I would personally like to congratulate the 16 teams who made it all the way to Williamsport for the 2018 Little League World Series. This is the best time of year as my lovely backyard provides the perfect backdrop to one of the greatest sporting events on the docket. I love the entire tournament, and can’t wait to take my nine-year-old over to Lamade and Volunteer for some amazing action. We are both obsessed.
I am a very proud graduate of Little League Baseball. I enjoyed my experience, and I am a huge advocate of the program. OK. I sometimes chime in with a different perspective. #usabat. #mlbclassic. But I am still one of their biggest fans. These couple of weeks put our beautiful area on the global stage. Stop complaining Henry.
WHERE YOU FROM? Williamsport, PA. NEVER HEARD OF IT. ARE YOU NEAR PHILADELPHIA? No. It’s the home of Little League Baseball. OH YEAH. I WATCH IT EVERY YEAR. THAT’S ON MY BUCKET LIST. YOU ACTUALLY LIVE THERE?
So on behalf of those who permanently reside — WELCOME TO WILLIAMSPORT BOYS AND GIRLS. Not all of us locals are bad. I sincerely hope that you enjoy your stay. Lycoming County is the bomb, and we have so much to offer. I like to tell people that we have a little something FORE everyone. My patent is pending. Call me if you need some advice on what to do in between games. The water is flowing, but I still know a few spots to catch some fish. I won’t even charge you.
Things officially got underway this Wednesday evening as we honored the teams during the Grand Slam Parade. I normally pitch a tent near the Peter Herdic House and yell THROW ME SOME CANDY. I seriously wanted to sponsor a float this year, but I missed the magical deadline. The Chamber said no, and I found myself on the sidelines.
I must say, there hasn’t been much talk about the MLB Little League Baseball Classic. Heck, I can’t even name the two teams who are playing this weekend. My sources tell me that last year’s game was an inside the park home run. No. I didn’t score a ticket in the upset Citizens of Lycoming County Lottery. I am now choking up and sitting on an 0-2 count from an Old Town kayak. Many local Little Leagues are also waiting for that call. Maybe next year boys and girls. Can anyone pick me up at the Memorial Street Bridge?
I was going to plead the fifth, but my two friends from Textron told me to swing for the fences. Some of these parents need to calm down. They are really starting to tarnish the integrity of the game. Sure the number of folks doing wonderful things for Little League Baseball definitely outweighs those causing the strife. But unfortunately, the scandals — alleged or real — ring much louder and create the biggest buzz. It’s what we hear and write about.
This unruly behavior usually gains momentum around the all-star selection process. Well before the tournament kicks off and the play here in Williamsport actually begins. The concerns are sometimes legitimate, but that’s a very rare occasion. Usually, it’s a long gripe from a disgruntled parent whose perception of his or her child is not the same. Politics. Yes. Grownups can definitely ruin things.
I am tired of hearing about protests or major issues at the regionals. Some folks are now hiring private investigators to look into the fraud. It is also happening right here in town, and I am hoping it will all come to an end. Look, the dream of most Little Leaguers is to ultimately play in the World Series. And for the 2018 participants and your families who recently made it — Congratulations. It is an amazing achievement just to make it.
Over the next few days, there will be plenty of smiles, and perhaps a few tears. But through it all, it’s a good bet these youngsters from all will experience the greatest time of their lives. Let’s not lose focus on this ideal. Remember it’s all about the kids. Sure it sounds cliché, and we tend to throw it out like a hanging curve. It’s supposed to be about the kids. Cheers.