MILWAUKEE -- The man selected to throw out the first pitch at Monday's Brewers home opener has a long history with the sport of baseball -- both as a player and a coach.
James Beckum founded the Beckum-Stapleton Little League in 1964. The league includes about 350 kids, ages five to 15-years old.
Beckum used to coach, but now maintains the facilities.
"Sometimes I may go out and work with the kids, but mostly I take care of the fields," he said.
Beckum said his work, and the effort others put into the little league, is all volunteer. No one gets paid.
He said kids in the little league are also required to keep up their grades in school and attend church.
On Monday, some of Beckum's players will watch him throw out the first pitch at Miller Park. Beckum said he hopes that will inspire them to aim for the stars.
"I hope it'll make kids more interested in baseball," Beckum said. "That's the whole point."
He said he always hopes to see his kids play in the major leagues, but added that the players who never make it that far tend to do just fine.
Beckum said among the alumni of his little league are teachers, police officers, doctors, and even a local alderman.