|A Little League World Series parent's experience|
|Saturday, August 18, 2012|
Joey Seals is the father of T.W. Hunter student, Jonathan Seals, a Goodlettsville All-Star competing at the Little League World Series as a member of the Southeast Region team.
Joey wrote to The Standard about his and the team’s experiences in Williamsport, Pa., so far, including a 12-1 win over Midwest Region winner Kearney, Neb., to begin its tournament Thursday night.
The Goodlettsville squad is back on the diamond Sunday afternoon to take on West Region winner, Petaluma, Calif., in a 1 p.m. game on ABC (WKRN-2).
Click here for a photo gallery, courtesy of Galen Osborne. And Here’s what Joey had to say…
Last night was “A blast”!!! The boys played really well and we got off to a great start. Before the game started, they had both teams come out onto the field and do a dance with the mascot “Dugout.” I think that put everyone at ease to a certain degree. I know it helped me!!!
After the dance, Dugout got the two teams together in a group huddle and then they broke out and went to their respective dugouts. That was a real show of unity and that the game is not the most important thing.
We opened up with a run in the first and with another base runner getting thrown out at the plate. It became more exciting each inning.
ESPN had a camera in front of each team’s VIP section where the parents’ reserved section was. They had a guy there who would write the number down of the next batter and hold it up. We would then point to the family member of that batter. Of course, I sat in the front row of our section and had the “camera magnet” sitting next to me in my other son, Jacob. He got down at one point and danced with Dugout in between one of the innings. Both dance videos can be seen on my Facebook timeline.
We have a big test coming up on Sunday against the West region. They have been very successful in this tournament over the last several years. The West won the whole thing last year and have been in the championship game like “42 of the last 44 years”. Not really, but the stats they show seem to sound that way. We have to come out and play, but I think the boys are ready.
They have been having the times of their short lives!!! They have met kids from all over the world and are playing kids (right now anyway) from all over the country! One of the kids from Uganda (they played their first game Friday vs. Panama) said that his favorite player was Jayson Brown; Jayson plays for Goodlettsville. Jayson has met and become friends with several of the Ugandan players. I truly think the Ugandan player was being honest with his comment. They do not know any MLB players and Jayson was his new friend.
The Ugandan team qualified last year but could not get their visas together for their trip so were unable to come over. When they arrived this year, they got all new garb just like all of the other players. However, they were so used to playing barefoot that they were uncomfortable in their new cleats.
There were news clips of them practicing without any shoes or one on and one off. I hope you have seen these clips or read their story. I went to their game today and they looked pretty good but rough around the edges. They made several errors today, but the one thing I saw is all of them sticking together and picking each other up. They were definitely the crowd favorite so much so that I hated it for Panama. Panama had some family members there with them; however, Uganda had no one.
Little League made sure their designated cheering section was full. They really did not have to worry about it because about 95 percent of the 3,000 fans were pulling for the underdog. They ended up losing the game 9-3, I think; but they also had about five errors. Hopefully they will play better next game.
Text by Joey Seals (pictured)