My family and I enjoyed a great vacation, but it sure is good being back in the 17728. Especially at this time of year when everything changes. Yes. It's hard to believe that summer is coming to an end and the greatest show on earth has returned once again. So on behalf of those who permanently reside, HEY LITTLE LEAGUERS – WELCOME TO WILLIAMSPORT! Same to you coaches, parents and fans.
North Central PA is the bomb folks and after spending some time with us I think you will agree. We have so much to offer and if you are looking for something to do in between games – call me. The Little League Baseball ‘experience’ highlights our area in so many ways. Many faces come and go every summer but the innocence of these 11, 12 and sometimes 13-year-old boys will never grow old. Their smiles are priceless and their extraordinary plays in the field keep me coming back each year. Just you wait.
Michelle, Jensen and I have already been to many great shows at Volunteer and Lamade. We've shared several great memories and hope to experience many more. A few of our highlights include: reliving my dreams with the families of Billings, MT when we proudly cheered for my Little League alma matter back in 2010. Jensen got a picture with Mone Davis a few summers back and he still has it hanging in his room. I personally enjoy talking with the legendary Brett Mussburger or buying Orel Hersheiser a yearly beer. Yes. The entire ‘experience’ gets better and better each year.
Steve Keener and his staff do a wonderful job on keeping these young superstars away from the mobs of fans. Yes. They are very much in the spotlight, but good luck finding your way into ‘the grove’ for an up close and personal. Now sure, I have had the opportunity to do just that using my many sources, but I never got that chance to chat baseball and talk life with a ‘real’ little leaguer. #foreshadowing.
The Spencers were patiently waiting to board at the Los Angeles International Airport. We were heading home from an extended week of play. Right before they called our zone, a group of excited youngsters sat down beside us decked out in their BEND NORTH ALLSTAR gear. I immediately started asking questions.
"We are heading to Williamsport to play in the Little League World Series," the bright-eyed first baseman named Isiah "BUGGSY" Jensen exclaimed with a grin. The rest of his mates quickly joined in the conversation when they overheard me telling him that's where we were proudly from. The roles suddenly changed and they started quizzing me.
"Do they really get 40,000 fans just for the parade?" Isiah lastly asked. Oh just you wait kid! And after a ten-minute session I guess you could say that BUGGSY and I were now the best of friends. It was great. He loved that my son and him shared the same name. BUGGSY later gave my son Jensen a high five and we told him that we would look for him during the parade.
We saw our friend and the rest of his squad on the Northwest float last Wednesday. We cheered and cried out at the top of our lungs to our new favorite team. Then a few recognized me, and it turned into absolute bedlam. "HEY BUGGSY. LOOK. THERE'S THAT GUY FROM THE PLANE!"
There is so much more to this great story, but it will have to wait folks. My editor just called and I'd better hit send. This was another great Little League experience that I can now add to my list. Good luck to all 16 teams especially to BUGGSY and my new friends from the Pacific Northwest. Sporting matters. Cheers.