The Williamsport Experience: Little Leaguers Soaking Up World Series Trip
SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- They haven’t even hit the diamond at Lamade Stadium yet, but Sioux Falls’ Little League baseball team is already making history.
Not only are they the city’s first team– they made it to the Little League World Series in their inaugural season.
“Everyone’s behind us, and we can feel it out here! Social media, the phone calls, the text messages, what we’re reading in the paper, so we are very, very appreciative. the kids feel it and we just wanna get the win and make everyone at home proud,” said Sioux Falls Little League President Travis Eastman.
While the team’s focus is on that big win, Manager Jeff Riley says kids aren’t letting the entire Willamsport experience fall to the wayside.
”The outcome doesn’t matter anymore, we’re one of the 16 best in the world right now, we’re one of the 8 best in America and so win or lose we don’t really care it truly is about the experience for these kids.”
The experience has introduced them to new friends.
“We’re neighbors with the Caribbean,” said Cohen Henry. “They’re crazy they ask for shorts and socks, it’s really fun.”
The experience has also given the boys a small taste of fame.
“What I’ve learned about my boys is they’re such good-hearted South Dakotans. We were in a parade yesterday and 30,000 people lining the streets and people throwing the balls and they’re signing them,” said Riley. “They really get what’s happening to them. We’ve talked to them so they know not to refuse an autograph for a kid. We tell them ‘Like, kids looks up to you,’ and they think that’s really cool.”
Already a once in a life time experience before even stepping foot on the diamond.
Sioux Falls’ first game in the Little League World Series is Friday against the team from Greenville, North Carolina.
The game airs at 7 p.m. on ESPN.