Lance Van Auken, author of “Play Ball! The Story of Little League Baseball®,” was an executive vice president of Little League Baseball® and the executive director of the World of Little League: Peter J. McGovern Museum and Official Store. He retired in 2021.

The newly renovated, 22,000-square foot museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the world’s largest organized youth sports program, and to providing a key educational asset to the children and families of Central Pennsylvania and visitors from around the world.

As the museum director, Van Auken oversaw day-to-day operations as he leads Little League’s efforts to publicize the new museum through traditional and new media.

In his previous role with Little League International, he led the communications efforts, and was responsible for a staff of professionals who created all print, Internet, social media and video productions for Little League — emphasizing the education of millions of children in the program, as well as adults.

Lance and George W. Bush on the South Lawn

Lance and George W. Bush on the South Lawn

From 2001 through 2008, Van Auken served as the liaison for Little League International to The White House and President George W. Bush’s Tee Ball on the South Lawn initiative. During that time, 20 Little League Tee Ball games were played at the White House under his direction, with President Bush attending each game.

Prior to Little League, Van Auken was a professional sports reporter working with the Tampa Tribune. He attended St. Petersburg College (FL) majoring in communications, and attended and graduated from the U.S. Department of Defense Information School at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana.


Robin Van Auken is a writer, educator and professional archaeologist. She taught Media Writing and American Archaeology courses at Lycoming College. She also directs the summer youth program, Lycoming College for Kids and Teens.

She has 30+ years as a journalist, working for daily and weekly newspapers in Florida and Pennsylvania. She is the author and co-author of 10 books on regional history, including “Play Ball! The Story of Little League Baseball®.”

She attended St. Petersburg College (FL) and the University of South Florida. She has advanced degrees in anthropology and communications.   The Van Aukens, married 32 years, have two children and live in Florida.