Blog: Junior League World Series - 2009 Edition

August 15, 2009

It's been a long time between blogs!

Welcome to the world's best teams of 13- and 14-year-old baseball players, who have been arriving in Taylor. It's pretty neat to watch the players exit their bus in Heritage Park and check out World Series Field for the first time. About half the teams took part in the Friday night barbecue under the pavilion next to the field. A lot of our great volunteers were there, too, greeting each other for the first time in a year.

All of the players and coaches will check in Saturday at the beige Heritage Park Activity Building. There, they get assigned a uniform, sign some baseballs, get instructions for the week and pose for their official team photos. Then it's off to the Ramada Inn, a meal, practice and perhaps relaxation in preparation for the pageantry of Saturday night's opening ceremonies.

We have a tradition in which we get one player on each team to put a hand on a bat for a special group photo. Usually you can't see much of the bat when we're done with it, but it's still cool to have all of team representatives come together, some saying hello for the first time.

Opening ceremonies are pretty moving, watching the players march with their flags around the outside of the field and then onto the field, where they're introduced. The giant U.S. Flag will be brought onto the field by some of Taylor's heroes for The National Anthem. After some greetings by local officials, there's the ceremonial first pitch, which also involves a player from each team. A player from Saipan, the team that came the longest distance, throws a ball to a player who traveled from Italy to a player who throws it to an Aruba player and so on. The actual pitch will be from a New Jersey player to an Indiana player, if I have my calculations right. Coincidentally, they were also the last two teams to win regional tournaments and qualify for the World Series.

The night ends with fireworks.

If you're in the area, please come out and give the players, coaches, spectators and umpires a warm Downriver welcome. Admission is free on Saturday.

The teams are already champions. One will become world champion. All of them will make memories to last a lifetime.

David Gorgon, Director of Public Information
City of Taylor