WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) – The PONY League World Series is a tradition in Washington County.

The first tournament was held in Washington, Pennsylvania, in 1951 with six original teams of 13- and 14-year-olds.

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Friday kicked off the 63rd year of the event and 31st straight in the county.

“This is the end of a long season. We’re very excited,” Abraham Key, president and CEO of PONY Baseball, said.

The ages are still the same, but the league has grown by leaps and bounds. More than 500,000 boys, 30,000 teams in 30 foreign countries compete in PONY League Baseball.

PONY stands for “Protect Our Nation’s Youth,” and this year’s event consists of 10 teams from all over the world.

“It’s going to be some great baseball in the next two or three days,” said Key.

This year’s tournament includes teams from Mexico, Taiwan, Puerto Rico and the Czech Republic.

Think of Western Pennsylvania’s version of the Little League World Series. Every kid in the competition wants to be called a champion, especially the host team, Washington.

Jared Watson is one of the boys playing for the hometown team.

He says, “It’s going to be really good experience.”

This is the 52nd year the PONY League World Series is being held at Lew Hays Pony Field.

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KDKA-TV Sports’ Rich Walsh talked to one of the managers from the very first tournament that took place 63 years ago. Dale Campbell, 91, is the only living coach from those games.

“Long time ago,” Campbell said.

His team lost in the championship game in 1951, but it paved the way for a league that’s only growing.

“I feel honored, I guess”, Campbell said. “I think I’ve only missed two World Series since they had it.”

The tournament is only good for the players and teams.

Key also told KDKA-TV, “This is a $1 million economic impact event that happens to take place in Washington County.”

The PONY League headquarters are based in Washington, Pennsylvania.

The series will be a double elimination tournament with the championship game being aired on Pittsburgh’s CW on Wednesday, Aug. 13 at 7:30 p.m. KDKA’s Rick Dayton will do the play-by-play.

For more information, visit the PONY League World Series website here.

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