So once again Jackie Robinson West came through with a big win but this will wasn't just on power hitting and being aggressive. This was on timely hitting, strategic defense and top quality pitching. So they play again tomorrow at 6:30 vs the Pearland Texas team on ESPN.
But more than anything this game was about class. Case in point, a homer was hit in the third inning and the player did a Sammy Sosa like hop and celebrated too much around the bases. Then he went to the opposing New England dugout to apologize, whether he was sent there by a coach or not, isn't important, he went there with sincerity and was accepted by the other team. That's sportsmanship you just don't see these days on any level.
You also don't see a coach like the New England coach also with sincerity and emotion and inspiration. Yes the ESPN cameras followed his every word but he was truly saying something with each positive word to his kids, its refreshing to see someone so inspiring.
But for Jackie Robinson West today was about good, solid baseball and the exact opposite kind of coaching to let kids play, trust them and let them play through a close game. For all the excitement of "mercy rule" games, nothing beats a tight baseball game with great hitting, excellent defense and pitchers controlling a game.
Yes New England made four errors but they had clutch hitting too, it was a good game for both teams and for the second of three games the lead off man for Jackie Robinson West hit a dead center home run on the third pitch. It never hurts to get a game started on the right foot like that. At times they were a little too aggressive on the bases but that also pushes the opposing team, speeds up the game and makes that margin of error that much smaller.
The one thing that Jackie Robinson West has in spades is baseball intelligence, past all the power, pitching, speed, they know how to play the game the right way. How to be patient at the plate, make great defensive plays and play by the book. Its impressive to see young players take the time to respect the game and play hard but play smart. You don't always see that on the higher levels of baseball because it not always highlight worthy but it gets you solid wins like tonight.
This teams depth is also impressive, Little League is all about being fair and players getting their turn, new players getting their first hit tonight and playing well on such a bright stage in prime time on national television. Its no accident this team got this far, their discpline on the field is apparent.
Also which is fair is the balanced video replay system, it actually is quicker and better than the pros, accurate but quick reviews and you may not always agree and your team may not always get their call but its the right call and this is from Little Leagues army of volunteers.
I admit before this years Little League World Series with Jackie Robinson West I wondered what the big deal was but watching their games and some others, you see not only the future players of this game (on highers levels), but the development of younger players and how advanced they are from my days of that age over 25 years ago.
I'm impressed with how well they are coached and how talented they are, not just God given but you can tell they have played their share of games and know how to play the right way. A lot to be said for that and for their efforts Jackie Robinson West plays again tomorrow vs a very solid Texas team.
Also let me remind you that Dick's Sporting Goods on 11th & Canal has been getting 500 new shirts a day for the past few days and for the past few games there are still viewing parties at the home field at Jackie Robinson Park at 107th & Aberdeen.
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