After an amazing six- week run, the KAU team returned as National Champions and had their first chance to soak things in, now that they were back in their hometown.
Community, friends, and families, had an opportunity to show their pride for the U.S. Junior League Baseball Champions as part of a great celebration that featured; Kennett and Unionville Fire Departments, police escort through town, fans lining the streets of Kennett Square to show their appreciation, culminating with an on field celebration at KAU Sinton Field. Thanks to Mayor Fettick for helping close the town down for awhile so that everyone could enjoy the parade!
From a baseball perspective, what this KAU team did was quite special. When you go on a run like this many people may say how many things have to go right….on the other hand it really is amazing how one thing, one play, or game, can derail a team along such a long gauntlet as Districts, States, Sectionals, Regionals, and the National Championship tournament.
Also, while it may seem cliché, it really does take a whole team to do what this team did. Amidst all the newspaper articles, fanfare, great catch highlights on T.V. over and over again, these kids and coaches are very grounded.
You heard story after story of players giving other team members credit as they may not have had one of their best games along the way such as, Thomas Edmonds State Tournament catch, Dan Kane home run to extend the lead in the first World Series game against North Carolina and Patrick Methlie mowing them down on the mound, etc.
On a personal note, there were also some great stories where kids kept on being kids as relayed by Patrick Methlie, “teammates playing can jam frisbee” and Louis Sharp, “trading everything and anything with the Venezuelan players”.
Also, we can’t forget moms, families and friends for their support. As Jennifer Haggarty said, she will miss the camaraderie of other families along their journey, while not missing restaurant food and hotels. Moreover, with Coach Patterson and family on the road, friendly neighbor, Lori Kosara cut their lawn not once, but twice, and young Vincent Prestianne, helped insure the D.V.R. was set up for families while they were away.
Moreover, it is clear that there are really good baseball players in our area. In 2013 Todd Duerr, Rob Jones and Mike Pecin, led a team to the Senior League World Series U.S. National Champions, Mike Robinson, 2014 Big League World Series appearance, and now Matt Patterson, Sean Burns, and Brian Regenye, Junior League World Series U.S. National Champions.
Which leads me to my final story. In speaking with one of the moms, she said that when the 2013 KAU team returned home from the World Series, her son made it clear he wanted to attend the celebration. Fast forward four years later they are now World Series U.S. National Champion themselves. So, given all the great energy around KAU Nation, it will be interesting to see what team will be next to get the Kennett Square red carpet celebration treatment!KAU National Champions….There Is A lot To Celebrate!
Chris JarmuzKennett Square