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Phillies and Mets to play at Little League Classic next year

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Yes, let the jokes about how both teams played like little leaguers at times this year begin.

MLB Little League Classic - St Louis Cardinals v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

At various points during the Phillies’ long rebuilding effort, the franchise has, at times, played like little leaguers. Next year, they’ll play in the city where the Little League World Series is played.

I kid, I kid. It was too easy of a joke not to do, guys.

MLB announced Friday that the Phils and New York Mets will meet up at Bowman Field in Williamsport, PA on August 19, for the second Little League Classic. Earlier this year, the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals played the first-ever Major League game in Williamsport, which the Cardinals won 6-3 before a small, but capacity crowd, of 2,596.

It’s terrific for the Phillies, as it gets them in the national spotlight for a day. It’s also great because we’ll get to make a lot of jokes about the Phillies’ young roster and how most of their players were still playing little league no more than two or three years ago.

The game will be featured on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, and will be the finale of a three-game series in which the Phils will host the Mets at Citizens Bank Park for the first two. Both squads will travel to Williamsport to watch the Little League World Series on Sunday afternoon, and then will play the series finale at Bowman Field, which about five miles away from the site of the Little League World Series. Bowman Field is home to the Phils’ Class A New York-Penn League team, the Crosscutters.

Baseball has tried to find creative ways to make their players more accessible to young fans, and this year’s Little League Classic was a big success in that regard.

"The interactions throughout the day between the Major League Players and Little Leaguers was something that those involved will remember forever," commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "We are pleased to once again have the opportunity to help create these special memories next August."

It’s unclear if the Phillies will lose any money over the lost home gate, but the team’s executive vice president, David Buck, said, "It's experiences like the 2018 MLB Little League Classic that create baseball fans for life, and we are honored to be a part of it.”