in two languages -- in this case English and Spanish.

“We always have something special, it seems,” Ogurcak said. “We had the Phillies World Series trophy last year and this year we also have an exhibit about the Pittsburgh Pirates. Still, it’s the Little League stuff that people seem to like most.”

A collection of TV highlights from each World Series help bring the games to life, as does Ogurcak’s enthusiasm and expertise. Also, when the weather gets really hot some fans move to the museum to watch games from the nearby stadiums on TV.

During the month of August, the museum extends its hours for the World Series, serving visitors from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Admission costs $5 for adults, $3 for senior citizens (62 and older) and $1.50 for children age 5 to 13. Children 4 and under are admitted free.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010