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O’Malley’s Mounties and Little League’s Future Leadership

As I’m sitting here in the early morning hours at my desk on the South Side, there’s only really one thing to lead off with this week. My longtime friend Tom O’Malley has the Mountie softballers on the doorstep of a PIAA State Championship. What an exciting time in these young ladies’ lives and for everybody living the journey right along with them.

Tom was one of the few people I trusted to teach hitting to my sons. He is truly a baseball guy with a great mind and approach to sharing his knowledge with young folks. To put it briefly, he’s one of the nicest gentlemen you’ll ever meet, knows the game inside and out, and loves passing it on to baseball and softball players.

Don’t let his demeanor fool you, though; he is a quiet assassin on the inside who always wants to win. We were very blessed to have him spend the time with Jimmy and Hunter that he did; they would discuss much more than baseball. He helped prepare them for much more than just swinging a bat.

With the special group of talented girls in South Williamsport and a great supporting coaching staff, I expected this run to the State Championship game. These young ladies, if you remember, competed in the Little League World Series in Oregon and are battle-tested and very skilled.

They also have that unflappable will to win and do it the right way, just like their manager.

There is nothing I want more for the Mountie faithful than to celebrate this team and a State Championship as they ride up and down the hills of South Williamsport. We will celebrate the team’s accomplishments, win or lose, next week as this game ran right up against our press time.

Just a quick note to Tom and others reading in case they were wondering why I hadn’t reached out to the team prior to the game. I did that in the past when they were competing for titles at both levels. When they lost, I felt like I stepped on the foul line or talked about the no-hitter before it happened. So, I figured I’d take a little different approach this season based on my baseball/softball superstitions. I hope when you read this, those gold medals are still dangling from the girls’ necks.

I’m going to stay on the South Side and continue with my diamond-notes theme.

When I heard Steve Keener was retiring as President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League at the end of the year, I had a few quick thoughts. First was the fact that he has done a fantastic job, not only for Little League but as an ambassador for the game of baseball.

This was followed by the thought that the Little League Board of Directors will have a hard time finding someone to fit in his cleats. His love for the game is only outweighed by his love for the kids who play it. He is truly one of the good guys.

Then, I realized that only one person should fill those cleats. I was cautiously optimistic that this would happen. However, in big business and organizations like Little League, you never know, even when the man for the job may be standing right in front of them.

Well, I’m happy to say Pat Wilson will be lacing those cleats up effective January 1, 2025. This was a great decision by the folks at Little League International.

Congratulations, and a tip of my Webb Weekly cap with the American Flag on the side to Pat. I will have much more about both gentlemen at Little League time.

My final pitch of the week is that if you still plan on entering our Great American Cookout Giveaway, you need to drop the entry form off at our office by this Thursday at 4 p.m.

There is just not enough postal time for it to reach us. Good luck to everyone who is entered. We will be announcing the winner in next week’s issue.

Remember, school’s finally out for the summer for all the students in our area. Please pay extra close attention and drive safely.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb