As many sports fans know today, it doesn’t matter where you came from, as long as you can play and have a good attitude, you’re on a team. Besides the FIFA World Cup, the annual Little League World Series held in historic Williamsport, Pennsylvania, brings together kids from all over the world to compete to be number one in the world.
Young kids who love to play the game of baseball travel from all corners of the world to compete and be called the best youth team in baseball. This year, the tournament had teams from various regions in the U.S. competing in the U.S. side of the bracket. Teams like, Hawaii, New York, Georgia, including a team from Houston, Texas are just a few teams competing. In the international pool, the usual contending countries like Mexico and Japan are represented, but teams from Canada, Spain, and Australia flew to Williamsport to compete as well.
Multiple times throughout ESPN’s coverage of the tournament the past two weeks, viewers could see players hanging out with each other from other teams. Some may have a language problem, but one thing for with these kids, if you can speak baseball, what else is there to talk about? Throughout games, you can see kids and opposing coaches high five opponents after a home run or a good play.
Sportsmanship has never been a problem for kids that compete in this tournament, and it’s a tournament that exemplifies what it means to be a true athlete and that you can be a good sport while still competing at a high level. Some professional athletes have a problem with that.
Maybe that’s why it’s so refreshing to see the Little League World Series every year. There are no egos, no call conflicts, and more importantly, the parents and coaches respect the game and don’t ruin the game for the kids like you see at local youth leagues. No matter if you’re white, black, brown, Asian, American, Mexican, these kids are first and foremost baseball players. Celebrate what separates us, and celebrate what makes us the same. For the love of baseball, have fun and play ball.