This will be the sixth MLB Little League Classic. No. I did not score a ticket. No worries. I have already been there and done that. I was in the stands for a few, and they were simply fantastic. But the games I remember were the ones from the outside. Those experiences were great, and they made me somewhat famous. True story. I have the retweets and notes to prove it. I was that guy who tried to get a foul ball from a kayak. Jensen got some serious airtime when JLO was in the house. I also caught a monster smallmouth during the 3rd inning a few years later.
The first showcase was in 2017 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals. It was a great day for everyone involved. The teams arrived early and spent some quality time with the Little Leaguers. They took in the sights and sounds of the World Series in South Williamsport. The smiles and interactions were stupendous. That evening, they played a game in front of the kids at Historic Bowman. MLB and Little League both came out victorious. It was an incredible and candid atmosphere. It exceeded everyone’s expectations.
Yes. I had my doubts. Many of us did. There was a buzz, and our hometown field underwent a major facelift. The City kicked in some cash, and MLB donated a hefty amount. Rumors quickly spread, and it was actual bedlam. Memorial Park turned into Area 51 a few months prior to that first MLB Little League Classic. I tried hard but to no avail. No tickets for Coach that first year. I took matters into my own hands. I watched that first game from my kayak. My recap went viral. My description of trying to catch a foul from a boat actually won some hardware. It was one of my favorites. It still makes me smile. That little write-up scored me two seats in 2018. Jensen and I had a ball. We were three rows behind the New York Mets. Hanging out with our new friends from the Asian Pacific. We didn’t understand a word they said.
I didn’t get the call for the 2019 Classic. No worries. Once again, my media credentials were denied, and I struck out in the new Disgruntled Residents in Lycoming County Lottery. Jensen and his friends scored that year and were seated behind home plate. MLB and Little League always invite some local teams to take in the game. The boys from the 17728 were actually two rows from JLO. She is pretty, Dad. Incredible. Jensen was everywhere, and he scored some serious TV time. My phone buzzed whenever he made the big screen. My parents sent us a still frame from CA. Yes. My boy is a magnet. I was a tad jealous.
Last year, I wanted to partake in some way. The water was too low for my boat. I decided to park at Weis Markets and go for a stroll. Yes. I had my pole. I fished downstream and had some success. Nothing to brag about, but it was good to get some action. We were about an hour before game time. There was already a decent crowd. I have been on this stretch ever since high school. But this was the first time during the MLB Little League Classic.
I paused for the National Anthem. I also stopped during the starting lineups. There was a buzz in the air. The sun began to set. And the lights of the stadium quickly took over. It was a surreal situation. It was like I was fishing on a different planet. I hooked into something that was now jumping. I held my breath as I only wanted a picture. I landed a healthy smallmouth. I was lipping a beautiful bass with historic Bowman Field in the backdrop.
I have caught many fish in my lifetime, but I will always remember this special encounter. Again. This didn’t happen during a Cutters game. I landed this smallmouth in the early moments of the MLB Little League Classic. Pictures don’t do her justice. I even recorded a selfie video for the Lycoming Creek Chronicles. I sent it to several media outlets. My son was proud when they showed a panoramic view of the entire complex. Is that Dad in the middle of Lycoming?
Enjoy the show, kids. I love Little League Baseball. Cheers.