The Real Definition
“The Boys of Summer”… is there really a question about the definition? We understand that most of us believe it generally refers to America’s favorite past time: Baseball. Don Henley even wrote a song “Boys of Summer” but the meaning of that song remains in question. Some believe it refers to the Brooklyn Dodgers but it really doesn’t matter. The real “Boys of Summer” are the Little League Ballplayers around the world that compete for the coveted prize of the Little League World Series Champions. The athletes that compete for this prize dwarfs the number of major league ballplayers competing for similar accolades today. It is estimated that over 400,000 athletes start the competition before it is whittled down to the final 2 teams. That’s intense. That’s Baseball.
This event is inspiring on many levels. The talent and dedication is unrivaled. These kids are the best of the best in their craft. The great plays, the teamwork, the outstanding pitching, fielding, hitting, and let’s not forget the heartache and tears that comes with this level of expectation and talent. The lows are low and the highs are extraordinary. That’s life and a rewarding lesson that impacts these kids for the rest of their lives.This journey for the Little Leaguers starts well before they make an “Allstar” team just weeks before the tournament commences in the summer. This journey begins at age 6, 7, 8, 9 etc for these kids watching their baseball heroes on TV whether it be the Little League World Series stars such as Mo’ne Davis or College World Series Stars like Pavin Smith, or even MLB World Series MVPs like Madison Bumgarner.
Relive the epic Postgame speech by Dave Belisle from the 2014 Little League World Series:
But let’s be honest, it’s not just the kids engrossed in this annual event It’s the parents as well. Year after year we find ourselves in awe of these young international athletes as they arrive in Williamsport, Pennsylvania for the World Series. We watch our children make the journey both athletically and emotionally all the while understanding the odds. But that does not stop the dream from growing, sometimes uncontrollably. With every win these little heroes become professional ball players, at least in our eyes. But, let’s be realistic. Baseball is a team sport, much larger than any individual athlete. And not just the players. At this level the responsibility lies mostly with the supporting cast of parents and coaches dedicated to the development of the kids. Keep them away from tobacco, and encourage sunflower seeds instead.
What’s going to be the next headline? What Cinderella Team makes their move? Who’s going to be the next Mo’ne Davis or Danny Almonte? That’s what keeps us glued to the TV and cheering along the way. For most it’s about the journey. When the winner is crowned triumphant most sit back with profound admiration and simply smile at the journey and satisfied with the emotional ride we just completed. Reward them with a gift!