Thanks to so many of you who chipped in to help support these teenagers to reach their dreams! National champions, Mazatlán’s own Muralla Pony League (Colt) team travelled 55 hours—yes, FIFTY-FIVE HOURS! The Vietnamese team in this tournament only traveled 36!—to reach the World Series in Lafayette, Indiana. Teams that earned the right to play include Vietnam, Czech Republic, Mexico and the USA.
Greg and I are very excited to be with our local Mazatleco boys and their families, cheering them on. Click on any photo to see it larger or view a slideshow.
The team arrived one day later than planned, so didn’t have much time to get unkinked or settled in before the tournament. They arrived at the ballpark excited and raring to go! César Aguilar was the starting pitcher, and pitched a terrific six innings of the seven inning game, leading 3-2 over Lafayette’s All Stars. The seventh inning saw us go through two pitchers in the quest to find a closer, and led to a most discouraging 9-3 loss at midnight last night.
Mexico played their first game last night under the lights, which of course kids in Mazatlán are not accustomed to doing. The Mexican team had by far the loudest of any cheering section, complete with tricolor shirts, hats, face paint and flag.
We still have the opportunity to win the Series, though we have to win all the remaining games. While we played the last game last night, we play the first game today—not exactly thought-through scheduling, to my way of thinking.
A really cool thing yesterday was that all the players from all the teams in the Series went out onto the field, surrounding the in-field. Two teams of physically challenged kids played two innings of baseball, with help from the boys in the tournament. Talk about a tear jerker! The parents in the stand of these kids were bursting with pride and joy, watching their kids hit the ball and run the bases. A wonderful event to behold!
Long-time Mazatlán snowbird Valerie Bird’s niece and family live in Indiana, and drove two hours to join our cheering section last night. Mazatlán was well represented by the families that travelled north, and also by several dozen local Mexican-American families who showed national pride to turn out and cheer us on. Many thanks to them! Many of those families are also hosting our boys, so they don’t have to pay hotel.
Wish us luck today! It looks to be a hot one, which should help us. We play Vietnam at noon. Should you want to watch this live via video streaming, or see yesterday’s events, click here.
Here’s video of tonight’s game: