Junior League World Series Notebook

HOME RUN DERBY

Aruba didn’t win the Junior League World Series, but the Latin America champions proved they could hit the long ball when it counted.

Aruba’s Aldair Croes won this year’s World Series Home Run Derby, sponsored by Best Buy.

In the first round of Saturday’s derby, Croes, teammate Marc Danies and Brian Camacho of Saipan were tied for the lead. Each player stroked four of five swings over the fence 250 feet away.

In the second round, Danies and Camacho hit one of their three swings over the fence. Croes smashed all three of his chances for home runs.

Best Buy, the major sponsor of the World Series, provided prizes for the Home Run Derby and volunteered countless hours throughout the week at Heritage Park.

WATCH THE REPLAY

The championship game of the World Series was broadcast live on ESPNU.

However, if you missed the game or want to watch it again, it will be replayed at 11 p.m. Thursday, August 27, on ESPN2.

RECORDS ARE MADE TO BE BROKEN

At least six World Series records were reached during the week.

Aruba’s 24-1 victory over Coquitlam, British Columbia, broke the record for largest margin of victory with 23 runs.

The previous record was set in 1989, when Manati, Puerto Rico defeated another Canadian team from Edmonton, Alberta, by 20 runs, 26-6.

For the series, Aruba scored 64 runs as a team, which surpassed the previous record of 56 runs set by the world champion Paula Ceia/Bayshore Little League from Tampa, Florida. All but one of Aruba's runs came in the first five games.

Along with that came a new record by Aruba for team runs batted in, 52. The former record, 48, was set in 1983 by Northridge, California.

Aruba pitchers combined to break the team strikeout record as well. Aruba's total of 55 surpassed the 50 strikeouts thrown by pitchers from the world champion El Campo, Texas, team in 2007.

The six straight victories by Scottsdale, Arizona, en route to the world championship tied a record for team wins held by six other world title holders: Tucson, Arizona (1992); Mission Viejo, California (1998); Cartersville, Georgia (2002); Tampa, Florida (2004); Pearl City, Hawaii (2007); and Curacao, Netherlands (2008). Tucson and Mission Viejo were each 6-1. The rest were undefeated.

In addition, five home runs by Kristian Brito of Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, tied the World Series record held by four other players.

And Yosbert Yanes of Aruba became the 18th player in World Series history to hit a triple. No player has ever hit more than one three-bagger in the tournament.

UMPIRE OF THE YEAR

Charles Lloyd of Arbutus, Maryland, is the 2009 recipient of the McAllister Umpire Award.

The honor is given to the umpire who exemplifies the spirit of being a volunteer. It’s named for the late Chuck McAllister, who was the umpire in chief of the World Series until his death in 1999.

Lloyd is in his 41st year of umpiring Little League baseball. He is president of both the Maryland District 4 and Maryland State Umpire Associations. He also umpired the 2004 Senior League World Series.

Lloyd and his wife Liz have been married for 50 years and they have three children and nine grandchildren. In fact, Lloyd reduced his umpiring schedule to he could manage or coach eight of those grandchildren, according to current Umpire in Chief George Glick.

“This award goes to an umpire who is the true exemplary spirit of Little League,” Glick said.

PARTING WORDS 

World Series Director Greg Bzura gives the manager or representative from each team an opportunity for a farewell speech on the field at the end of the championship game. Each spoke glowingly of the tournament and its organization.

Later, Arizona Manager Steve Erickson said later that the Junior League World Series lived up to its reputation.

“I can see why Taylor, Michigan, has had the World Series for 29 years,” he said. “The volunteers, how they treat the kids, how it’s run – they do an amazing job. This is something our players will talk about for the rest of their lives.”

Lyrick Pourier, manager of the runners-up from Aruba, agreed.

“We had very much fun,” Pourier said after the title game. “We can’t ask for more. We will remember Taylor always. The people were amazing. No words can describe the feeling. Taylor is always in my heart.”