One of the nice things about the end of August is the Little League World Series.

It’s heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.

It’s great that the games are on TV. I find the enthusiasm and the sportsmanship of the players refreshing. And, seeing as how there weren’t any “local” teams in the mix this year, it was fun to cheer on both teams in each game.

As usual, the games brought lots of questions to my inquiring mind. I wondered how officials explained their decisions to teams from so many different countries.

I was curious to know if anything was lost in translation. I wondered how all those visitors from foreign lands liked the food served in the concession stands. From the looks of things, everyone likes chicken!

I wondered if the visitors, probably many of them in the United States for the first time, think the mountainous northern part of the Keystone State is as beautiful as we Pennsylvanians think it is. I also wondered if they thought they’d landed in the middle of nowhere!

The TV announcers seemed to enjoy the entire experience and sounded genuinely happy to be there. They praised the players for their outstanding ability and their camaraderie. They also frequently praised the people of Williamsport and the Little League organization for the kindness and hospitality.

In about the third game I saw, I was struck by the friendliness between teams. I loved how they played by the rules. There was no arguing with the umpire. There were no temper tantrums. No one stormed the mound, throwing punches.

While the games were excellent, the end of each was a tearjerker. Players on the losing team burst into tears as their championship hopes ended. But, shortly afterward, they were in the stands cheering on the next teams.

In the final game, the United States was represented by a team from Hawaii and the international team was from South Korea.

My highest admiration to the stadium announcer who introduced the players! I don’t think there was a Smith, Jones or Miller in the bunch!

When players were introduced, they slapped the hand of “Dugout,” the LLWS mascot, as they ran onto the field. The kids from Hawaii hugged him. Maybe that’s what gave them the edge.

As the series ended, I thought members of the U.S. House and Senate should have been there. They may have learned something about working as a team and accomplishing great things.

Heck, all of us can learn something from these youngsters. Way to go, young ballplayers. Way to go, Williamsport. Once again, you’ve made us Pennsylvanians proud.

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