Moreton Bay Little League Baseball stars on parade in Williamsport

Published 3:00pm 17 August 2022

Moreton Bay Little League Baseball  stars on parade in Williamsport
Words by Jodie Powell

Moreton Bay’s young baseball legends have wowed the crowds at the Little League World Series Grand Slam parade.

About 40,000 fans turned out for the event, which celebrated 20 of the world’s best under-13 baseball teams in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Team Australia head coach Keith Land says the boys lapped up the attention, signing balls for fans and waving as they made their way along the 2.5km route.

|“It was UNBELIEVABLE,” he says.|

“The crowds…the atmosphere was electric.

“AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE was sung out till their voices gave out.”

See the video

Video courtesy Chris Clem

Keith says the team – representing the Brisbane North Baseball League and made up of players drawn from the Redcliffe Padres, Narangba Demons and Pine Rivers Rapids – was settling in after a journey that took more than 40 hours.

“Preparation is coming along as the team gets over its jet lag and we are hoping to peak at the right time,” he says.

About 60 family and friends have made the trip to the US to cheer the players on.

Each day starts with breakfast about 8am, followed by a couple of hours of training, lunch, a short hitting session and then pool recovery work.

Evenings are filled with a little free time, dinner, team meetings and some media commitments – with Alonso Zaire Griffin, Xavier Honsa, Archer Petersen and Kyhden Wilson making the front page of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette Grand Slam edition alongside baseball superstar and retired New York Yankees player Mariano Rivera, who addressed all teams at a picnic before the parade.

Moreton Bay Little League Baseball  stars on parade in Williamsport

A hit on local TV

Local television station News Watch 16 Lyoming County, which covered the Grand Parade even featured the team and its supporters in its bulletin.

Keith says while he and fellow coaches Shane Wilson and Chris Clem and executive officer Lyndon Clem had tried to explain what the trip would be like, the reality was still sinking in.

|“The boys were told what it would be like but they can’t believe it’s happening,” he says.|

“They are making new friends from all over the world and there is no language barrier with kids as they still communicate

“Pin trading is rampant in the village and the boys are doing well in that field as well.”

Brisbane North’s first match in Williamsport at the 75th Little League Baseball World Series is against Canada at 5pm on August 17 (7am on August 18 Australian time) and games will be screened on ESPN.

The opening ceremony for the series is at 1.15am Australian time.

Meet the team here.

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