Sunday is Opening Day of the Junior League Baseball World Series in Taylor

The games of the 30th annual Junior League Baseball World Series get under way at noon Sunday at Taylor’s Heritage Park.

Four games take place each day, Sunday through Thursday, as all-star teams from the United States and five international countries make a run at the 2010 title as the world’s best team of 13- and 14-year-old players.

The 10th team to qualify for the series was USA Central region champ Jeffersonville, Indiana, which takes on Southwest champ Tyler, Texas, in the opener.

The Indiana state champions are the only JLWS team that played in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, two years ago as 12-year-olds. But the boys from Tyler rolled through their opponents at the Southwest regional.

At 2:45 p.m., Canadian national champion Coquitlam, British Columbia, makes its third straight annual appearance in Taylor by opening against Kirovograd, Ukraine, the champions of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. This will be Ukraine’s second JLWS appearance in four years.

At 5:30 p.m., it’s East vs. West as USA East champ Freehold Township, New Jersey, battles West champ El Monte, California. This will be the 15th time in the World Series’ 30-year history that a team from California plays in Taylor.

The 8:15 game marks the debut in Taylor for two international teams: Asia-Pacific champion Saipei City of Chinese Taipei and the Latin America champions from Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Representatives from the Chinese Taipei and Guatemala teams will place their flags on the Hill of Flags beyond the centerfield fence of World Series Field.

The 10 teams are divided into two pools. In the International Pool are Canada, Ukraine, Chinese Taipei, Guatemala and the Mexican national champions from Guaymas, Sonora.

The USA Pool includes Indiana, Texas, New Jersey, California and Southeast region champ Mechanicsville, Virginia.

Mexico and Virginia have Sunday off, but start play on Monday.

Game times on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

On Friday, the top two teams in the International Pool play for the International championship at 5 p.m. The top two teams in the USA Pool play for the United States championship at 8 p.m.

The International and USA champs play for the World Series championship at 4 p.m. Saturday. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2.

World Series founder and Director Greg Bzura welcomed players, coaches, umpires and spectators to Taylor and predicted a memorable week for all participants and great competition.

“Our 30th year will be just as exciting as our first,” Bzura said. “Like all fans of the World Series, I look forward to great baseball and great sportsmanship. Let’s make it a week to remember.”

Detroit Mayor and NBA Hall-of-Famer Dave Bing said during opening ceremonies that he was impressed with the World Series. Bing and Taylor Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand welcomed the teams to Taylor and congratulated the players and coaches during the colorful opening ceremonies Saturday night. Both mayors were joined by civic leaders from communities in District 5 in Michigan Little League.

The mayors and Little League Chairman of the Board Dennis Lewin praised the organization of the tournament and the hundreds of volunteers who make it happen every year.

Tickets are a modest $5 per carload per day or $10 for the entire series. Both prices include parking.

For updates on the Junior League World Series, visit www.cityoftaylor.com/worldseries.

USA Pool
Central:
Jeffersonville/GRC American Little League; Jeffersonville, Indiana
East:
Freehold Township Little League; Freehold Township, New Jersey
Southeast: Mechanicsville Little League; Mechanicsville, Virginia
Southwest: Rose Capital East Little League; Tyler, Texas
West: El Monte American Little League; El Monte, California

International Pool
Asia-Pacific:
Chung-Ching Junior Little League; Taipei City, Chinese Taipei
Canada: Coquitlam Little League; Coquitlam, British Columbia
Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA): Kirovograd/Rivne Little League; Kirovograd Center/Rivne, Ukraine
Latin America: Javier Little League; Guatemala City, Guatemala
Mexico: Guaymas Sector Pesca Little League; Guaymas, Sonora

From Taylor to Superstardom
A number of Junior League World Series players have gone on to become even more famous. At least 11 players went on to play Major League baseball: Gary Sheffield, Brett Myers, Erik Bedard, Derek Bell, Jose and Javier Valentin, Eurbial Durazo, Delino DeShields. Chad Hermanson, Shannon Withem and Adam Loewen. Others are University of Nebraska football Coach Bo Pelini, Kansas city Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel and National Hockey League players Chris Dingman and Steve Reinprecht.

Sunday: Rawlings Baseball Equipment on Sale at Holiday Inn
With the best interests of players, family and friends, Rawlings baseball equipment and representative will be at the Terrace of the Southgate Holiday Inn from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday. The Holiday Inn, located on Northline Road and I-75, is the host hotel for the Junior League World Series. Rawlings will display equipment related to baseball (bats, gloves, catcher's equipment, helmes and more). Items will be priced at reduced end-of-the-season prices. This will also be an opportunity to purchase early Christmas presents. Team catalogs will be available. Advance-order savings are available for purchases for next season.

Monday: All Players and Families Invited to Baseball Factory College Recruiting Seminars
For information, see http://www.cityoftaylor.com/content/baseball-players-and-families-invited-free-college-recruiting-seminars