Friday, May 5, 2017

Flashback 2008 - Little League® Baseball Wrap-up

Bill Byham, Sports announcer,
writer and famous for “That’s 30”
August 27, 2008 – 6:18 am
LITTLE LEAGUE WRAP – Tell you what I think. The 2008 Little League world series was one of the best I have covered in some years. It got to a point where we (WRAK guys) would be getting ready to broadcast a game. In the process of doing our line ups we would ask each other about which of the teams would win. We did not log an accurate account of who had the best record but the point here is that the teams playing showed so much equity it was difficult to pick winners on a consistent basis.No question the talent pool is getting better every year. Young base ballers and dedicated adults in just about every corner of this nation can find ways to play and practice the game for longer periods of time. Even in our Valley we now have the Dome where baseball enthusiasts can get time on the schedule, no matter the weather, to do some cage hitting. pitching or even take a few ground balls or fly balls .

I really am not aware of all of the baseball that is being practiced and played. There is Little League. There is Babe Ruth. There is Ripken Ball. There is Pony Ball. There is Fall Ball. There is Travel Ball . At this world series we heard about and talked about players from several teams that were here on Little League teams who had Travel team or Ripken ball experience.

I think the place where we see the most improvement is in the use of the glove. How many great defensive plays did we all see over the ten days of play. Some of them bordered on being labeled unbelievable Plays that were made by kids 11-12-13 years of age that we had never seen in past series. Plays that show hours and hours of practice. Hours that were not available in past years.
I can say that I did not pick Hawaii as my world’s champion. For several minutes Saturday afternoon my pick ( Louisiana) was winning 5-1 over the Hawaiians but a great come back led the now Little League champions to a come back 7-5 win.

It was a great show.

CAN’T BEGIN TO EXPRESS ENOUGH THANKS – The ‘ole guy has been trying really hard to make all things run as they always did but parts of the machine are showing wear and tear.

Through this entire 2008 Little League experience I have been given so much help getting here and there that it has overwhelmed me.

Just take the WRAK broadcast crew. Scott Lowry, Mike Fogarty, Ken Sawyer, Gary Chrisman and Tom Speicher. There are not enough plaudits to show how I feel about them. Then the Borough of South Williamsport, through Mayor Bill Miller, stepped up with support given which made it possible for me to even think about getting to the series.

Those and the many others who offered a hand, a thought or an idea made the series one more great one for me.

– THAT’S 30 –

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