I enjoyed every minute of the Little League World Series the week of Aug. 19 because it helped me relive the summer of 1979. I was 59 then and managed the Eastern Regional winner from Ridgewood, New Jersey.
We were the survivors of 13 eastern state champs and one of only four American teams. We lost to the South team 3-1 in a sudden death format and after that we played consolation games.
When the series was finished, through the most appreciated efforts of the Little League and the MacDonalds Corporation, the American teams were treated to a surprising bus trip to Washington, D.C., with stops along the way.
The players and coaches received the royal treatment during the trip. After about seven weeks of baseball, which covered three states and five cities, the 11- and 12-year olds were tired and homesick.
Several had a touch of flu through all of this; I even made time to visit one young man in the hospital. Fortunately, he was alright for the trip.
When we arrived in D.C., the kids were about to explode. All four teams enjoyed themselves and unwound in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
The sponsors provided all sorts of activities, the kids had time to visit with one another and an entire day was spent touring the nation's capitol.
We were then flown back to New Jersey on an all-expense-paid flight. That was 35 years ago.
Today's play is vastly improved and enjoyable and lasts for weeks. Every summer millions get involved, including parents, coaches, all sorts of people and, of course, the kids.
So, hats off to the Little League of South Williamsport, Pennsylvania's 75th anniversary!