The town of Petaluma, California is built around togetherness and is a true community.
Petaluma’s true colors were shown as the town rallied around a special group that came together in its own way. Who did this town rally around?
A bunch of 12 and 13 year-old boys of course.
The group of all-stars from Petaluma National Little League made everyone believe. Not only did the small town of Petaluma go wild for this team, the boys received national recognition as well.
Petaluma native Jonny Gomes watched every game with his West jersey and hat, the San Francisco 49ers and Giants sent motivational tweets, along with many other high profile athletes. There was something about these boys that made you stuck to your TV watching them make triumphant comebacks and blast balls over the fence.
The memories made are ones that will last a lifetime.
Every kid that plays baseball dreams of doing what Petaluma did. Every kid dreams of hitting a game-winning home run at the Little League World Series (Yes, I’m jealous Danny Marzo). Every kid dreams of the impossible and Petaluma pulled it off by coming back from a 10 run deficit to tie the game, 15-15, in the the biggest game of their lives. The greatest memory of all will be the interactions with other teams and the love they received from their families.
The classy kids of Petaluma were always seen clapping as a thanks to their families after every game. These kids would not be able to accomplish their feats without their families. They too deserve the praise and the simple gesture of clapping showed the value of love in Petaluma.
What these kids accomplished is truly phenomenal. Think of how many kids play baseball around the world and would do anything to make it to where they did.
A team that is from a town of about 59,000 people, and has three different little leagues did what thousands of kids dream of. This team was made-up of only a small sample size of an already small town. Extraordinary stuff to say the least
Petaluma National Little League took Petaluma, and beyond, by storm. The team finished third in the world and second in the United States. It will be a long, long time until we see a team like this at any level, and anybody that followed this team will never forget.
I had my eyes fixed to the TV in Savannah, Georgia watching this team. I sprinted home from school to watch them. I screamed of joy with my father on the phone about this team. As a Petaluma native, I’m jealous, I’m amazed, but most of all, I’m proud.
Petaluma National All-Stars, you deserve it all.
Let’s look at some big individual and team stats.
Individual Batting Stats:
1. Bradley Smith: .636 Batting Average, 14 Hits (Tied LLWS record), 6 Doubles (Broke Gary Sheffield’s LLWS record)
2. Hance Smith: .429 Batting Average, 4 HR, 12 RBI. 2 HR’s (1 GS) and 5 RBI in win to get to the US Championship game. Hit game-tying home run in 10 run comeback in the US Championship game to make it 15-15 with 2 outs on an 0-2 count in the bottom of the 6th inning.
3. Danny Marzo: .348 Batting Average, Hit walk-off home run in the bottom of the 8th inning in elimination game.
Team Batting Stats:
Batting Average: .337
Home Runs: 12
Individual Pitching Stats:
1. Bradley Smith: 1-0, 11.2 Innings Pitched, 12 Strikeouts, 3.60 ERA
2. Danny Marzo: 1-0, 7.2 Innings Pitched, 17 Strikeouts, 2.35 ERA
3. Quinton Gago: 1-0, 8 Innings Pitched, 12 Strikeouts, .75 ERA
4. Logan Douglas: 2-0, 9 Innings Pitched, 12 Strikeouts, 3.33 ERA
Team Pitching Stats:
Innings Pitched: 44
*ERA was bolstered due to the 24-16 games vs Tennessee
No I did not add every player’s stats, but this team had contributions from every single player on the field and on the bench.
Petaluma is full of pride and now deserves all the praise.