Why the Little League World Series is Great

     A few days ago started this year’s Little League World Series, marking the 75th anniversary of the little league.  A lot of people skip over this competition, seeing it as dumb, but I guarantee to you that you’ll enjoy watching what is the largest youth sports competition on the globe.
     A big reason for watching in my book is just seeing all the enthusiasm from the young ball players.  These kids come from all around the world, united by the game of baseball.  There are teams from North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and Australia, and regardless of country, skin color, or language, everyone has a blast.  Every strikeout is met with big smiles and cheers that you just don’t typically see at the professional level.  Seeing the happy faces on kids who hit home runs are big reminders of how much fun it is being a kid and that love at first sight many people feel when being exposed to sports for the first time.  That pure joy and passion for the game are unmatched anywhere but Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
     There are also quality players in the Little League World Series this year.  These are some of the best 11-13 year olds in the world, and man do some of them know how to hit and pitch!  The first day was ruled by Pierce Jones of the Jackie Robinson Little League from Chicago, who went 4-4, hitting not one, not two, but three home runs and a triple against Washington.  Then yesterday two pitchers showed some serious stuff.  Mo’ne Davis, a 13 year old girl from Pennsylvania stole the show, pitching a two hit shut out against Tennessee.  This was an incredible performance, yet it was matched in the very next game by Japan’s Takumi Takahashi, who threw a one-hitter against a very strong Venezuela team in a 1-0 victory.
     Then there are the games themselves.  It’s relatively high-quality baseball.  Sure, there are wild pitches and errors a little more frequently then the MLB, okay maybe a lot more frequently, but it keeps the games unpredictable and exciting.  Every game really means something since it’s only a double-elimination tournament.  It’s intense, and the pressure is always on, even if the kids do a good job of not being phased by it.
     Lastly, there are some great stories that come out of the Little League World Series every year.  Two girls are playing this year, the aforementioned Davis and Canada’s Emma March.  We have had quite the contrast in size of players, as well.  Czech Republic’s Lukas Maly is only 4’6″ and weighs only 71 pounds, where Puerto Rico’s Erick Figueroa is 6’4″ and 229 pounds, over three times the weight of Maly, and the same size as the Boston Red Sox’ David Ortiz.  Then there are the facts about the players given during their at-bats.  Chicago’s Trey Hondras talks to girls before games for good luck, and Tennessee’s Blake Money has a little brother named Cash.
     The Little League World Series is a great time for all who are a part of it, and it’s a lot of fun to watch on TV.  If you’ve got nothing to do, why not watch a game?
     Connor

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