The Petaluma National All-Stars enthralled baseball audiences around the world for a couple of weeks in August at the Little League World Series. From the special section in the Press Democrat:
"Their remarkable mix of aplomb, quality play, and vibrant enthusiasm coalesced into a series of stirring comebacks that captured the nation. This was the sport at it's most elemental, stripped of the adult trappings of money, ego and posturing and highlighted instead by innocence, joy and camaraderie."
These are middle schoolers, ages 12-13; who never quit, never lost focus, made incredible plays and new friends from around the world. We watched the National Playoff against Goodlettsville, TN when we were visiting friends in Arcata. News up there comes from the ABC affiliate in Los Angeles. Though Petaluma lost the game in extra innings the two sportscasters said "this was the best game in the known universe today" and we had to agree.
Today we went to Petaluma to participate in the parade honoring these kids. We had lunch outdoors on the river at Dempseys Brew Pub and then walked over the bridge to the parade route packed with an estimated 20,000 fans.
Vintage war planes did a flyover and there were two confetti cannons from the Superbowl going off every time they introduced a player. It was quite a scene. Fortunately we got there early enough to find some shade across the street from McNears.
Once the parade was over everyone stepped off the sidewalks and walked en masse down the middle of Petaluma Boulevard North to Walnut Park. I don't think there was an available square inch of lawn for standing or sitting.
We stayed long enough to get some bottled water and then toddled back to the car grinning from ear to ear. Home to a cool breeze from the coast and some world class chili leftovers from our friend Linda who spent a couple of days visiting before she headed out this morning for home. Sonoma County is very proud of this little group of ambassadors! They have inspired a whole crop of youngsters to believe in themselves ~ look out world there's a new posse in town.